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Is having private students in Poland legal? Or a registration as self-employed is required


Newbie1
20 Sep 2011 #1
Is having private students in Poland legal or do you have to register yourself as self employed and set up your own company so to speak? I'm sure many natives have them but what about paying tax etc on your earnings? Is it risky to have them? and what are the chances of getting in to trouble with the law if you just accept cash in hand?

Thanks in advance!
mafketis 24 | 9,124
20 Sep 2011 #2
Is having private students in Poland legal

Define 'legal'....
pawian 177 | 14,537
20 Sep 2011 #3
=Newbie1]Is having private students in Poland legal

Yes, of course.

=Newbie1]do you have to register yourself as self employed and set up your own company so to speak?

Yes, you do.

Is it risky to have them?

Not at all.

nd what are the chances of getting in to trouble with the law if you just accept cash in hand?

Practically zero. The only possible situation when you might get into trouble is when a student who doesn`t pass an exam you were preparing him/her for takes you to court.
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
20 Sep 2011 #4
For 6 years I had many private students and never had any problems with my students paying in cash.
moose limb
20 Sep 2011 #5
Just hope ujazd skarnowe(tax dept) dont find it and you will be ok,as forget the tax you stole(if you didnt declare your income) you will be chanrged for VAT also as the services rendered in Poland is subject to VAT,I would not be smart to publicly discuss your situation here,better get a shenghowa(accountant)
pawian 177 | 14,537
20 Sep 2011 #6
=moose limb]you will be chanrged for VAT also as the services rendered in Poland is subject to VAT,

You need to reach certain minimum to pay VAT. Teaching English in private doesn`t allow it.
SINCE
20 Sep 2011 #7
You need to reach certain minimum to pay VAT

OK MAYBE....since im not an accountant I knew a black woman teaching english there used to pay with a bill so I am not sure will take your word for it
hythorn 3 | 580
20 Sep 2011 #8
You need to reach certain minimum to pay VAT. Teaching English in private doesn`t allow it.

in Poland the VAT kicks in more or less immediately as far as I am aware. if you have a Sp zoo there is no VAT threashold

however it would be best to check with a book keeper

bragging about your tax free income on a public forum is probably not the wisest course of action
teflcat 5 | 1,032
20 Sep 2011 #9
and what are the chances of getting in to trouble with the law if you just accept cash in hand?

Why don't you just register yourself and pay tax? Don't abuse this country's hospitality by evading your responsibilities. If you had an accident today, you'd be given emergency treatment free of charge. Give a bit back to your hosts

You don't need to worry about VAT; it doesn't apply to teaching. Yet. If you ran another kind of business, you'd have to have sales in excess of 150,000PLN before you paid VAT.

I knew a black woman teaching english there used to pay with a bill so I am not sure will take your word for it

A black woman! Wow, that's relevant. This honest person gave an invoice, as she was obliged to. Nothing to do with VAT.
mafketis 24 | 9,124
20 Sep 2011 #10
Why don't you just register yourself and pay tax? Don't abuse this country's hospitality by evading your responsibilities.

In theory I agree. In practice, most students prefer cash in hand arrangements.

I haven't done private lessons in many years (too exhausting!) but I always pleaded ignorance of tax laws and said I was trusting the client to make things official if that was legally necessary. It wouldn't have been much of a defense had I ever been questioned, but they all, without exception, wanted cash arrangements (and a few vaguely hinted at quitting if I was going to be naming them in receipts).
scottie1113 7 | 898
20 Sep 2011 #11
Once again, another unregistered guest. I could answer his/her question, but I can't be bothered to give a response even though I have a lot of answers. Some people. Sheesh!
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
20 Sep 2011 #12
The smart move is to prepare for your classes, do a professional job and tax? what's that? If you feel it sensible to trust politicians then you should pay tax. If you think they're ripping tax payers off then why allow yourself to be ripped off?
scottie1113 7 | 898
20 Sep 2011 #13
I haven't done private lessons in many years (too exhausting!)

What? Too exhausting? I love private lessons. Many of my private lesson students have become my friends. They get my best, just like my students in my school. Why is that exhausting? It's what we do as English teachers in Poland, and the pay is good. My students come to me. I won't travel to meet them, which means that they are serious about meeting with me.
gazzaroon - | 36
20 Sep 2011 #14
I definitely wouldn't be talking about this kind of thing on a public forum as it's a little 'in your face' to Poland, isn't it?

I would seek professional advice and then take it from there. At the end of the day it's your choice what you choose to do whether legal or illegal.
mafketis 24 | 9,124
20 Sep 2011 #15
scottie1113 flabbergastedly asked

What? Too exhausting? I love private lessons.

Some people do love private lessons and have the right temperament for them. I don't. I realized that and I stopped torturing myself (at a certain point I realized I was approaching every private lesson hoping it would be cancelled....). It's similar to translation. I like doing written translation from Polish to English but my temperament is all wrong for interpreting and so I've learned to only do that on an informal non-paid basis for friends or colleagues.

