ZUS - the penalty for non-payment of contributions cannot be double


All entrepreneurs are required to pay insurance contributions to ZUS - both for themselves and for employed persons. What if we do not have enough funds to pay contributions and we do not settle our obligations to ZUS? After all, we cannot predict what expenses await us in the coming months. What is the penalty for failure to pay contributions on time? We answer below!

Contribution payment deadlines

People running a business are obliged to send declarations and settle their liabilities towards ZUS within specified deadlines. These terms depend mainly on the type of business and whether the company employs employees. Payers should fulfill these obligations to:

  • On the 5th day of the following month - this applies to budgetary units and local government budgetary establishments,

  • On the 10th day of the following month - if they pay the premium only for themselves,

  • On the 15th day of the following month - in other cases.

Lack of entitlement to sickness insurance benefits as a penalty for failure to pay contributions

The entrepreneur decides to join the voluntary sickness insurance mainly due to the possibility of receiving benefits from ZUS in the event of incapacity to work. However, the main condition for receiving the allowance is the timely payment of obligations for sickness insurance. Therefore, it must be borne in mind that in the event of late payment of contributions, ZUS may refuse to pay benefits, which is also treated as a penalty for non-payment of contributions.

Other penalties for non-payment of contributions

In addition to the deprivation of the right to unemployment benefit, ZUS may impose on a person running a business other penalties for failure to pay contributions, which are listed below.

Late payment interest

They should be paid together with the arrears on the payer's account. Importantly, interest is not paid if its value does not exceed PLN 6.60 (and not PLN 8.70 as in the case of tax liabilities). Interest can be calculated using the calculator available on the ZUS website.

Additional fee

This penalty may amount to 100% of the amount of unpaid contributions. ZUS issues a decision in this matter, against which the entrepreneur has the right to appeal. Such a liability must be paid no later than the date of payment of contributions after the decision becomes final.

Enforcement proceedings

In the event of no response to reminders and requests to pay arrears, ZUS may institute enforcement proceedings against the payer. This is also a penalty for non-payment of ZUS contributions. This usually ends with the occupation of:

  • bank account,
  • remuneration for work,
  • other benefits.

Establishing a mortgage

ZUS has the right to request the debtor to disclose:

  • movables,
  • real estate,
  • other property rights,

which may be the subject of a mortgage, but also a lien.

Reporting a crime

The plant may apply to the court to punish the entrepreneur with a fine of up to PLN 5,000, enter him into the register of insolvent debtors or submit a notification about the possibility of committing a crime. However, such a procedure takes place only in extreme cases, for particularly reluctant payers.

For malicious or persistent violation of an employee's rights under the employment relationship or social security, the Penal Code provides for a fine, restriction of liberty or imprisonment for up to 2 years.

Can the penalty for non-payment of contributions be double?

From 2012, the penalty for non-payment of contributions cannot be double. Taxpayers who fail to pay their contribution obligations in whole or in part are subject to only one of the penalties provided for by law - ZUS may not apply two penalties at the same time.

If proceedings are instituted in a case of a crime under the Criminal Code concerning a person who does not pay ZUS contributions or pays contributions in an incorrect amount, proceedings for imposing an additional fee for the same act under the Act on ZUS are not initiated at the same time. Only when the person is not convicted with a final judgment, the proceedings are resumed in accordance with the provisions.