Tax law, case IPPB5/423-249/10-4/PS

September 3rd, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Polish financial services company decided to increase sales of its services, by providing to clients and potential clients with different types of advertising materials bearing its logo. These materials are worth no more than 100 PLN each and are distributed to customers and potential customers during promotional events, sponsored events, as well as individual meetings.

The Company requested for individual tax interpretation. In its view, costs of these advertising materials could be included in cost of revenue. The Director of the Tax Chamber in Warsaw in its decision of 8 July 2010 case file IPPB5/423-249/10-4/PS ruled that in this case it is important to determine whether the disputed expenses are costs of advertising, or representation. The value of gifts does not decide whether these expenditures are deemed as advertising or representation. The circle of bestowed persons and the circumstances in which these materials were distributed are the most important factors.

The Director considered that the expenditure incurred on the purchase of low value advertising materials that were handed over to customers or potential customers in events such as public fairs, promotional events, etc. may be deemed as deductible costs within the meaning of Article 15(1) of the Polish Act of 15 February 1992 on the Legal Entities’ Income Tax – LEIT – (in Polish: Ustawa o podatku dochodowym od osób prawnych) consolidated text published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) of 2000, No. 54, item 654 with subsequent amendments.

Article 15
1. The deductible costs shall be all costs incurred in order to derive revenues, with the exception of costs referred to in Article 16(1) Costs incurred in foreign currencies shall be converted into Polish zlotys in accordance with the average exchange rates as announced by the National Bank of Poland on the date when the cost was incurred. If costs are denominated in foreign currencies, and there is a difference in the currency exchange rates between the date of entering those costs in the books and the date of payment, those costs shall be increased or reduced, as appropriate, by the differences arising from the application of the currency selling rate as at the date of payment, set by the bank, whose services were used by the person who incurred the cost, and the application of the average exchange rate as announced by the National Bank of Poland on the date of entering the costs in the books.

In the case of the transfer of gifts of higher value to selected contractors or potential contractors in order to create the best impression, the expenditures for the purchase of these gifts have representative nature, and thus are not deductible under the Article 16(1) point 28 of the LEIT.