Basically, for me, it's a question of attention and focus. With a group (ideally about 10-15 people) you pay attention to the group and individual students for a limited time but it's more .... diffused. You're not engaging too deeply with any one student for an extended time and you have more breathing room.

With a private lesson all your attention is focused on one person with no breathing room. Doing that for 60 minutes is more tiring (for me) than keeping a group of 15 on task and engaged.

I did the best I could with private students (and they were all satisfied) I just let natural attrition take its course (over vacations and/or other breaks in the schedule - this was easier before universal cell phonage) and stopped taking on new students.

Anymore I leave the private lessons to those that enjoy them (or have no choice).
iceman - | 6
21 Sep 2011 #16
You don't need to worry about VAT; it doesn't apply to teaching. Yet. If you ran another kind of business, you'd have to have sales in excess of 150,000PLN before you paid VAT.

is there some link to official information regarding this issue? I'm dealing with the same 'problem' at the moment.

thanks
teflcat 5 | 1,032
21 Sep 2011 #17
I can't help you with this, iceman. My 120PLN/month accountant takes care of my paperwork. Perhaps another poster has the information you need.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
21 Sep 2011 #18
is there some link to official information regarding this issue? I'm dealing with the same 'problem' at the moment.

As it stands - teaching is VAT-exempt. However, training (that isn't pure language teaching) may or may not be - you need to clarify with whoever keeps your books as to whether it is. Mine regards it as being exempt, but others may have a different opinion.

in Poland the VAT kicks in more or less immediately as far as I am aware. if you have a Sp zoo there is no VAT threashold

Not true in the slightest - compulsory VAT registration (and payment) only kicks in with a very limited amount of PKD codes, mainly related to consultancy. But anyway, as for teaching, it's VAT-exempt. This might change after the election (in fact, I'm certain it will) - but for now, there's no issue. And anyway, what self employed teacher is going to take home more than 150,000zl a year?

Is having private students in Poland legal or do you have to register yourself as self employed and set up your own company so to speak? I'm sure many natives have them but what about paying tax etc on your earnings? Is it risky to have them? and what are the chances of getting in to trouble with the law if you just accept cash in hand?

Depends on whether you want to risk the Urzad Skarbowy finding out or not. Bear in mind that the tax law in Poland allows them to make assumptions as to your income - you might find that if you get caught, they just 'assume' you've had x amount of classes at y price and nail you for the tax (plus 100% of the total tax owed in fines).

All up to you - the law says you should register and declare the income.

(and a few vaguely hinted at quitting if I was going to be naming them in receipts).

I used to just give them a stamped receipt - no need to name them (or even keep records of their names).
teflcat 5 | 1,032
21 Sep 2011 #19
I used to just give them a stamped receipt - no need to name them (or even keep records of their names).

Is that right? I didn't know that. And that's ok with the tax obergruppenfuhrer? That could solve my problems with clients who are reluctant to give me their details.

btw welcome back
LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
21 Sep 2011 #20
In theory I agree. In practice, most students prefer cash in hand arrangements.

Students are not responsible for declaring teachers 'income.
If Poland does not want to follow the path of Greece( right into the wall!) where cheating on taxes are a national sport and pride then Black economy should be erased and everyone should declare his/her income and pay taxes like in Northern Europe (Finland ,Norway, etc) because one day or another, citizens from countries which cheated for ages are on the edge of bankrupcy.

Don't you think?
teflcat 5 | 1,032
21 Sep 2011 #21
everyone should declare his/her income and pay taxes like in Northern Europe (Finland ,Norway, etc) because one day or another, citizens from countries which cheated for ages are on the edge of bankrupcy.
Don't you think?

Absolutely right. Schools, roads, hospitals, cops, etc. need lots of money. Nobody likes paying tax, but that's the price of having a civilized society.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
21 Sep 2011 #22
Is that right? I didn't know that. And that's ok with the tax obergruppenfuhrer? That could solve my problems with clients who are reluctant to give me their details.

Yep - it's fine, because when you think about it, it's no different to selling them some eggs, or whatever. Look at what language schools give their clients - always, it's a small "rachunek" that's stamped, signed and with the details written on of what was paid - never any personally identifying details.

All I was doing was writing "kurs angielskiego" on the receipt along with the details of how much was paid, stamping it, signing it and giving it to them - and giving the carbon copy to my accountant. No problem at all - the only issue is that you need to give a proper invoice if they want to use it to claim against tax, the small receipts aren't enough.

As my accountant said - for the tax office, it's enough - they just want to know what income you earned, they're not interested in where it came from. And people wonder why the TEFL industry in Poland is seen as a big money laundering scam...

(and thanks, by the way :D)
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
22 Sep 2011 #23
Bear in mind that the tax law in Poland allows them to make assumptions as to your income

Let me guess, they make conservative assumptions, right?

