The Polish Strategy for Capital Markets Development – tax issues

The Ministry of Finance announced a draft of the Polish Capital Market Development Strategy last week. The document has many interesting aspects but I will focus on the most interesting from the tax advisor perspective (especially the crypto tax advisor).

Tax incentives for investors

The most important change for investors is definitely a plan to reduce the tax rate from 19% to 9%. This is a change for the better, which you do not have to recommend too much to anyone.

It is also planned to introduce the possibility of offsetting losses from one financial instrument with profits (income) from others. Currently, this possibility is limited. In this context, it is interesting that the Strategy refers to cryptocurrencies. I do not know why cryptocurrencies and CFDs are censored but the Strategy explicitly states that

“Speculative products, eg. CFDs, cryptocurrencies, should not be covered by the right to compensation. The current possibility of offsetting losses on speculative products should be reduced or removed, as current legislation is perceived by investors as unfair, promotes speculative transactions and does not support investment in the real economy.”

I do not know if the phrase “real economy” is the most appropriate here. The digital economy is growing really fast and the proceeds from it occupy an increasing part of the budget. It is quite illogical for me to build a system that involves taxing a given category of profits and deriving budget revenues, with a clear negation of the said market branch.

On the other hand, it is encouraging that cryptocurrency transactions have been explicitly included as part of the capital markets (even if only for tax purposes).

You can read on new rules on tax on cryptocurrency here.

Tax incentives for issuers

Among the incentives for issuers, one deserves special mention. The strategy assumes that (finally!) issuers will be able to treat expenses incurred for the organization of IPO as tax deductible. Currently, the Ministry of Finance disputes the possibility of including them in tax deductible costs, indicating that such expenses are not incurred in direct connection with tax revenue.

Interestingly, not only that the issuer will be able to include these expenses as tax deductible costs, they will still be able to include up to 125% of these expenses. If the planned changes are implemented, it will be a 180% change.

The strategy also assumes the resignation of withholding tax for eurobonds.

***

The proposed changes should in principle be read positively. Unfortunately, the recent amendments in the tax law show that “the devil is in the details” and until we see the content of the regulations, one must remain calm. The second issue is the application of the provisions – whether the creation of specialized tax offices will change the manner of interpreting the law in favor of taxpayers. Time will tell.

The draft can be reached here (in Polish only).



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