Beckham law in Poland

Beckham law in Poland
Michał Gawlak

Michał Gawlak

Partner / Attorney-at-law

In recent years, Poland has introduced a tax regime that mirrors the principles of Spain’s famous Beckham Law, aiming to attract high-earning individuals and professionals by offering a simplified and advantageous tax structure. This Polish adaptation provides a compelling incentive for individuals considering relocating their tax residency to benefit from favorable tax conditions.

Specifically designed to cater to the needs of expatriates and global professionals, the regime offers a clear pathway towards tax optimization through lump sum taxation on foreign-sourced income, among other benefits. This guide offers an insightful overview of Poland’s version of the Beckham Law, detailing eligibility criteria, the benefits of opting for lump sum taxation, and essential taxation information.

Whether you’re a seasoned expatriate, a professional exploring global opportunities, or simply curious about Poland’s tax incentives, this introduction will lay the groundwork for understanding how Poland’s tax regime could potentially benefit you.

Beckham law in Poland - invoice
Beckham law in Poland

Beckham Law in Poland vs. its Polish interpretation

SectionKey FeaturesEligibilityTax Rate & BenefitsSpecial ConsiderationsCurrent Status
Beckham Law – SpainAllows foreign workers, particularly high earners, to opt for taxation on Spanish income/assets only, excluding non-Spanish sources.Choice between taxation as a Spanish resident or non-resident for new arrivals, applicable for five years. Must spend 183 days or more in Spain.Non-resident tax status: Flat 24.75% tax rate on salary income, without personal allowances or deductions.No personal allowances or deductions for lower earners under the special tax regime.Remains in effect as of 2023 despite past reviews and changes.
Poland’s Adaptation (Lump Sum Taxation)Offers a simplified tax regime for expatriates and global professionals, with lump sum taxation on foreign-sourced income.Requires a tax residency certificate from a non-Polish country for the last six years; official transfer of tax residency to Poland.Fixed annual tax rate (200,000 PLN for individuals, additional 100,000 PLN for social benefits, 100,000 PLN for family members), broad exemption from taxation on foreign-sourced income.Comprehensive coverage of income types, including special considerations for income from cryptocurrencies and the need for individual tax rulings.Designed to attract high-earning individuals and professionals by offering favorable tax conditions
Beckham Law in Poland vs. its Polish interpretation

What is Beckham Law?

The Beckham Law, officially known as Royal Decree 687/2005, represents a pivotal piece of Spanish tax legislation passed in June 2005. It earned its colloquial name after the celebrated footballer David Beckham became one of its earliest beneficiaries upon his move to Spain.

While the law’s nickname might suggest a narrow scope, it is in fact designed to benefit all foreign workers in Spain, particularly those with substantial incomes. This legislative measure allows qualified individuals to opt for a special tax regime, under which they are taxed on their Spanish income and assets only, thereby excluding their non-Spanish income and assets from the Spanish tax obligations.

Background and Legislative Intent

Traditionally, Spanish tax law considers individuals who spend 183 days or more within a tax year in Spain as tax residents. This designation subjects them to tax on their worldwide income and assets. However, temporary absences do not affect this residency status unless an individual can prove habitual residence in another country. This rule meant that foreign workers, including footballers, would become Spanish tax residents and thus liable for taxes on global income and assets due to the day count rule.

Recognizing the potential to attract international talent and investment, the Spanish government amended the definition of tax residency with the introduction of Royal Decree 687/2005. This amendment was designed to ease the tax burden on wealthy foreign workers, making Spain a more attractive destination for high earners like Beckham and top business executives.

Check out our article on company registration in Poland

Beckham law in Poland - money
Beckham law in Poland

Electing the Special Tax Regime

The Beckham Law provides a choice for newly relocated individuals to be taxed either as Spanish residents or as non-residents. This choice, which must be made in the year of arrival, extends over the following five years. Opting for non-residency under this law limits an individual’s tax liabilities to income and assets within Spain, effectively excluding worldwide income and assets from Spanish taxation for up to six tax years, provided certain conditions are met.

The non-resident tax status subjects the expatriate’s Spanish-sourced income and assets to a flat tax rate of 24.75% on salary income, a significant deviation from the progressive tax scale for resident individuals that ranges from 24% to 43%. It’s important to note that this special tax regime does not allow for personal allowances or deductions, such as mortgage costs, which could mean it does not always offer a tax advantage for lower earners.

Beckham law in Poland – lump sum taxation scheme

To take advantage of Poland’s lump sum taxation, similar to the Beckham Law, individuals must meet specific eligibility criteria designed to define and streamline the process for potential applicants. Understanding these criteria is crucial for those looking to benefit from this tax regime.

Tax Residency Certificate Requirement

One of the foundational requirements is the provision of a tax residency certificate. This document serves as proof that the individual was a tax resident in a country other than Poland for at least the last six years. This criterion aims to ensure that the benefits of the scheme are extended to new residents, encouraging the influx of international talent and wealth.