If Poland does not want to follow the path of Greece( right into the wall!) where cheating on taxes are a national sport and pride then Black economy should be erased and everyone should declare his/her income and pay taxes like in Northern Europe (Finland ,Norway, etc) because one day or another, citizens from countries which cheated for ages are on the edge of bankrupcy.Don't you think?

No, this is the kind of thinking I used to subscribe to.
I am open to change on this but when I went into a debate with a close friend of mine on this, he absolutely floored me. We were discussing First Nations (in Canada) Peoples being tax exempt and how I believed it to be a major strain on the economy. He completely burned that notion to the ground and any other notion that personal income tax losses are the major strain on an economy- until someone proves otherwise, then I do contend it's a naive fallacy.

Big tax breaks in big business, big kickbacks in the political-business world and wasteful government expenditures are much more of burden on the economy. The amount of taxes being paid on everything you buy and consume is already extremely high- you, I and everyone else who is a consumer is already doing their fair share by virtue of consumption. When the elected leaders hold themselves to the standard of doing the right thing then so should the people. And, unless the people go about ensuring their "leaders" do that then all bets are off.
LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
22 Sep 2011 #24
He completely burned that notion to the ground and any other notion that personal income tax losses are the major strain on an economy- until someone proves otherwise, then I do contend it's a naive fallacy.

Well you might advise your friend that without taxes a society /country will not have Education for everyone, Local Transportation for everyone, Health for everyone, roads and roadsigns etc etc and that he might aswell live by himself on a desert islandand be exonerated from any tax forever.

Just ask him a concrete question: Does he watch cable TV ? and if he does how do countries finance their Research and Development( satellites and so forth) without the contribution of everyone ?

How would countries actually finance anything ?
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
22 Sep 2011 #25
We pay taxes on all the products we buy.
In the situation we were arguing, at least in Canada, income tax did not exist prior to the war, it was introduced as a temporary measure. The country was functioning before that and I suspect so were a few others. Like I said, I'm open to debate on the matter but we do in fact pay plenty of taxes outside of income based taxes already. What he most convinced of though is the revenue not earned by way of giving tax breaks to the mega wealthy entities or lost through government waste and/or corruption is an ocean compared to a drop in the ocean that is non-declared personal earnings, which incidentally surrounds the island you mentioned (desert or deserted?).
teflcat 5 | 1,032
22 Sep 2011 #26
I'm open to debate on the matter but we do in fact pay plenty of taxes outside of income based taxes already.

Would you evade those other taxes if you could?
Yesterday I paid my income tax for last month. Now, you might consider me a fool for squandering my hard-earned 880PLN but I consider it money well spent. Hundreds of thousands of civil servants, including teachers, police officers and other emergency service staff, road maintenance crews, including snow-clearing gangs in winter, parks and gardens workers, etc. need my tax so they can get paid.

You've made you point that you choose not to pay your income tax, but I am yet to be convinced that I should do the same. Sure, politicians are useless and sometimes corrupt, but two wrongs don't make a right.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
22 Sep 2011 #27
You've made you point that you choose not to pay your income tax,

that is incorrect. that is not the point i've laboured to make. If that is the message received then I should have been more clear.

Would you evade those other taxes if you could?

We'd really be talking about a completely different economic model than what exists in our society. To try and weigh what the consequences might be without any proposed solutions to the funding required is a speculative endeavor that is beyond what I have time or energy to do at the moment.

I do see where you're going with your point but ultimately it leads into a wilderness of speculation neither of us are likely capable of navigating.

Sure, politicians are useless and sometimes corrupt, but two wrongs don't make a right.

It isn't a matter if they are sometimes corrupt, one either is or isn't corrupt. It is a matter of the financial repercussions of their corruption which must be quantified imo.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
22 Sep 2011 #28
The smart move is to prepare for your classes, do a professional job and tax? what's that? If you feel it sensible to trust politicians then you should pay tax. If you think they're ripping tax payers off then why allow yourself to be ripped off?

I got the impression that you evaded income tax from the above quote. Sorry if I misunderstood.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
22 Sep 2011 #29
You've made you point that you choose not to pay your income tax

If you mean I don't pay income tax then that isn't correct, your assumption would require that were the sole source of my income and that I pay no other taxes.

It was an error in assumption, no hard feelings.
LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
22 Sep 2011 #30
We pay taxes on all the products we buy.

I personally think it better to tax consumption than to tax work.
In democracies we elect people to manage our country but are they always spending our tax money well? Of course not.
And are they always competent? of course not.
Some countries seem more virtuous than others ( the Nordic countries i mentioned like Finland etc) but they have their own problems too.
In other words we are seldom happy with the way our taxes are spent but in Krakow for instance i would gladly pay more 'city taxes" which i find very low so that my money is spent on public libraries, swimming pools, cultural centers, parks anything which we all benefit from.


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