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20 May 2021

Personal ID number – PESEL for foreigners from June 1st

An important legislative change for foreigners who settle personal income tax in Poland. Starting from June 1st, 2021, they will be able to apply for a PESEL number for tax purposes. The official way will introduce an application submitted to the appropriate municipal office by the applicant or his representative.

The PESEL is an ID number assigned to every Polish citizen when they are registered in Poland.

The still obligatory legal provisions specify that the PESEL number can be assigned to foreigners ex officio (without an application) if they were subject to the obligation to register their stay in Poland (stay over 30 days). The change involves the amendment of the Act on the principles of registration and identification of taxpayers and payers (in terms of the definition of taxpayers whose tax identifier is PESEL). The date of entry into force of the new regulations is May 1st, 2021, although, in practice, the possibility of applying will not appear until June.

At the same time, taxpayers with assigned PESEL, but who have used the NIP number for identification purposes by May 1st, have been given 30 days to change NIP to PESEL.

PESEL for foreigners – tax facilitation

The change in regulations will have a positive impact on the practice of income tax settlement. For example easier generation and sharing of PIT tax returns. As a result, taxpayers will be able to use PESEL to log in to the “Twój e-PIT” service or submit a tax return using the free e-Deklaracje application available at http://podatki.gov.pl.

As the Ministry of Finance explains, PESEL numbers assigned to foreign taxpayers will enable tax offices to identify them unequivocally. This will allow eliminating common mistakes when taxpayers use a number of the same digits – predominantly a string of ones and nines.

An additional benefit for foreigners with a PESEL number will be the possibility of taking advantage of tax reliefs, deductions, and surcharge refunds of PIT tax.

The application for foreigners applying for a PESEL number can be found here. Applications may also be submitted in person at the appropriate municipal office or by an appointed representative.

PESEL and vaccination against COVID-19

An additional, significant effect of the said legal change will be easier access for foreigners to register for vaccination against COVID-19. Until now, people who did not have a PESEL number had to fill in the “Other identifier” field, which could be, for example, a passport number, a foreign ID number, or a tax ID, which caused ambiguities and hindered correct registration. Additionally, the system requires the same number to be used consistently at every stage of the registration process.

Thus, the foreigners with assigned PESEL will progress through the registration process more effectively, but also receive an automatic e-referral when it is their age group’s turn to register.

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