Anti-crisis shield 3.0
Author: Agnieszka Stażyk - Attorney at law trainee
On 30 April 2020 the Sejm adopted an act amending some acts in the field of protection measures in connection with the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This act is called the Anti-crisis shield 3.0. Currently, work on the project is carried out in the Senate. Below are selected solutions contained in the Act addressed to the upper house of the Parliament:
I. Changes regarding entrepreneurs, taxes and social security
Enabling the benefit of exemption from the payment of social security contributions to persons paying contributions for their own insurance in a situation where their income was higher than 300% of the forecasted average monthly gross salary in the national economy in 2020, but their income from this activity in February 2020 was not higher than PLN 7,000;
Granting the right to a furlough payment also for self-employed people who had been in business before 1 April, 2020 (until the amendment it was 1 February, 2020);
Granting the right to apply for a "micro loan" also for micro-entrepreneurs who had conducted business activity 1 April, 2020 (until the amendment it was 1 March, 2020);
Introducing the obligation of paying the public due for the providers of audio-visual media services in the form of 1.5% of revenue derived from fees enabling the use of media service portals in Poland to the Polish Film Institute;
Extension of the payment term and submission of a declaration on the amount of solidarity contribution to 1 June 2020 on the basis of the "Active regret" and enabling the Minister of Finance, to refrain, by the ordinance, from collecting interest for late payment from the solidarity contribution not paid on time;
Exemption by 30 September 2020 of entities carrying out activities involving the transport of goods or passengers from fees for the use of inland waterways and their sections and water facilities owned by the State Treasury, located in inland surface waters;
Maintaining the right to additional care allowance due to the need to personally take care of a child with a severe or moderate disability certificate until the age of 18 or a child with a disability certificate or a special educational need certificate in the event of the closing of a nursery, children's club, kindergarten, school or other facility attended by the child or in the event of being unable to provide care by a nanny or day care due to COVID-19;
Introduction of complete electronisation of the process of providing information to the insured about the status of the social security contributions account and extension of the scope of data contained in the application for social insurance to include the profession of the person being reported;
Exemption from personal income tax for grants for farmers and household members subject to compulsory quarantine.
II. Judicial changes
Adding regulations, according to which, in cases examined pursuant to the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure during the epidemic status and within one year of the cancellation of this status, the trial or public hearing may be conducted using technical devices enabling them to be conducted at a distance with simultaneous direct transmission of image and sound. In addition, during the same period, courts will be able to hear civil matters in camera, unless a party objects to it within 7 days;
Conducting hearings by means of distance communication during the epidemic and within one year of its cancellation also in administrative courts;
Addition of a provision according to which, if in a case examined in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, evidence proceedings have been conducted fully, the court may close the trial and issue a ruling in closed session after receiving positions in writing from parties or participants of the proceedings;
Set aside the suspension of procedural and court periods as well as substantive law periods.
III. Other regulations
Introducing in the Civil Code the sanction of invalidity of an agreement in which a natural person undertakes to transfer the ownership of real estate to meet his housing needs in order to secure claims arising from a contract not related to business or professional activity. The penalty of invalidity is provided for in three cases;
The addition of a regulation to the Code of Civil Procedure stating that the date of the auction of a dwelling or land developed with a residential building (using for the housing needs of the debtor) is determined only at the request of the creditor in the event that the amount of the main claim being levied would be at least the equivalent of 1/20 of the sum of the estimate;
Postponing the term for submitting reports on municipal and post-consumer waste management;
Introduction to the Penal Code of new types of offenses related to violation of the provisions on maximum interest and non-interest costs. These changes are aimed at increasing the protection of persons who incur financial obligations unrelated to their business or professional activity and preventing usury;
Amendments to the Telecommunications Law consisting in enabling subscribers to terminate contracts for the provision of telecommunications services in documentary form and amendment to the provisions regarding the election of the President of UKE. Pursuant to the proposed changes, the President of UKE would appoint and dismiss the Sejm at the request of the Prime Minister;
Increasing the amount of the income criterion entitling to benefits from the alimony fund to PLN 900;
Extending the catalogue of persons entitled to free legal assistance and free civic counselling to persons conducting sole proprietorship and not employing other persons in the last year who are not able to bear the costs of paid legal assistance.
Increasing the amount of execution-free remuneration by 25% for each family member who has no income and is dependent on the employee;
Extension of solutions regarding suspension of student loan repayment by interest - the borrower after submitting the application to the lending institution will receive suspension not only of the principal instalment, but also of the interest instalments, for a period of up to 6 months.