This is part of the article “PIT in English. How do I submit a tax return form step by step“. In this text I describe one of the two easiest ways to submit a PIT-37 form. Make sure to read the main part of the article before you start reading this instructions.
e-Deklaracje is a free, official software
There are plenty of Polish programs for free on the Internet. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to find any program for PIT in English. We will use e-Deklaracje: a free application provided and published officially by the Ministry of Finance.
Download the program
Go to the website finanse.mf.gov.pl. Once you get there, click on “Zainstaluj” = “Instal“.
I don’t know how it works for other systems, but as far as Windows is considered, they don’t believe that we know what we’re doing, so they ask: “Czy na pewno chcesz zainstalować tę aplikację na komputerze?” – “Are you sure you want to instal this application on the computer?“. Click on “Zainstaluj” – “Instal“.
Three last options to deal with:
“Umieść na pulpicie ikonę skrótu” – “Create a shortcut icon on desktop“
“Uruchom aplikację po instalacji” – “Turn on the app once it’s installed“
“Lokalizacja instalacji” – “Files’ location“
When you turn the program on for the first time, you’re asked to give your personal data, which will be copied to all your forms in future. In the first field type only your first name. In the second field type your surname.
After you’ve typed your name in, click on “Wypełnij pozostałe dane” – “Fill in the remaining data“.
On the left side you will see a field called “Dane podatnika” = “The taxpayer’s data“. On the right side there is a place for “Dane małżonka” = “The spouse’s data“. You fill out the right section only when you want to settle tax jointly with a spouse. You can read more about this situation on Migrant.info.pl. In this example we submit the tax return alone, on our own. This is why we leave the right section empty.
In the left section we write:
Pierwsze imię – First name
Nazwisko – Surname
*These two are already typed in
Identyfikator podatkowy – Tax identification number:
PESEL — or NIP
I called a tax office in Kraków and a central call-center of the tax office in Warsaw and in both places I got the same answer. When you have a PESEL, you use only a PESEL. If you were using a NIP first, and after that you got a PESEL, you use only a PESEL. If you were using a NIP for the whole previous tax year, and your employer sent you the PIT-11 forms only with your NIP, but you obtained a PESEL (for example yesterday), you still put only a PESEL on your form.
The moment when you obtain a PESEL, you can forget about having had a NIP at all. You keep it at home in case you set up a sole proprietorship (one person company) in the future. When you become an entrepreneur, they won’t make a new NIP for you, but they’ll use the one that you got when you didn’t have a PESEL. Except for this one situation you actually won’t use your NIP anymore, because this number is mostly for entrepreneurs and people who are not recognized in the PESEL register.
Keep in mind that if you were registered in the tax office with a NIP number and you obtained a PESEL later on, you need to submit a ZAP-3 form to update your record in their database. I will write an article about that in future. If you wish to get a clear instructions for that before the article is ready, contact me.
You can read more about PESEL and NIP in my article about zameldowanie: the registration that most foreign residents forget about. Did you register in the municipality office?
Data urodzenia – Birth date
When it’s ready, we click on “Zapisz profil i przejdź do aplikacji” = “Save the profile and go to the application“.
Turn in the form
In the main interface we can choose one of 4 options. We can check all the available forms, history of our settlements, legal acts and settings of the program. We choose option “Katalog formularzy. Wypełnij, złóż elektronicznie lub wydrukuj” = “The forms’ catalog. Fill out, submit online or print out“.
We’re almost ready to fill out the form. There is one last instruction to read:
In the instructions they tell you four things:
1. When you don’t fill in a field, leave it empty. Don’t fill out these fields with zeros.
2. Use the date format: DD-MM-YYYY: 31-01-1975
3. In the form you’ll need to indicate your powiat (county). Some bigger cities are counties themselves. Check if your city is a powiat, like in the picture below.
I discovered on Wikipedia that Kraków is a county. Gdańsk, Lublin and Wrocław are also counties themselves. In this case we choose an option M.name of the city from the list: M.GDAŃSK, M.LUBLIN, M.KRAKÓW, M.WROCŁAW to fill in a “powiat” field.
