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Freelance and taxes: Poland

Rates, deadlines, and general information on the country's taxation and tax reporting

Anastasiia R avatar
Written by Anastasiia R
Updated over a week ago

Because freelancers are not our employees and we don't pay taxes on payouts, they must declare any income received via Solar Staff by themselves.

To carry on tax accounting in Poland for your Solar Staff income, you need to:

Tax residence in Poland

Polish residents are taxed on their worldwide income. Non-residents are taxed on their Polish-sourced income only.

An individual shall qualify as a tax resident of Poland if such individual:

  • Has a center of their vital interests (a center of family, social, or economic interests) in Poland.

  • Spends 183 or more days in a calendar year in Poland.

IMPORTANT! With regard to the center of vital interests, the Polish regulatory authorities recommend first of all taking into account the center of personal interests (family, renting or buying property), and then the center of economic interests.

Poland has double taxation agreements with a number of countries (full list), the provisions of which may override the applicable tax residency rules and other provisions of national legislation.

Identification numbers

The following identification numbers are used in Poland:

  • PESEL (Powszechny Elektroniczny System Ewidencji Ludności) is the identification number used for interactions with government agencies, including for the purpose of paying taxes. PESEL is an 11-digit number containing the date of birth, serial number, gender designation, and check digit. You can get the PESEL number at the local city council (Urząd Miasta) at your place of registration / long-term stay in Poland. Documents required to obtain the PESEL number: an application (filling instructions can be found here); a document proving your identity. An employee of the city council makes a decision on assigning the PESEL number immediately after the submission of documents. If the application is approved and the documents are sufficient, the PESEL number is issued on the same day.
    Learn more about PESEL

  • The REGON (Rejestr Gospodarki Narodowej) number is the identification number assigned to individual entrepreneurs and containing 9 digits. It is issued by the Central Statistical Office (GUS, Główny Urząd Statystyczny). To obtain the REGON number, you need to fill out and submit an application to the nearest GUS branch.
    Learn more about REGON

  • NIP (Numer Identyfikacji Podatkowej) is a 10-digit tax number assigned by the tax authorities (Urząd Skarbowy). Individuals receive this number if they are obliged to pay taxes in Poland and cannot obtain a PESEL number. To get a NIP number, natural persons and individual entrepreneurs are required to fill out the NIP-2 and NIP-7 application forms, respectively.
    Learn more about NIP

Taxes and contributions

If the conditions listed below are met, the freelancer may earn income as a natural person and file income tax reporting under the tax scale regime (otherwise registration as an individual entrepreneur is mandatory):

  • The expected income from the activity does not exceed 50% of the minimum wage in Poland (in the second half of 2023, 1,800 Polish zloty (PLN)).

  • The freelancer does not conduct their activity as part of a civil law partnership (spółka cywilna).

  • The income is not regular.

  • The freelancer has not been engaged in entrepreneurial activity for the past 60 months.

To set up as an individual entrepreneur in Poland, one needs to register as such with the Central Register and Information on Economic Activity (CEIDG, Centralna Ewidencja i Informacja o Działalności Gospodarczej). This can be done either in person or online by filling out an application.

Poland has the following tax regimes for individual entrepreneurs:

The tax scale is selected automatically once the individual entrepreneur is set up and registered with the tax authorities. If the individual entrepreneur wishes to switch to a different tax regime, they shall submit a relevant application to the tax authorities in person or online before the 20th day of the month following the month in which they received their first income from entrepreneurial activity, or by December 31 if the first income was received in December.

These tax regimes vary only by the amount of applicable income tax and the tax base calculation method. An individual entrepreneur applying any of the above regimes may also be a VAT payer and have an obligation to pay social contributions.

IMPORTANT! Solar Staff does not have the option to choose a tax status for freelancers based in Poland, but you can fill in your tax ID in your account.

Read on for more details.

