Bank tax - when will the entrepreneur pay it?


On February 1, 2016, the bank tax entered into force. It was introduced by the Act on Tax on Certain Financial Institutions of January 15, 2016. In the case of a bank tax, one should not follow its name as it is not limited only to banks. Therefore, who is affected and who has to pay the bank tax? We answer in the article.

Bank tax - who does it apply to?

Banks and insurance companies were charged with the bank tax. It amounts to 0.44% of the value of assets annually.

According to Art. 4 of the Act on tax on certain financial institutions, bank tax payers are:

  • domestic banks,

  • branches of foreign banks,

  • branches of credit institutions,

  • cooperative savings and credit unions,

  • domestic insurance companies,

  • domestic reinsurance companies,

  • branches of foreign insurance companies and foreign reinsurance companies,

  • main branches of foreign insurance companies and foreign reinsurance companies,

  • loan institutions within the meaning of art. 5 point 2a of the Consumer Credit Act.

Therefore, it should be borne in mind that the act contains a closed list of entities that are subject to this tax.

However, doubts may arise from Art. 4 point 9 of the Act, which relates to loan institutions. In economic practice, it often happens that entities that do not conduct business in this area grant loans.

So, is the entrepreneur who grants the loan obliged to pay the bank tax? To solve this issue, it is necessary to clarify what is meant by the concept of a loan institution.

Loan institution - what is it?

The definition of a loan institution is included in Art. 5 point 2a of the Consumer Credit Act. According to it, a loan institution is a lender other than:

  • a domestic bank, a foreign bank, a branch of a foreign bank, a credit institution or a branch of a credit institution,

  • a cooperative savings and credit union and the National Cooperative Savings and Credit Union,

  • an entity whose activity consists in granting consumer loans in the form of deferred payment of the price or remuneration for the purchase of goods and services offered by it.

In addition to referring to the above article, in order to obtain an answer to the question of who the bank tax applies to, one should bear in mind the purpose of its introduction. Well, the introduction of the bank tax was to tax banks and large financial institutions.

Therefore, taxation with bank tax should not apply to entrepreneurs who do not conduct business consisting in granting credits and loans, and such activities are only of an individual nature.

However, it should be borne in mind that no general interpretation has yet been issued on this issue. Therefore, the issue of entities that are subject to banking tax may be the subject of disputes and arouse uncertainty for taxpayers.

Asset limit as a determinant

The bank limit may be helpful in determining who the bank tax applies to. In this case, the tax obligation depends on the amount of assets.



The tax base is the excess of the total value of the taxpayer's assets, which results from the statement of turnover and balances, established on the last day of the month on the basis of entries in the general ledger accounts, over the amount of PLN 200 million. If this limit is not exceeded, there is no tax obligation due to bank tax.

Bank tax and loans to employees

The introduction of the bank tax also raised doubts as to the taxation of loans granted to employees from the Company Social Benefits Fund or from the employer's funds.

However, the Ministry of Finance issued a general interpretation, according to which the bank tax does not apply to loans granted by employers to employees from working capital or from the Company Social Benefits Fund.

As is the general interpretation No. PK1.8201.1.2016 of March 3, 2016:

... enterprises granting loans to employees were excluded from the circle of taxpayers, e.g. under the provisions on the Company Social Benefits Fund. At the same time, the reference in the Consumer Credit Act to the definition of a lender within the meaning of the Civil Code Act of 23 April 1964 (Journal of Laws of 2014, item 121, as amended) specifies that an entrepreneur who, in the scope of his business or professional activity, grants or promises to grant a loan to a consumer.

Therefore, a taxpayer granting loans to his own employees does not meet the above requirements, and therefore cannot be considered a loan institution that will be subject to tax on certain financial institutions.

The introduction of the bank tax has given rise to many doubts and this tax will certainly be the subject of many disputes and issued interpretations. Therefore, it takes time to issue precise bank tax regulations.