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Tax relief for robotization – support for the digital transformation of enterprises

The Ministry of Development and the Ministry of Finance are currently working on solutions to support the digital transformation of enterprises, including robotization. The project introducing the so-called the tax relief for robotization is to be approved by the Council of Ministers in the third quarter of 2020.

The wide-ranging process of replacing human work with robots is a serious challenge for the Polish economy, therefore it also requires the creation of appropriate support instruments for entrepreneurs.

The modernization of the Polish economy consisting in replacing human work with robots requires a systemic change that will facilitate and accelerate this process. The degree of robotization in Poland is still not at a satisfactory level compared to the global average, which is 99 robots per 10,000 employees.

Additionally, robotization was partially forced by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – the use of robots allows greater care for the safety of employees and may reduce the risk of disease spreading.

PIT and CIT taxpayers will benefit from the tax relief, regardless of the status of a small, medium or large enterprise. It is important that they want to make a digital transformation in their business, understood as the process of creating and implementing new, digital, integrated systems in the field of processes, products and business models that use solutions in the field of automation, artificial intelligence, information technologies, and enable human-machine interactions, as well as interactions between individual machines with the provision of a certain level of safety.

The tax relief for robotization will be constructed on a similar principle to that introduced a few years ago for research and development (R&D) activities. This means that the entrepreneur will be able to deduct eligible costs twice – first as standard tax deductible costs, and then as additional costs lowering the tax base at the end of the financial year, as is the case with R&D relief. The value of the additional deduction itself will most likely be expressed as a percentage, but it has not yet been precisely determined at this stage of legislative work.

For the purposes of tax relief for robotization, a broad definition of an industrial robot has been developed as a programmable, multi-tasking machine, both stationary and mobile, with many degrees of freedom. Work on the definition is still ongoing.

The group of eligible costs that can be taken into account when settling the tax relief would initially include:

• expenses for the purchase of brand new robots and peripheral devices, enabling the robots to perform their functions,

• expenditure on solutions to ensure broadly understood ergonomics and safety,

• systems for remote diagnosis, monitoring, optimization and servicing of the purchased devices,

• expenditure on training employees in the operation of robots and integrated production lines, and additional costs of opinions, expertise or equivalent services.

The planned date of introducing the tax relief for robotization is January 2021.