Tax law and Internet, case III SA/Wa 1013/09

January 7th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

On 24 November 2008, a Polish citizen (P.C.) requested the Minister of Finance to provide a written interpretation of tax law on individual case concerning personal income tax with regard to taxation of interest on loans granted over the Internet.

The system which is available at website allows for contacting people who need loans (the borrower – PB), with people who have the means to lend (the lender – PD). PB initiates a transaction by providing information on how much he or she wants to borrow, the period of repayment and interest. It is called an “auction” but there is no bidding at all. PD makes offer in the “auction” by making payments to website with an indication of the “auction”. The payment made by each user (PD) cannot exceed 500 PLN. If the “action” is finalized the system generates a series of electronic contracts (PB with each PD) and transfers all the payments made by the PDs to PB. Then PB pays a monthly installment loan to website, and the site distribute money between the accounts of all PD. The monthly payment is an adequate of a received share capital and it is increased by fixed interest. The sole income of PD is the interest rate determined by the PB while setting up the “auction”.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court (VAC) in Warsaw in a judgment of 29 October 2009, case file III SA/Wa 1013/09 ruled that P.C. receives income from interest on loans. This interpretation was based on articles 10(7) and 17(1) pt. 1 of the Polish Act on Personal Income Tax – PITA – (in Polish: ustawa o podatku dochodowym od osób fizycznych) of 26 July 1991, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 80, item 350, with later amendments.

Article 10. 1. The sources of revenues shall include:
7) financial investments and property rights, including selling property rights other than those referred to in subparagraph 8 letters (a)-(c),
Article 17. 1. Revenues from financial capital shall be:
1) interest on loans;

This means that the income should be classified as another source of income than non-agricultural economic activities. Consequently, even if it would be recognized that the P.C. grants loans using the site in an organized and continuing manner, this activity could not be deemed as non-agricultural commercial activities as defined in article 5a(6) of the PITA.

See also “Tax law and Internet, case I SA/Gd 17/10“.