A solidarity levy on settlement with a spouse and payment of tax


As a rule, settling income together with the spouse is more advantageous in terms of income tax. In 2020 and in subsequent years, taxpayers with the highest income in the country will pay a tax called a solidarity levy. In this situation, will a joint PIT tax return with a spouse protect taxpayers from a new liability to the tax authorities? Will the solidarity levy be more beneficial when settling accounts with the spouse?

What is a solidarity levy?

The new solidarity tax was introduced under the Act on the Solidarity Fund for Support of Disabled Persons. It will be collected from natural persons whose income in a given tax year exceeded the equivalent of PLN 1,000,000. The solidarity levy is collected in the amount of 4% on the excess of income over PLN 1,000,000 achieved in a given tax year, less the amounts reducing:

  • taxable according to the tax scale,

  • subject to flat tax,

  • from some capital gains

  • obtained from a foreign controlled entity,

  • on income from abroad accounted for using the proportional deduction method.

In a situation where the taxpayer also generates income abroad, then the income earned in Poland is reduced proportionally by the equivalent of the tax paid on this income abroad.

The tax base for the solidarity levy should be calculated according to the formula:

total income - decreasing amounts - PLN 1,000,000 = tax base

The basis for calculating the solidarity levy should be rounded, omitting the endings of amounts less than 50 groszy. However, endings exceeding 50 groszy should be increased to full zlotys. More information on the solidarity levy can be found in the article: Solidarity levy - what is it and who does it apply to?

Transitional provisions

The first solidarity levy applies to the settlement period from January 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020.

In order to determine the tax base for the payment of the first solidarity levy, the income shown on the annual PIT-36, PIT-36L, PIT-37, PIT-38, PIT-CFC and PIT-40A declarations obtained from January 1, 2019 should be taken into account. , as well as the amounts that reduce the income, the submission deadline of which expires in the period from January 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020.

Thus, the tax base will be the sum of income from the above-mentioned tax returns, for which the deadline for submission is no later than April 30 of the calendar year and no earlier than May 1 of the previous year. In addition, income from PIT-40A is taken into account only when the tax resulting from this settlement is due tax, i.e. when the taxpayer does not submit a separate tax declaration taking into account the data from this form.

The tax is payable once for the entire year. The deadline for paying the tax is April 30 of the year following the calendar year (in the settlement for 2020, the payment date - 4% of the solidarity levy is April 30, 2021).

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A solidarity levy on settlements with a spouse - for whom is it beneficial?

Spouses who are in joint property, whose income is taxed on general principles, may use a joint annual statement on the PIT-36 form (if one of the spouses conducts business activity subject to general taxation) or PIT-37 (if the spouses do not conduct business activity). economic). This is a particularly advantageous solution in a situation where the amount of income of only one of the spouses exceeded the first tax threshold.

In the tax clarifications of August 28, 2019, published by the Ministry of Finance, on the application of the provisions on the solidarity levy, contained in the Personal Income Tax Act, it was clearly stated that when determining the basis for calculating the solidarity levy, each spouse takes into account only his or her own income. regardless of whether the spouses settle accounts jointly on the basis of income tax. For the purposes of determining the tax base, the spouses' income is not combined or divided by solidarity levy.

Example 1.

Spouses remaining in joint property settle their income obtained in 2020 together on the PIT-36 form. In 2020, the husband earned an income of PLN 300,000, and the wife - PLN 1,200,000. Is there an obligation to pay the solidarity levy in this situation?

Yes, due to the fact that the wife's income in 2020 exceeded the equivalent of PLN 1,000,000, she is required to pay a solidarity levy on the surplus over this amount. In this case, the tax base will, as a rule, amount to PLN 200,000, therefore the solidarity tax will amount to PLN 8,000 (PLN 200,000 x 4%).

To sum up, the solidarity levy in the settlement with the spouse will not protect the taxpayer from paying it, if his income exceeds the amount of PLN 1,000,000 in a given tax year.