Transitioning to Polish Tax Residency

Another critical step involves officially transferring one’s tax residency to Poland. This move is not merely a formality but requires a genuine shift, with the individual demonstrating ties to Poland that would classify them as a tax resident under Polish law. The process includes, but is not limited to, registering a place of residence, spending a significant amount of time in the country, and possibly moving family or business interests to Poland. This requirement ensures that beneficiaries of the lump sum taxation are contributing members of the Polish community.

These eligibility criteria set the stage for individuals to take part in a tax regime that offers significant advantages, provided they are willing to establish a genuine connection with Poland. Understanding and meeting these requirements is the first step for expatriates and international professionals considering Poland as their new tax home.

If you are interested in the payroll in Poland and accounting in Poland related topics, we invite you to contact our accounting firm in Warsaw. Our accountants in Poland are at your disposal. Contact us today and let us help you!

Beckham law in Poland - calculator
Beckham law in Poland

Advantages of Opting for Lump Sum Taxation in Poland (“Polish Beckham Law”)

Poland’s lump sum taxation system, inspired by the Beckham Law, offers substantial benefits for eligible individuals. This section highlights the key advantages of opting into this taxation scheme, emphasizing the financial incentives and tax exemptions available.

Comprehensive Tax Exemption on Foreign-Sourced Income

One of the standout features of Poland’s lump sum taxation is the general exemption from taxation on foreign-sourced income. This means that income earned outside of Poland, with the exception of that governed by the Controlled Foreign Corporation (CFC) rules, is not subject to Polish tax. This exemption is particularly beneficial for expatriates and global entrepreneurs who earn a significant portion of their income from international sources.

Key Points:
  • Foreign-sourced income is broadly exempt, encouraging international professionals to relocate to Poland.
  • Exceptions exist under the CFC rules, aimed at preventing tax avoidance through foreign entities.

Definition and Scope of Foreign-Sourced Income

The Polish tax law provides a broad definition of what constitutes foreign-sourced income, thereby clarifying what earnings qualify for the exemption. This includes, but is not limited to, income from labor performed outside Poland, income from artistic activities, business operations through a permanent establishment abroad, and income from properties located outside Poland.

Key Points:
  • Wide-ranging criteria for what constitutes foreign-sourced income, ensuring many forms of income are eligible for exemption.
  • Inclusion of diverse income types, from labor to investments, highlighting the scheme’s flexibility and appeal to a broad audience.

Tax Treatment of Specific Income Types

Special considerations are given to certain types of income, such as from cryptocurrencies, which are common among IT professionals and digital nomads. The Polish tax regime has adapted to the evolving nature of global income, providing clear guidance and tax rulings on these modern income streams.

Key Points:
  • Cryptocurrency income may qualify for exemption, reflecting Poland’s progressive approach to digital assets.
  • Recommendation for individual tax rulings on ambiguous cases, ensuring clarity and compliance with tax obligations.

Taxation Details under Poland’s Lump Sum Taxation Scheme (“Polish Beckham Law”)

Poland’s lump sum taxation, echoing the principles of the Beckham Law, simplifies the tax obligations for eligible individuals, providing a clear and advantageous tax structure. This section delves into the specifics of the taxation rates and the scope of taxation under this unique regime.

Fixed Annual Lump Sum Taxation

At the heart of Poland’s lump sum taxation scheme is a fixed annual tax rate, designed to provide certainty and simplicity for taxpayers. Individuals qualifying for this regime are required to pay a lump sum of 200,000 PLN per year. This flat rate replaces the standard income tax calculation, making tax planning more straightforward for eligible individuals.

Key Points:
  • 200,000 PLN annual tax offers predictability and simplicity in tax planning.
  • Replaces standard income tax calculations, appealing to those seeking a more manageable tax regime.

Additional Contributions and Family Member Taxation

Beyond the individual lump sum tax, there is an obligation to contribute an additional 100,000 PLN annually towards social benefits. This contribution ensures that individuals participating in the lump sum taxation scheme also support the broader social system in Poland.

Furthermore, the scheme extends to family members, with spouses and dependent children eligible for lump sum taxation at a rate of 100,000 PLN per person, per year. This inclusion of family members underlines the scheme’s aim to attract entire families to Poland, facilitating a smoother transition for those relocating.

Key Points:
  • 100,000 PLN for social benefits contributes to Poland’s social systems.
  • Family member inclusion at a reduced rate promotes the relocation of entire families.

Comprehensive Coverage of Income Types

Poland’s lump sum taxation covers a wide array of income sources, ensuring that the scheme is applicable to a diverse range of professionals and business activities. From employment income to business operations and investment returns, the scheme provides a simplified tax approach across the board.

Key Points:
  • Broad inclusion of income types, from employment to investments, accommodates diverse professional backgrounds.
  • Simplification of tax obligations for a wide range of economic activities, enhancing Poland’s appeal as a destination for international talent.
Beckham law in Poland - laptop
Beckham law in Poland

Successfully applying for Poland’s lump sum taxation scheme, inspired by the Beckham Law, requires careful navigation of the application process and adherence to compliance measures. This final section offers a roadmap for potential applicants, highlighting essential steps and considerations to ensure a smooth transition to Poland’s favorable tax regime.