Why did they tell us this? Because there is both Miasto Kraków County and Krakowski County. Powiat miasto Kraków is only for the city, and powiat krakowski is for smaller towns and villages near Kraków. That’s confusing for Polish speakers. So they mentioned that in the instruction to prevent frequent mistakes.
Ok, we’re ready, so we click on “Otwórz” – “Open“.
Fill out the form
Personal data on the form should be already filled in on the basis of the information that we typed in in the previous steps.
6. Taxation form
Choose the 6.1. indywidualnie = individual
6.2. is together with a spouse
6.3. is together with a spouse who died within the previous tax year
6.4. is for a single parent
You check points 7 or 8 only if you’re not a Polish tax resident. If you’re not sure about your tax residency, call the tax office to ask about that.
Part A Miejsce i cel składania zeznania = Place and purpose of the submission
9. Find your urząd skarbowy (tax office) on the list. You could take the urząd from your PIT-11 form if you are sure that they have indicated the right one. You can also confirm that on the website that I showed you before.
10. The submission’s purpose
- Złożenie zeznania – the taking of evidence (the first submission of the form)
- Korekta zeznania – correction of the evidence (correction of the data that you’ve already submitted)
We are submitting the form for the first time this year, so we check box number 1.
B. Dane identyfikacyjne i aktualny adres zamieszkania – it’s a place for our personal details and for the address.
11. Nazwisko – Surname
12. Pierwsze imię – First name
13. Data urodzenia – Birth date
*These ones should already be filled out.
Now they ask you to indicate your current address. So if you changed flats in January (in a new tax year) you should indicate a new address on the form, but you still submit the form to the tax office for the district that you lived in on 31 December.
14. Kraj – Country
15. Województwo – Voivodeship/Region
16. Powiat – Powiat/County
*Remember to use powiat M.Kraków instead of a powiat krakowski if you live in a city.
17. Gmina – Municipality
18. Ulica – Street
19. Numer domu – Building’s number
20. Numer lokalu – Flat’s number
21. Miejscowość – Village/city
22. Kod pocztowy – Postal code
23. Poczta – Post office
B.2. Dane małżonka – The spouse’s data
We skip that part in the article.
Part C is the most interesting – here we put all the numbers from the PIT-11 form.
Check an English translation of the PIT-11 form, and compare it with the document that you obtained from your employer:
DOWNLOAD THE PIT-11 FORM IN ENGLISH
If you obtained more than one PIT-11 form (because you had more jobs) you sum up all the numbers from all the jobs – but you’ll need the help of a Polish speaker to do that correctly, especially when you had different contracts: an employment contract, a contract for specific work, or a contract of mandate.
In our example – when you worked only for one company and you have no additional income, you simply copy the numbers from the PIT-11 form to the PIT-37 form according to the following pattern:
|34 (only if filled out in PIT-11)||42|
|35 (only if filled out in PIT-11)||43|
|automatic||64, 65, 66|
- Field 37 is for revenue.
- Field 38 is for the cost of earning revenue.
- Field 39 is for income: the revenue minus the cost. It’s calculated automatically.
- Field 41 is for the advances withheld by remitters (in this case by your employer).
- Fields 64, 65, 66, and 67 are to sum up the amounts in case when you used more than one row of the chart. In our scenario you have only one employment contract so there is no change between the first and the last row.
- Field 99 (section D) is for social insurance contributions.
- Fields 103 and 111 automatically calculate your income after all these operations.
We skip section E which is almost all automatically calculated.
In section F in field 116 we put the number from PIT-11 field number 72: health insurance contribution – only for Polish health insurance.
We skip the following fields and we go straight to section G. Actually this section is all automatically filled out as well, but it’s worth giving attention to, because it contains very important information.
- 126 – Podatek należny – says how much your tax should be
- 127 – Suma zaliczek pobranych przez płatników – says how much your employer(s) paid in the advances
This one you know actually. So why did they write that again? Because:
- 128 – says how much you need to pay extra
- 129 – says how much the office will return to you
Section H is again for people who calculate their tax including tax relief for children, so we skip it in our scenario. It could increase the amount of the tax refund, but since we didn’t type in anything the amount of the refund doesn’t change.
