Starting January 1, 2020, entrepreneurs will pay a significant portion of their dues directly to a micro-tax account, rather than to the bank account of a specific tax office as before. We explain how microaccounts work and what you need to know about them.
Who must set up a tax micro-account?
The change regarding the method of payment of public liabilities applies to all entities that pay taxes and have a PESEL or NIP number. Microaccounts must therefore be used by entrepreneurs regardless of the organizational and legal form of their business, including:
- sole proprietorships conducting individual business;
- capital companies.
For the obligation to establish a micro-account, the scale of business activity and the volume of employment are irrelevant. Once established, a micro-tax account for individuals or legal entities does not change, regardless of changes in the registered office or other details of the entrepreneur. It is worth remembering that each entity can have only one micro-account common to all receivables. The legislator does not distinguish between PIT, CIT and VAT microaccounts, for example.
What taxes should be paid using an individual micro-account?
Currently, the tax microaccount covers the following types of receivables:
- tax on income earned by individuals or legal entities (PIT and CIT, respectively);
- VAT, but excluding:
- VAT on imports;
- VAT on intra-Community acquisition of motor fuels;
- solidarity levy (a tax imposed on individuals whose income last year exceeded PLN 1 million);
- a levy on alcoholic beverages in containers up to 300 ml, the so-called monkey tax;
- a levy on foodstuffs, the so-called sugar tax;
- a tax on retail sales;
- tax on the extraction of certain minerals (copper, oil silver, natural gas);
- a fee for providing information to judicial officers;
- a fee paid by entities providing a service that is an advertisement for alcoholic beverages.
The obligation to pay into a micro-account also applies to income from rental of real estate. This applies to both non-business people and entrepreneurs (even if the rental is not related to the business).
Does a partnership have a different micro-account than the partners?
In the case of partnerships, each partner pays advance income tax payments to his own micro-account. However, it should be remembered that for VAT purposes, the partnership, not the partners individually, is considered the taxpayer, and it is the partnership that should pay VAT dues to its micro-account.
Where to pay other taxes?
Public law receivables that are not subject to payment into a micro-tax account should be paid in the same way as before 2020. For example, VAT on imports is payable to the account of the relevant tax office, as is PCC or inheritance and gift tax.
How to set up a micro tax account and how is it structured?
Setting up a micro tax account is done using a generator available on the government website, It is a completely free process and takes only a moment. All you need to do is enter the appropriate identifier – TIN or PESEL – in the appropriate field, and then select the “Generate” option.
Each microaccount consists of 26 digits arranged according to a specific structure:
- digits 1 and 2 are the check number;
- digits 3. to 10. are a fixed value that indicates the billing number in the NBP;
- the digits 11. to 13. are a fixed value that complements the NBP billing number;
- the 14th digit defines the taxpayer’s identifier, depending on whether the taxpayer has provided a PESEL or NIP number;
- the remaining digits correspond to the TIN or PESEL number assigned to the entity; if the identifier is too short, the missing characters are automatically filled in with the digit 0.
The tax microaccount generator can be accessed online and at any time. If in doubt, your micro-tax bill can be checked at any tax office. It can also be re-generated. All you need to do is enter the taxpayer ID again in the form.
How to deposit to a micro tax account?
Transferring to a tax micro-account is simpler and faster than the traditional method, but it is worth remembering a few basic rules.
First of all, when specifying the title of the transfer, it is necessary to indicate against which public tribute it is to be credited. If the taxpayer has tax arrears, the payment will first be credited to these dues, and only the remaining amount will be distributed by the tax authority as requested.
In a situation where the taxpayer does not indicate any transfer title, the payment will be credited to the oldest liability.
How to pay into a microaccount in the absence of a PESEL or NIP number?
Taxpayers who have not yet been assigned a PESEL or NIP number cannot yet generate an individual tax micro-account. In their cases, the transfer should be made to a US microaccount with an indication of the public tribute to be paid and the taxpayer’s ID, such as a passport or ID card number.
Payment to an erroneous micro-account and what next?
If an entrepreneur makes a transfer to an incorrect (non-existent) micro-account and the transaction is booked, the tax office will call the taxpayer to explain the payment. However, when the money goes to another taxpayer’s account, the contributor will receive a notice to pay the arrears. One should immediately go to the tax office taking with him the receipt of the payment to clarify the mistake. The taxpayer must take into account two possibilities – the tax office will rebook the payment, or the taxpayer will have to pay the liability again and apply for a refund of the resulting overpayment.
Can a third party pay tax for a taxpayer on his micro-account?
Entrepreneurs may wonder whether it is possible to pay tribute for another taxpayer on his micro-account (e.g., one of the partners of a general partnership pays VAT for the company). In theory, the regulations allow such a solution, but it is limited.
First of all, without any limits on the amount, the public liability can be paid for the taxpayer only by a member of the immediate family (including ascendants, descendants, spouse, siblings) and the current owner of an object secured by a compulsory mortgage or a fiscal pledge.
In other cases, the maximum amount of tax paid by another person may not exceed 1 thousand zlotys. Payment is allowed only if the content of the proof of payment is not in doubt (preferably, the title field of the transfer should indicate the exact obligation that is paid).
Adherence to the rules is very important, because according to Article 59§1(1) of the Tax Ordinance, a tax liability expires in whole or in part as a result of payment. Failure to comply with the requirements in this regard will result in the office recognizing the tax as unpaid and sending the taxpayer a summons for payment, and the payer will have to apply for a refund of the overpayment.
Does microaccounting individually really make it easier to settle accounts with the tax?
Although for new entrepreneurs the procedure for obtaining a micro-account may seem complicated, in reality it is very simple, and what’s more, it really makes doing business easier. First of all, the company always pays the receivables covered by the microaccount into the same account, even if it changes its registered office, and with it the jurisdiction of the tax office. What’s more, thanks to the change, it is much quicker to receive a statement about not being in arrears with taxes.
Such a document is usually required by banks from borrowers applying for financing, as well as stores offering installment sales or BNPL service. It is also needed by entrepreneurs who compete in tenders to confirm the stability of their economic situation.