Tax scale

The tax scale (skala podatkowa) is a tax regime that requires individual entrepreneurs and natural persons to pay income tax at a progressive rate. As of 2023, the tax scale rates are as follows:

Taxable income

Tax rate, %

Up to PLN 120,000*
*30,000 – minimum non-taxable income in 2023


Over PLN 120,000


If the income is PLN 120,000, the tax is calculated as follows: (PLN 120,000 – PLN 30,000) * 12% = PLN 10,800

If the income exceeds PLN 120,000, the tax is calculated as follows: PLN 10,800 + 32% of the amount exceeding PLN 120,000.

Individual entrepreneurs can also reduce their income base by claiming deductions for documented expenses (according to Article 23 of Poland's Act on Personal Income Tax).

Tax reporting and payment. Taxpayers are required to file their tax returns using the PIT-36S form by May 2 of the year following the reporting year, and pay their taxes within the same timeframe. The tax return can be submitted either online through the website of Poland's Ministry of Finance (Ministerstwo Finansów), or by using specialized software.

Flat tax

The flat tax (podatek liniowy) is a tax regime where tax is calculated at a fixed rate of 19%. It applies to the income earned by individual entrepreneurs during the year, taking into account deductions for documented expenses (similar to the tax scale regime).

Tax reporting and payment. Taxpayers are required to file their tax returns using the PIT-36L form by May 2 of the year following the reporting year, and pay their taxes within the same timeframe. The ways in which tax returns can be filed are the same as those described for the tax scale regime.

Lump-sum tax

The lump-sum tax (ryczałt ewidencjonowany) is a tax regime that involves paying a fixed amount of tax on all income earned by an individual entrepreneur during a year (without the possibility of reducing the tax base by deducting expenses). The tax rate is set in the range from 2% to 17% and depends on the type of activity carried out (a complete list of activity types and corresponding tax rates can be found in Article 12 of the Act on Flat-Rate Income Tax on Certain Income Earned by Natural Persons).

IMPORTANT! Individual entrepreneurs can switch to the lump-sum tax regime provided that their income for the previous tax period (calendar year) did not exceed EUR 2 million.

Tax reporting and payment. Under the lump-sum tax regime, individual entrepreneurs are required to calculate their tax payments and can choose to file their tax returns either on a monthly or quarterly basis: both tax returns and payments are due before the 20th day of the month or quarter following the reported month or quarter, with the exception of December and Q4, for which they are due before May 2. Tax returns shall be filed using the PIT-28/PIT-28S form (more information on filing tax returns).

Tax card

The tax card (karta podatkowa) is a tax regime that can be applied after you agree it with the head of the local tax authorities and involves paying a fixed advance tax rate and no obligation to keep records of income and expenses.

Typically, the amount of tax depends on:

  • The type of activity

  • The number of employees

  • The population of the municipality where the activity is carried out

IMPORTANT! This tax regime is only available to individual entrepreneurs who paid income tax using this method before January 1, 2022. This means new entrepreneurs are not eligible for this regime, and those who previously opted out of it cannot return to it.

Tax reporting and payment. Taxpayers are not required to file tax returns under this regime. They must only pay the required amount of tax based on the payment details provided to them by the tax authorities after their application (PIT-16) has been approved. Tax payments are due by the 7th day of the month following the month of the tax card issuance, or by December 28 for taxes due in December. Taxpayers must also provide receipts (rachunków) and/or invoices (faktur) to customers upon request for goods sold or services rendered and are required to keep these documents for five years following the transaction.

Additional taxes and contributions

Value-added tax (VAT)

The standard VAT (podatek od wartości dodanej) rate is 23%. Certain categories of goods and services, such as imported vital goods, are subject to reduced rates. To pay VAT, taxpayers must register by submitting a VAT-R form to the tax authorities. More details on the procedures and requirements for VAT registration are available here.

VAT exemptions:

  • Certain types of activities, such as managing pension programs, investments, insurance, social security; a complete list of exempt activities can be found in Chapter 2 of the Decree of the Polish Ministry of Finance.

  • Individual entrepreneurs whose turnover from the sale of goods and services did not exceed PLN 200,000 in the previous calendar year.

IMPORTANT! Some types of activities (such as legal, financial, or consulting services) are not exempt from VAT, even if the turnover criterion is met.

