Taxes in Poland for Polish residents who speak English

The purpose of this post is to give you some ideas about taxes in Poland is your are a dual citizen or resident, an English speaker that needs to pay taxes in Poland. I am not an expert on taxes, but here is the idea (I did taxes at Price Waterhouse). I also have a recommendation of where you can get taxes done in Poland in this post.

US taxes for Polish residents

You as a US citizen must file and report all world wide income forever not matter where you live or your life situation. You need to report all bank accounts and income in Poland. I do this. Even on the pittance I make as a teacher. However, you get a large foreign income exclusion. That is the easy part.

The good news is again, it is not that complicated.  Do not worry.  It is just paper.
If you need help:

  • The US consultant will help with the US side often with volunteers.
  • I also call the IRS directly and talk with them, they have a help line.

Polish taxes for US citizens

On the Polish side of course you have to pay taxes also.  I get an accountant to do it.  You are a resident of Poland and as a resident you most likely work legally. This is almost like the USA in that there are simple forms and more complex. But basically you take your information to someone who knows. I have used a computer program like the ones they have in the USA and an accountant. But here is another idea.

Tax volunteer for Polish taxes – On the Polish side often the catholic church has a man that can help you. He is an accountant and will do your taxes for free and if you want to donate to charity if you can. He is not part of the church but a volunteer. It is not the official catholic church but someone in the church, look to see if your city has this. In Kraków for example there is someone at Bożego Ciała.   I think you can trust a guy like this.  He will also do business returns but I think he does that for a fee. But again you can trust him.

Business accounting and taxes in Poland

If you have a larger firm in Krakow or around Kraków or even maybe other cities, you can go to a company like this company – jesiolowscy.com.pl – They have an English menu and the speak English well, so any tax or business issues are no problem.  They are a very honest and reasonable firm I can highly recommend, I work there as a teacher.  If you have any questions I can connect you with a tax or business consulting firm, for free of course.

If you have a business then it gets more complex, especially is you make a lot in the USA and Poland.  But I think start with what I have recommended.  Try to find a charity that does it for free and maybe make a donation. If you are professional and have a business there are score of accountants for citizens and non citizen expats but start with the one I recommend for business and trust. If you have any questions please ask and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.

16 Replies to “Taxes in Poland for Polish residents who speak English”

  1. Hi, I’d like to buy a notebook from ebay, UK, and ask to ship it to Poland, where I’m going to live. Considering that both countries (UK and Poland) are members of EU, do I have to pay any import tax when the notebook arrives in Poland? Thanks!

    1. I do not think so. I buy from Ebay UK an I live in Poland. I order all the time and have never had a problem as its all in the EU and basically like one country. Unless there is some funny tax rule – However, I think you are all set.

      If you go to Auchan I have found the computers to be cheaper than the UK, especially with shipping costs. The only issue is the OS is in Polish. But I have three computers 2 in Polish and one in English. I use the Polish (I am American) one my wife who was born in Poland uses the English one and the other one is for our daughter and some stuff installed in both languages and of course for her it does not matter as Polish and English feel like the same language to her as she will be bilingual. I do not even know if she is aware there are two languages. 🙂

  2. Regarding the purchase of computers; It should not matter about the OS, as when setting up the system it is possible to set the language. Indeed, it is also possible to change the language a (limited) number of times with Microsoft. The only issue with purchasing from outside Poland is the keyboard layout. Most countries have a local ‘standard’ layout, specific to that particular country.
    Otherwise, as stated, there are no import restrictions, unless it is for commercial gain.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Polish does not need a special keyboard, simply use the alt button to create special characters for the Polish languages. And readers should remember there are two different issues. The language you OS is and your keyboard language. I have Polish, Russian and English as my keyboard language while Polish as my OS on one computer and English on another.
      Once you install in a language for your OS I did not know you could change? Maybe it is in Windows 7.

  3. It is possible in all Microsoft OS variants to change the original language setup, but I forget how many times you are restricted to. I am sure the Microsoft site can advise further. I haven’t seen Windows 7 as yet, but I am sure it will be the same.

  4. My Polish aunt was left some money from my father who lived in England. Does my aunt have to pay any tax on the money in Poland as it was a gift from my father’s will?

    1. I think Poland does not have an inheritance tax. At least I have herd no Poles pay it.

  5. Hello.. Mark.
    First of all thanks a lot.. for maintaining such a nice blog, It is really helping new comers to Poland a lot.. A sincere thanks to u again…
    OK, My question is that.. I have been offered 2600 euros by a company for Krakow,Poland. But after 19% tax , according to your blog, it will reduce to 2100 Euros. So is that amount sufficient to have a good life style. Also, i want to share that I want to rent a good flat there which has access to Gym and club or swimming pool. Can you please suggest that how much that will cost ? and will this much of salary will be sufficient to save some money as well.
    Thanks.

    1. Depending on the FX (exchange) rate you will be making about 8500 pln net. Gym membership costs 120 pln a month. Utilities, I pay 50 pln for electric, 50 Internet and 78 pln full cable TV with HBO etc. Water trash etc 30 pln and heating over the whole year about 150 pln. So lets say fixed cost 450 pln for the flat expenses and I pay 1000 pln for a nice modern flat in the old town, although I am kind of an insider so you might pay double.

