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DZP advises on taxation of non-compete compensation

04.03.2020

Autorzy:
Joanna Wierzejska
Jan Czerwiński

Experts from the Tax Practice have successfully represented clients, former members of the management board of a company in which the State Treasury holds a significant indirect stake, in a dispute before the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) over 70% income tax on non-compete compensation.

In three judgments, the SAC dismissed the last resort appeals filed by the Director of the Revenue Administration Chamber (RAC) and upheld the first instance courts' decisions which were favourable for the clients. The dispute concerned an interpretation of the term "majority of votes at the meeting".  In oral grounds for the judgment, the SAC agreed with the stance taken by the Voivodship Administrative Court that directly or indirectly holding a majority of votes at a shareholders’ meeting or general meeting within the meaning of Article 30(1)(15) of the PIT Act was equivalent to holding an absolute majority of votes (50% plus 1 vote) in the total number of votes existing in a given entity. However, the RAC Director and the Head of the Customs and Revenue Office argued that the provision also applied in the situation where, due to the absence of some of the shareholders, the State Treasury had a majority at a particular shareholders' meeting. The SAC also agreed that the RAC Director’s interpretation would lead to ambiguity, leaving the RAC Director and the Head of the Customs and Revenue Office with a great deal of freedom of interpretation, which is not permitted under tax law.

In the case, the clients were advised by DZP lawyers Joanna Wierzejska, Partner, and Jan Czerwiński, Senior Tax Manager.

 

The SAC judgment is also commented on in today's press – Dziennik Gazeta Prawna https://podatki.gazetaprawna.pl/artykuly/1457163,skarb-panstwa-pit-wiekszosc-glosow.html.

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