All You Need to Know About Working as an Independent Contractor in Poland

Poland was reported to have five hundred thousand freelancers in 2019, and given the pandemic, this number has likely increased. With this large number, exploring the freelancing world in Europe ninth largest country may be a worth-while endeavor, and this guide is here to help with that.

Who is an independent contractor/freelancer?

To start off right, we should define who an independent contractor/freelancer is. This is someone who is self-employed and offers expert services to clients on a contract basis. A freelancer does not receive certain benefits from a company and files taxes independently. He or she is in control of their work method and schedule and is not limited to one client.

Getting started as an independent contractor / freelancer in Poland

Documentation for Residents of an EEA country

If you are a resident of one of the EEA countries, a work permit is not necessary, but the following are:

1. A PESEL (Personal Identity Number)

The Personal Identity Number is a numerical identification given to every Polish person once they're born. If you do not have a PESEL, you will need to get one. A PESEL comes free of charge and can be gotten through some ways:

  • When you become registered as a Poland resident
  • By applying in the place, you desire to reside in or at a Municipal Council near your employer

Click this link for the PESEL form

2. NIP (Taxpayer Identification Number)

Your NIP can be gotten by filling out the form here. You can also go to any Inland Revenue office. Make sure to go to the office for your area of residency or that of your employer.

You need the following to obtain your NIP:

  • Your PESEL
  • A document that verifies your identity.

Self-employed versus employed

  • A freelancer in Poland can decide to set up a company and operate as a business, or they could work under an employment contract. If you go the self-employed route, your client does not pay your taxes and insurance fees on your behalf, and so you do not lose a big chunk of your payment, but this also comes with its disadvantages
  • To set up a company, you need the documents discussed earlier, as well as the CEIDG-1
  • The CEIDG-1 can be filled online or by registered mail.

Two contracts

To be a freelancer in Poland, you must decide which contract to work under:

1. Commission Contract

Under this contract, your social security and health insurance are not paid on your behalf.

This scenario is applicable when there is no company/ branch of the employer established in Poland. If this is the case, no social security or health contributions are withheld.

2. Contract of Mandate

This contract stipulates one obligation and the rules associated with the obligation. With this contract, your retirement and health insurance are taken care of by the Polish Social Insurance Institution.

This scenario is applicable when there is no company/ branch of the employer established in Poland. If this is the case, your retirement and health insurance are not withheld.

Taxes for independent contractors in Poland

Paying taxes may not be the most interesting task, but it is one of the most important in any job, and freelancing is no exception.

  • The tax rate for all self-employed people in Poland is flat and it is 19%.
  • You are required to pay taxes if you are Polish tax resident (you live in Poland or stay in Poland for more than 183 days).
  • Poland’s tax system is progressive. Thus, employed contractors would be subject to tax rates that range from 17% to 32% depending on the income.
  • Ensure that you choose the correct tax form to submit. PIT-36 is for self-employed; PIT-37 for incomes from contract of mandate or commission

How to open a bank account in Poland

Both residents and non-residents of Poland can open bank accounts.

For Residents

The requirements may differ from bank to bank, but generally, they are:

  • National ID or Passport
  • Contract from client
  • Documents to prove residence, such as utility bills, polish residence card, etc.
  • PESEL number
  • Tax office declaration
  • Yearly tax return

Nowadays, you do not need to enter a physical bank branch to set up a bank account. You can do so online, depending on the bank.

For Non-residents

Generally, the process of opening a bank account is harder for non-residents. Furthermore, there are fewer options, whether you are setting up the account through the traditional or online avenues. Again, the requirements for non-residents vary across banks. If you are lucky, your chosen bank may require:

  • Your passport
  • Proof of residency in your country of origin

Also remember: Be aware of the fees attached to having an account in a specific bank. Besides other fees, there is usually a monthly fee charged for using an account in most banks.

This content was generated by RemotePass team and reviewed by a certified tax advisor [Joanna Wierzejska/ Domański Zakrzewski Palinka sp. k.] in [Poland]

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