Initial Steps: Documentation and Proof of Eligibility for the Polish Beckham Law

The journey to benefiting from the lump sum taxation begins with gathering and submitting the necessary documentation. This includes:

  • Tax Residency Certificate: A document proving your tax residency outside of Poland for the last six years.
  • Application for Tax Residency in Poland: Demonstrating your intent to become a tax resident, including establishing a permanent place of residence in Poland.

These documents are pivotal in establishing your eligibility for the lump sum taxation scheme.

Key Points:
  • Gather necessary documentation early to avoid delays.
  • Ensure accuracy and completeness of all submissions to facilitate a smooth application process.

Understanding and Meeting Compliance Requirements of the Polish Beckham Law

Compliance with Polish tax laws is paramount, especially when benefiting from specialized tax regimes like the lump sum taxation. This involves:

  • Staying Informed on CFC Rules: Understanding how Controlled Foreign Corporation rules apply to your foreign-sourced income is crucial to avoid unintended tax liabilities.
  • Obtaining Individual Tax Rulings: For income types that may fall into gray areas, such as cryptocurrency earnings, seeking individual tax rulings can provide clarity and legal certainty.

These steps help mitigate risks and ensure full compliance with Poland’s tax laws.

Key Points:
  • Regularly review tax laws and updates to stay compliant.
  • Seek professional advice for complex tax situations or uncertainties.

Continuous Compliance and Reporting

Once accepted into the lump sum taxation scheme, maintaining compliance through accurate and timely reporting is essential. This includes:

  • Annual Tax Returns: Submitting yearly tax returns that reflect your status under the lump sum taxation scheme.
  • Reporting Changes in Circumstances: Notifying tax authorities of any significant changes in your income sources or tax residency status.

Proactive engagement with tax obligations ensures that you continue to benefit from the lump sum taxation without interruption.

Key Points:
  • Maintain diligent record-keeping to support your tax filings.
  • Engage with tax professionals in Poland to assist with annual compliance and reporting.

Final Thoughts and Strategic Considerations

As we conclude our guide on Poland’s adaptation of the Beckham Law through its lump sum taxation scheme, it’s important to reflect on the broader implications and strategic considerations for potential applicants. This regime offers a unique opportunity for individuals and families seeking a tax-efficient environment to reside and work in. Here are some final thoughts and strategies to maximize the benefits of relocating under this tax framework.

Strategic Planning for Tax Efficiency

The decision to apply for Poland’s lump sum taxation should be part of a larger financial and lifestyle strategy. Prospective applicants are encouraged to:

  • Evaluate Long-term Goals: Consider how relocating to Poland fits into your personal and professional aspirations.
  • Assess Financial Impacts: Beyond the lump sum taxation, understand the overall tax implications, including social benefits contributions and potential exemptions on foreign-sourced income.

Strategic planning ensures that the move aligns with your broader objectives and financial health.

Key Points:
  • Comprehensive financial planning is essential to leverage the full benefits of the scheme.
  • Consider the impact on your global tax position, especially if you have obligations or assets in other countries.

Leveraging Poland as a Gateway

Poland’s strategic location in Europe and its growing economy make it an attractive destination for business and personal growth. Applicants should explore:

  • Business Opportunities: The conducive business environment, coupled with tax incentives, makes Poland a fertile ground for entrepreneurship and international business expansion.
  • Quality of Life: Beyond financial considerations, the quality of life, cultural richness, and geographical diversity of Poland offer a compelling case for relocation.

Understanding Poland’s value proposition can enhance the attractiveness of the lump sum taxation scheme.

Key Points:
  • Explore Poland’s economic and cultural landscape to fully integrate and benefit from your relocation.
  • Network with local and expatriate communities to ease the transition and discover opportunities.
Beckham law in Poland - cell phone
Beckham law in Poland

Future-Proofing Your Tax Strategy

The tax landscape is ever-evolving, with policies and regulations subject to change. It’s important to:

  • Stay Informed: Keep abreast of changes in Polish tax law and international tax treaties that might affect your status.
  • Engage with Tax Professionals: Regular consultations with tax advisors can help navigate changes and optimize your tax strategy.

Adapting to the dynamic tax environment ensures your strategy remains effective and compliant.

Key Points:
  • Anticipate and plan for potential changes in tax legislation.
  • Maintain flexibility in your financial planning to adapt to new laws and regulations.


Poland’s lump sum taxation (Polish “Beckham Law”) scheme presents a significant opportunity for individuals seeking a favorable tax regime coupled with the potential for a high quality of life. By carefully considering the eligibility criteria, benefits, and compliance requirements, and by strategically planning for both the short and long term, applicants can make the most of what Poland has to offer.

This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview to assist in your decision-making process, encouraging a well-informed and thoughtful approach to taking advantage of Poland’s version of the Beckham Law.

Contact us

    CGO Legal

    CGO Legal
    Justyna Sączawa
    Administration specialist
    CGO Legal
    Anna Ślusarek
    Administration specialist