      Lets say fixed cost for a nice life is 1600 pln.
      Then food you can shop at Alma or Auchen. Alma is an international whole food shop and Auchen is like a Walmat.
      You can also shop at the local farmers markets. Food cost depends on how much you like French cheese or Polish Apples.
      But lets say for a single guy, you spend 1400 pln on food and other expenses, nice clothes and good food. That leaves you with 5000 pln a month on disposable income or 3000 pln if you spend more. You can save it, take vacations or spend your time at the pub. It is about 1000 – 2000 dollars a month pure cream depending on the FX rate etc. Maybe I am optimistic but it depends what your spending patterns are now. I walk or from time to time go to the pool and love reading and movies so my expense are not too high. I do eat different homemade meals everyday from Sushi to Pizza. In my book you will be making more than most Poles ever will.

  6. Thank you a lot Mark for such a detailed reply. I am not single :O I am married and my wife will accompany me there. The company will take care of her dependent visa. I am based out of Woodlands,Texas. She is currently working in corporate sector as an HR manager. But now she wants to take a break from her career and do some light job as she has been working from last 6-7 years now. Is it possible to take some teaching job may be teaching English? and how much she can earn with that ? Also with ” insider in previous reply you mean that you are Polish citizen”. Is it costly for foreigners? Also wanted to know about costs of 4 wheeler there. how much a new or old(not very old) decent SUV may be like BMW X5 will cost there. And can it be financed for a foreigner? and i think i need to pay something for medical insurance as well? Sorry for being so inquisitive but the beauty with which you reply really makes me to ask more questions, take care and thanks again for helping me so much.

    1. Post in the Cost of living in Poland post, not the taxes in Poland post. This is where the answer is. Ask as many questions as you want about taxes in Poland or costs.

  7. Mark,

    In your time in Poland, have you met any Polish-based accountants that can help prepare both a U.S. as well as Polish tax returns? THis is what I am looking for, someone experienced enough to file (relatively simple) returns in both countries in a smart way.

    Please let me know, either way (whether you do or do not know an accountant like this). You mentioned that you used to prepare taxes at Ernst & Young, do you still? 🙂

    Many thanks in advance!
    M

    1. Big firms like PWC do charge a lot. If you are a corporate executive and can pay it you can do it there. However, if you are not making 10,000 plus a month maybe you want to do it in another way.

      This is an important point and I really should do a full post on this. But basically all US citizens need to report all income worldwide. For example, many people own foreign real estate from the boom and while the are waiting for it to come down they rent it. Yet for some reason they neglect to report this on the schedule E. This is a huge problem, as it is unreported income to the IRS.

      You are very wise to do both US and Polish taxes, I always did and still do.

      I recommend that you find a local Polish guy to do Polish taxes and someone to help you with US taxes. I am sure there are people who do both but I do not know any besides the big companies. Technically, I am a professional tax preparer but not doing them now as I have too much work on my plate.

      If you are looking a way to shield taxes in an honest way, I can tell you with my experience those door have all been closed. I can not think of a creative way get around taxes that are honest and legal. I am not just saying that because I am on some high house. But really, you have to report income and based on your business and life situation there are some legal deductions and exclusions you can take.

      The biggest problem is if you have a family abroad and do not make a lot of money you can not take the earned income tax credit.

      Can you use Turbo Tax? What kind of things do you have? Let me guide you a bit or suggest who you can go to.

      In Poland we went to the church and they had a professional who did it for free, you can also make a donation. I felt the did an excellent job. If you have a more complex situation like a business, I think the same guy would do it at a very reasonable rate. It all depends on your situation. If you could explain it a little more I could give you some ideas.

      Basically all income no matter what has to be reported to the US government. Then any deductions and exclusions are based on US tax law, they do not care about Polish tax law, although there are some foreign allowance depending on the physical presences test etc.

      1. Hi again Mark,

        Thanks for your response. As I mentioned earlier, I have a relatively simple situation (the complexity comes only from having spent some portion of 2011 in each country and earning income in both countries only during each respective portion of time, as an employee, no ownership of any business or other income-generating entities). Can you tell me the name of the gentlemen at your church (do you have his name, phone, email & website (if he’s got one)?

        On the U.S. side, I’d like to use Taxact (Turbotax competitor) if possible. I’m trying to keep this as straightforward as possible.

        I’m not looking to shield taxes or play games, I just want to properly file in both countries.

        If you can reply via my email, I would appreciate a call if you have some free time. I can send you my number via email.

        Regards,
        M

        1. Taxact should calculated it as it is prorated. It should have questions and handle this no problem. I had a similar problem. It was very simple, you just have to put in the date range you lived in each country and place.

          It needs to determine the ‘physical prescenece test’ to determine your tax home. But either way you have to report the US income of course. The US embassy even has tax help, try there also but I do not know the name of the guy, but rather it was at Boze Cialo in Krakow.

  8. Hello everyone,

    I am looking for an expat accountant with English language (or French) for Polish accounting. I start up a small business for importing here in Poznan or around, I need someone I can really trust “one word is one bond” thanks to reply if you know someone.Take care!

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