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Withholding tax on purchased insurance services – favourable judgment of the PAC


​by Anna Piskor, Agnieszka Gliwińska

29 August 2023

On 24 August 2023, the Provincial Administrative Court (PAC) issued a judgment concerning withholding tax on purchased insurance services in favour of our client. 

What is all the fuss about?

The issue concerned the qualification of insurance services and insurance brokerage services rendered by a broker as similar to services mentioned in Article 21(1)(2a) of the CIT Act. In its advance tax ruling (file no. 0111-KDIB1-2.4010.684.2022.2.AW) the authority has claimed that insurance services are similar to guarantee and warranty services and the insurance brokerage services are, in fact, advisory services. Consequently, the related payments fall under Article 21(1)(2a) of the CIT Act, i.e. are subject to WHT in Poland.

Judgment of the PAC in Wroclaw

That interpretation contravenes the prevailing case law of administrative courts. The PAC in Wroclaw (file no. Wr/SA 165/23) has agreed with the presented argumentation and has ruled that neither insurance services nor insurance brokerage services are similar to guarantees and warranties or advisory services and therefore they do not fall under Article 21(1)(2a) of the CIT Act.

In the oral statement of reasons for the judgment, the judge has indicated clear differences between insurance services and guarantees and warranties. The judge has emphasised that there is no doubt as to the different nature of both types of services and claiming that insurance is a service similar to guarantees and warranties would be an inadmissible extensive interpretation of tax law.   

At the same time, referring to the fee for brokerage services, the court has noted that, although such services are complex and consist of various elements, their essence is the brokerage between insurance companies and the purchasers of insurance. They cannot be regarded as services of advisory nature; rather, they constitute a separate category , i.e. brokerage services not mentioned in Article 21(1)(2a) of the CIT Act.


The judgment fits the already well-established case law. Just like other judgments in this area, this one is particularly important for Polish enterprises purchasing such services from foreign enterprises. They often find it difficult to obtain documentation which makes the preferences available on the basis of a relevant DTAA and for that reason decide to have the tax withheld at the full rate, i.e. 20%.
Unfortunately, the Head of the National Revenue Information Service continues to issue negative rulings in this respect and therefore it is still necessary to seek justice in court. Hopefully, the growing database of positive court judgments will have a positive impact on the approach of revenue authorities.

Our client was represented before the PAC by: Anna Piskor, Tax Adviser, Manager and Agnieszka Gliwińska, Tax Adviser, Senior Associate. 


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Agnieszka Gliwińska

Tax adviser (Poland)

Senior Associate

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