Safe harbour for intra-group loans – new margin level
As of 1 January 2019 taxpayers may (under certain conditions) benefit from a safe harbour in controlled transactions including loans, credits and bond issue.
One of the conditions required to benefit from the simplification is to agree upon variable interest in the transaction, where the base rate and the margin are as specified in an announcement of the Minister of Finance for the year.
Until the end of 2020, taxpayers who wanted to apply the simplified rules for settlement of intra-group loans had to apply the following base rates, depending on the loan currency: WIBOR 3M, LIBOR USD 3M, EURIBOR 3M, LIBOR CHF 3M or LIBOR GBP 3M as well as the margin of 2 percentage points (the maximum margin for the borrower and minimum for the lender).
NEW LEVEL OF MARGIN
Starting from 1 January 2021, taxpayers who want to benefit from the simplified rules to settle intra-group loans will have to apply new margins (the base rates remain unchanged).
According to an announcement made by the Minister of Finance, Funds and Regional Policy on 17 December 2020 (the Polish Official Gazette (M.P.) of 2020, Item 1198), the margin is:
- for the borrower – maximum 2.3 percentage point,
- for the lender – minimum 2.0 percentage point.
Where the value of the base rate is lower than zero, the margin is the sum total of the absolute value of the base rate and the value of margin specified in the announcement for the borrower and the lender respectively.
POSITIVE EFFECTS OF APPLYING THE SAFE HARBOUR
As a result of applying the simplification, the taxpayer is not obliged to prepare a comparative analysis or a description of compliance for the controlled transaction covered by the safe harbour and the tax authority waives the right to determine the taxpayer’s income (loss) in respect of the level of interest on such transaction.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY THE SIMPLIFIED RULES?
According to Article 11g(1) of the CIT Act, the simplified rules for settlements can be used if all of the following conditions are satisfied jointly:
- the lender is not resident and has no management in a territory or country which uses harmful tax competition practices,
- during the financial year, the total level of liabilities or receivables of the entity related through the loan capital with the associated enterprise, counted separately for the loans granted and incurred, is no more then PLN 20,000,000 or the equivalent of this amount,
- the loan was granted for a period of up to 5 years,
- no fees for granting or servicing the loan other than interest, including commissions or bonuses, have been provided for, and
- the annual interest on the loan at the date of conclusion of the agreement is agreed based on the base interest rate and margin specified in the announcement of the minister in charge of public finance in force on the date of conclusion of the agreement.
The Andersen Transfer Pricing Team have substantial experience preparing transfer pricing documentation and comparative analyses, developing and verifying transfer pricing policies and procedures, as well as preparing models of settlements between associated enterprises.
Should you have any questions or doubts regarding the issues discussed here, we are ready to assist you.