22 December 2020

Reporting specific-task contracts to ZUS from January 1st, 2021

The beginning of 2021 has introduced new obligations towards state institutions. Effective from January 1st, the obligation to report specific-task contracts to Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) will come into force. It will only cover contracts concluded from the beginning of 2021.

For this purpose, ZUS will provide a new ZUS RUD form template. Provisions will apply to both contribution payers and natural persons who commission specific work under the contract.

Legal basis

Provisions result from the Act of October 13th, 1998, on the social insurance system. Under the Act of March 31st, 2020, amending the Act on extraordinary solutions related to the prevention, counteraction, and combating of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and emergencies caused by them, and some other acts, paragraph 17 was added with the following content:

The contribution payer or a natural person ordering the work shall inform the Institution about the conclusion of each contract for specific work, if such contract is concluded with a person with whom he is not employed or if under such contract he does not perform work for the employer with whom he is employed, within 7 days from the conclusion of this contract.

In other words, the law imposes the obligation to notify concluded specific-task contracts within a strict 7-day deadline.

The reporting requirement does not come with the obligation to pay social security contributions. However, the Government is still working on a supplementary resolution project.

A specific-task contract vs. contract of mandate

The new obligation sparked controversy resulting from the ZUS’s lack of a consistent practice of assessing whether the given service falls under a specific-task or mandate contract.

The civil code defines a specific-task contract as a contract of the result. The recipient agrees to perform work, with emphasis on effects rather than the process. The outcome of a specific-task contract must therefore be:

  • definite,
  • one-off,
  • verifiable,
  • defined by the contracting party at the time of contract conclusion.

The past practice shows that the Social Insurance Institution often challenged the classification of specific-task contracts – determining that the parties have relations arising from provisions on the contract of mandate. The difference is crucial because it influences the obligation to pay social insurance and contributions.

Supplementary provisions

At the end of November, the Ministry of Family and Social Policy has published a draft regulation supplementing the subject provisions. It will introduce a new form template ZUS RUD for applications as well as the Comprehensive Information System (KSI), which will serve as a nation-wide database of concluded specific-task contracts.

The regulation project also proposes transitional provisions stating that when submitting a document relating to a period before the entry into force of the law, the insurance title codes specified in the repealed regulation will apply. Analogically, for documents submitted after January 1st, the new templates are obligatory.

The proposed date of entry into force of the draft regulation is January 1st, 2021.

What do you need to remember?

To sum up:

  1. At the beginning of 2021, each newly concluded specific-task contract must be reported to ZUS using the ZUS RUD form.
  2. The regulations apply to contribution payers and natural persons who commission the work.
  3. A contract for specific work is subject to notification if the contribution payer or the person ordering the work is not in an employment relationship with the principal and does not perform work for the employer under the contract for specific work.
  4. Exception: a specific-task contract is not subject to reporting if the work specified in the contract is performed for the employer under an employment contract.
  5. Application deadline: within 7 days after concluding the contract.

The new regulations will make it easier for the Social Insurance Institution to control specific-task contracts and their possible qualification as legal relationships subject to contributions.

It is worth remembering that ZUS can provide information on contracts to the National Judicial Administration (KAS).

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ARPI Accounting is a part of ARPI Group, a Norwegian holding which started to operate in Poland in 2001.