Finding that employees are authors within the meaning of copyright, i.e. creating works as part of their duties under employment relationship, opens the way to applying preferential tax deductible costs. However, there are more conditions that employers and employees must meet. The implementation of 50% cost accounting therefore requires a thoughtful approach, also taking into account the latest legislative changes.
Benefits of using 50% of costs
If an employee creates works within the meaning of copyright and uses his rights, i.e. grants the employer a license or transfers these rights to the employer, in accordance with the provisions of the Personal Income Tax Act, he can settle higher tax deductible costs than only flat-rate travel costs employee to the place of work (established as 111,25 PLN monthly or 139,06 PLN monthly if the employee's place of permanent or temporary residence is located outside the place where the workplace is located). In the case of an employee - creator, after meeting other conditions, the tax deductible costs will amount to as much as 50% of the revenue obtained for granting the license or transferring copyrights to the employer.
In practice, therefore, higher tax deductible costs reduce the amount of income tax advances paid on behalf of the employee by the employer, which will cause the employee's net salary to be higher.
Changes in accounting for 50% of costs
Until the beginning of 2018, the requirements for settling 50% of costs set for many years remained unchanged. The basic requirements indicated by the tax authorities conditioning the settlement of 50% of costs was the obligation to distinguish part of the remuneration due for the transfer of property rights by the employee to the employer, as well as the need to keep records of works.
As of 1, January 2018, a new additional condition for accounting for increased costs came into force. Starting from that day, increased tax deductible expenses can only be applied to employees who create songs as part of specific activities. Their catalog includes, among others research and development, scientific and didactic activities, creative activities in the field of computer programs or games, music, photography or audiovisual works.
The new rules for accounting for 50% of costs have raised a lot of doubts in practice for the payers, as the legislator has not defined the types of activity indicated above. However, interpretative guidelines in this regard are provided by individual tax interpretations issued by the Director of the National Treasury Information. Their analysis may lead to the conclusion that 50% costs can be used for a wider group of employees than originally assumed.
If you want to know the details of the principles of accounting for 50% of costs for employees, presented in the article - please contact us!
Agnieszka Wachowska, legal advisor, head of IT-Telco practice and partner at Traple Konarski Podrecki i Wspólnicy Law Firm (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Joanna Jastrząb, legal advisor in the IT-Telco team at the Traple Konarski Podrecki i Wspólnicy Law Firm (email@example.com). The authors advise clients on a daily basis in the area of preparation for settlement of 50% of costs and the correct implementation of their application system.