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Taxation: Commission requests Poland to amend discriminatory tax legislation for foreign investment and pension funds

European Commission - IP/11/720   16/06/2011

Other available languages: FR DE PL

European Commission - Press release

Taxation: Commission requests Poland to amend discriminatory tax legislation for foreign investment and pension funds

Brussels, 16 June 2011 – The European Commission has formally requested Poland to amend its tax legislation which discriminates against investment funds and pension funds from other EU countries and countries of the European Economic Area (EEA). Under Polish tax legislation, domestic investment funds and pension funds are exempted from corporate income tax. However, funds established outside Poland can only benefit from this exemption under certain conditions which are not applied to Polish funds. Such discriminatory provisions are in breach of EU law, which requires that all tax exemptions should be granted equally to resident and non-resident taxpayers.

Despite corrective measures taken by Poland in November 2010 in response to a previous request, the Commission considers that Poland is still not fulfilling its obligations under Articles 56 and 63 (freedom to provide services and free movement of capital) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU and Articles 36 and 40 of the European Economic Area Agreement.

As a result of this discrimination, investment and pension funds based in other EU countries and in the EEA are placed at a disadvantage compared to their Polish-based counterparts and Polish citizens are therefore liable to enjoy less choice of pension and investment funds.

The Commission's request takes the form of an additional reasoned opinion (second step of EU infringement proceedings). In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer Poland to the EU's Court of Justice.

Background

The Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Poland on 23 March 2007 and a reasoned opinion on 15 May 2009 (IP/09/780). On 14 January 2011 Poland informed the Commission that it had amended its Corporate Income Tax Act in November 2010. However, the Commission considers that the amendments to the Polish Law do not entirely eliminate tax discrimination against foreign funds.

The Polish tax legislation grants the tax exemption to foreign funds on condition that they are subject to tax in their states of residence, whereas the exemption for domestic funds is granted unconditionally. Such a condition is not in line with EU law as some pension and investment funds from other EU/EEA States will not be granted the benefit of the exemption in Poland, which would otherwise be granted to all similar Polish funds without any additional requirements.

For the press releases issued on infringement proceedings in the area of taxation or customs see:

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/common/infringements/infringement_cases/index_en.htm

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/11/408.

For the most up-to-date general information on the infringement proceedings initiated against Member States, see:

http://ec.europa.eu/eu_law/infringements/infringements_en.htm

Contacts:

David Boublil (+32 2 296 55 73)

Maud Scelo (+32 2 298 15 21)


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