We also skip also section I which is the income from securities (stocks and shares) in some situations.
The next important section is J.
Every taxpayer can give 1% of his personal income tax to any public benefit organization. It costs you nothing – you would pay that money to the government anyway. So you can use it to support some charity. Download the list of available organizations here.
Find a registered organization and fill its KRS number in the field number 137. In the field 138 put the amount of money that you want to transfer. It cannot be more than 1% of the amount from the field number 126. You must round the amount off to the nearest 10.
Sometimes an NGO leads many fundraising actions. In this case the NGO asks you to put the detailed purpose of the fundraising on the form, so they can know which internal account (which action in particular) you want to support. To do this, you copy the text provided by them and paste it to the field 139 (section K).
When you check box 140, you agree to send your name and address to the organization that you supported. If you don’t check it, your support will be anonymous.
In field 141 you can put any additional information (for example your email, or a phone number) if you want to make it easier for the organization to contact you.
Section L is for attachments. In the easiest scenario we don’t use any. You would need to attach extra documents in case of some tax reliefs, or for a tax residency certificate.
Section M is for signatures:
149. Podpis podatnika – The taxpayer’s signature
150. Podpis małżonka – The spouse’s signature (only when you calculated the tax jointly)
151. Imię i nazwisko oraz podpis pełnomocnika – Name and signature of the proxy (only if you use a representative to submit the papers)
You sign the form only when you print it out and submit it in person to the tax office. Without the signature the printed form won’t be valid.
Submit the form
You probably noticed four buttons on the bottom right side of the program.
- Zapisz XML – Save as .xml
- Zapisz kopię roboczą – Save a draft
- Drukuj – Print
- Dalej – Go on
Now you can either print the form out, sign it and go to the tax office to submit it in person, or you may submit it online. Read more about that in the main part of the article, step 3.
How to submit the form online?
Click on Dalej. After that you should see this message:
“Walidacja zakończona sukcesem. Wszystkie wymagane pola zostały wypełnione. Formularz gotowy do wysłania” – “Validation was successful. All required windows have been filled out. The form is ready for submission“. If you see another message, ask a Polish speaker for help. You may take a screenshot and send it to me on Facebook.
We click on “OK”, and then:
We see our data again. Make sure to type something in the field called: “Kwota przychodu za rok 2015″ – “The revenue for 2015“.
- If you didn’t work in Poland in 2015, type “0” (now they want us to fill it out with zero, although they asked us not to do that in the beginning. It’s an exception).
- If you submitted PIT-37 for 2015 on your own, copy the amount from field number 64 of the PIT-37 form for 2015.
- If you were recognized as a spouse on your husband’s or wife’s tax returns, copy the amount from field number 95 of his/her PIT-37 form. If you used other PIT form (28, 36, 37, 38, 40, 40A) try to figure it out on your own, or ask a Polish speaker for help.
When all data is ready (like in the picture) click on “Kontynuuj wysyłanie” – “Keep sending“.
After that you should see this view:
Click on Wyślij. Write down the number from the next window that you see and finish the process.
You should be directed to the interface with four categories:
- Kopie robocze – Drafts
- Wysłane – Sent
- Wysłane – odrzucone – Sent – refused
- Wysłane – przyjęte – Sent – accepted
Your form should be currently in the Wysłane folder. Wait a few minutes until it goes to the Wysłane – przyjęte tab. You may click on “Pokaż status” – “Show the status” to manually check the form’s status more quickly.
Once your form gets to the Wysłane – przyjęte click on “Pokaż UPO” to show the official confirmation that your form has been submitted. Save it on your computer. Then click on Otwórz to open your sent PIT-37 form. Print it out as well. You may need both documents in the future.
Go back to the main text
You’ve filled out the form and you know how to either print it out or submit it online. Go back to the main text in order to find out which option to choose and how to finish the procedure.