Tax reporting and payment. The standard reporting period for VAT is the calendar month. However, if the total value of goods sold and services provided in the previous year did not exceed EUR 1.2 million, taxpayers may opt for a quarterly reporting period by submitting a written notice no later than the 25th day of the second month of the quarter for which the first return is to be filed. In case of monthly filings, VAT returns and payments are due before the 25th day of the month following the reporting month (for example, for May – before June 25). In case of quarterly filings, VAT returns and payments are due before the 25th day of the month following the end of each quarter (April 25, July 25, October 25, and January 25). Taxpayers shall submit their VAT returns along with JPK_V7 or JPK_V7K files for monthly or quarterly filings, respectively, depending on the chosen reporting period. Learn more about tax returns and due dates here.

Useful links: List of VAT payers (biała lista podatników VAT).

Social contributions

The Social Insurance Institution (Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych (ZUS)) is the organization responsible for managing social contributions in Poland. After registering with the Central Register and Information on Economic Activity (CEIDG, Centralna Ewidencja i Informacja o Działalności Gospodarczej), the information about the individual entrepreneur is automatically transmitted to ZUS for the purposes of opening a personal account for making contributions. The letter containing information about the registration with ZUS and account number is sent to the individual entrepreneur by mail within two weeks after the registration with the CEIDG. All information about the individual entrepreneur as a ZUS contribution payer can be found on the organization's website.

IMPORTANT! From January 1, 2023, each contribution payer is required to have an account on the ZUS Electronic Services Platform (PUE). Learn more about the registration process here.

Types of contributions payable by individual entrepreneurs:

  • Social security contributions (SSC) (with the minimum SSC calculation base set at PLN 4,161 in 2023), including:

    • Pension insurance (ubezpieczenie emerytalne) contribution at a rate of 19.52%, accident insurance (ubezpieczenie wypadkowe) contribution at a rate of 1.67% (which may vary depending on the number of insured persons and types of activity carried out), and disability insurance (ubezpieczenia rentowe) contribution at a rate of 8% (all mandatory).

    • Sickness insurance (ubezpieczenie chorobowe) contribution at a rate of 2.45% (voluntary).

  • Contributions to the Labour Fund (Fundusz Pracy) and the Solidarity Fund (Fundusz Solidarnościowy) at a rate of 2.45%.

  • Health insurance (składka zdrowotna) contributions that depend on the selected tax regime and income level:

    • Tax scale: 9% of the income

    • Flat tax: 4.5% of the income

    • Lump-sum tax: 9% of the flat rate set by the government (in 2023, contribution of PLN 376.16 for income below PLN 60,000; contribution of PLN 626.93 for income up to PLN 300,000; contribution of PLN 1,128.48 for income above PLN 300,000)

    • Tax card: 9% of the minimum wage

IMPORTANT! The minimum monthly wage in Poland stands at PLN 3,490 (gross) and will increase to PLN 3,600 (gross) from July 2023.

Relief. The following types of contribution relief are available: for new businesses (ulga na start) – exemption from contributions for six months; reduced contribution rates for 24 months; reduced contribution rates for individual entrepreneurs (Mały ZUS Plus) whose annual income does not exceed PLN 120,000.

Declaring and paying contributions. Payers of contributions are required to file monthly declarations (ZUS DRA) and pay contributions on a monthly basis before the 20th day of the month following the reporting month (e.g., for January – before February 20). Payments shall be made via a single transfer to the payer’s individual contributions account. Learn more about declaring and paying contributions.

Tax on civil law transactions (Podatek od czynności cywilnoprawnych)

These are fixed tax rates that apply to certain types of civil law transactions and vary depending on the agreement type. Learn more about the tax on civil law transactions.

Exit tax

The exit tax is charged when a natural person loses their status as a tax resident of Poland. It applies to the value of their assets (financial instruments, foreign company shares, and so on) that exceeds PLN 4 million. Two rates, 3% or 19%, apply for the exit tax depending on the circumstances. Learn more about the exit tax.

Additional information

If you have any questions, get in touch via the chat in your Solar Staff account or email us at [email protected].

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