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Breakthrough judgment on real property tax


​by Jakub Wajs

5 July 2023

The Constitutional Tribunal issued a breakthrough judgment concerning real property tax on 4 July 2023 (file no. SK 14/21). The Tribunal found the definition of a non-building structure (budowla) in the Local Taxes and Fees Act to contravene the Polish constitution. 

What is all the fuss about? 

According to the Local Taxes and Fees Act, a non-building structure is a structure in the meaning of construction law other than a building or a piece of street furniture; this term also covers a facility in the meaning of construction law that is fixed to a structure and enables the use of that structure according to its intended purpose.

The definition refers twice to construction law, which is not tax law. Moreover, the general reference to "construction law" is not precise enough to tell which legal acts (laws or regulations) belong to construction law. As a consequence, a taxpayer cannot be sure if the revenue authorities find a certain legal act to be a part of construction law or not. Consequently, the reference to construction law does not allow taxpayers to tell if their non-building structures are subject to real property tax or not.

That is why the Constitutional Tribunal found the definition of the non-building structure in the Local Taxes and Fees Act to be unconstitutional. The lawmakers now have to modify the definition so that it does not refer to non-tax laws. 

Aftermath of the judgment 

The Tribunal has deferred the revocation of the definition of a non-building structure for 18 months. The lawmakers now have time to work out and introduce a new legal definition of a non-building structure. At the same time, the definition of a building should change too because it also refers to "construction law".

Therefore, the judgment may have profound effects on broadly understood structures. If you have questions about this judgment and real property tax, please contact our experts.


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Jakub Wajs

Attorney at law (Poland), Tax adviser (Poland)

Senior Associate

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