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Obligation to file financial statements

2015-06-19

Annual financial statements must be filed with the National Court Register and with the Tax Office.

Who has the obligation

The obligation to file financial statements with the National Court Register applies to all types of companies which are subject to the Accounting Act and are required to register in the National Court Register. So in practice these are all capital companies and also branches of foreign undertakings. Filing responsibility rests with the manager of the entity, which usually means the President of the company’s management board.

The obligation to file financial statements with the Tax Office applies to every taxpayer who is required to keep full accounting books and is liable to pay the corporate income tax (CIT) or the personal income tax (PIT).

What documents must be filed

According to the Accounting Act, entrepreneurs are obligated to file with the National Court Register their annual financial statements comprising the balance sheet, the profit and loss account, the additional information (notes), the management report on activity and, if required to prepare, also the cash flow statement, the statement of changes in equity, and the auditor’s opinion on the financial statements, if audited. In addition, a copy of a resolution on approval of the financial statements and distribution of profit or coverage of loss.

The tax laws on CIT or PIT do not specify how to understand the notion of “financial statements” but indicate that documents to be sent to the tax office are the financial statements with the opinion and report of the authorised auditor, if the financial statements are subject to audit, and a resolution on approval of the financial statements.

Deadlines

The manager of the entity has the obligation to file the annual financial statements with the National Court Register within 15 days of the date of their approval. The same deadline applies to consolidated financial statements.

Taxpayers liable to pay CIT are obligated to file their financial statements with the Tax Office within 10 days of the date of their approval, along with a resolution on approval and the auditor’s opinion and report, if applicable.

Natural persons, meaning taxpayers liable to pay PIT who keep accounting books, are required to attach financial statements to their annual tax return filed by 30 April of the next year following the year covered by the financial statements.

The filing of financial statements with the Tax Office and with the National Court Register represents two different activities, although both relate to a similar matter. In order to file financial statements with the tax office, there is no need to fill in any forms, in practice financial statements are sent by post against confirmation of dispatch. In order to file financial statements with the National Court Register, appropriate forms must be filled in and a respective fee must be paid.

Unapproved financial statements

Financial statements which have not been approved must be also filed with the National Court Register.

Financial statements should be approved by the approving body, in practice supervisory boards or (general) meetings of shareholders, within 6 months of the balance sheet date.  

Financial statements of a branch of a foreign undertaking are deemed approved if financial statements of such entrepreneur, including also financial statements of the branch, have been approved.

Taking into account that for most companies the financial year is the same as the calendar year, financial statements should be approved by 30 June at the latest, and filed with the National Court Register by 15 July.

If financial statements have not been approved within due time, they must be anyway filed with the National Court Register by 15 July at the latest. Following approval, financial statements should be filed with the National Court Register again within 15 days of the date of their approval.

Untimely filing

The taxpayer filing financial statements with the Tax Office after due time should enclose it with the so called leniency application (czynny żal) in order to avoid penalty. Failure to file or untimely filing of financial statements with the Tax Office is subject to a fine.

If financial statements have not been filed with the National Court Register or incomplete financial statements have been filed, the entrepreneur will be summoned to make the filing within an additional deadline of 7 days or otherwise a fine will be imposed. The court may apply further sanctions if the entrepreneur persistently refuses to comply with its obligations.