OECD: Peer Review Report on Tax Transparency and EOI in Poland

On 8 November 2023 the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes published the second-round peer review report on Poland’s implementation of the standard on transparency and exchange of information (EOI). Poland’s implementation of the EOIR standard was given an overall rating of “Largely Compliant”.

The report noted that Poland has taken steps to meet the requirements of the EOIR standard by making it easier to identify the holders of bearer shares. These must be registered with the National Depository for Securities or be converted and entered in the register of shareholders kept by an authorised entity. Poland has also taken steps to ensure that relevant information is available to identify settlors, trustees and beneficiaries of foreign trusts with a Polish trustee.

Additionally, Poland has implemented a central register of beneficial ownership information since 2020, requiring all legal entities and arrangements operating in Poland to submit information to this register. Further improvements are required to allow for the complete identification of holders of bearer shares, as well as to ensure the availability of up-to-date legal and beneficial ownership and accounting information in specific circumstances.

Legislative changes have been introduced to the anti-money laundering (AML) rules to implement the provisions of the EU’s fifth AML directive. A number of beneficial ownership definitions for legal entities and arrangements have been updated in line with the standard. Polish entities and Polish trustees of foreign trusts must submit reports to the beneficial ownership register and must update details of any changes within seven days of a change.

The report recommends that Poland should strengthen mechanisms to encourage conversions or deposit of bearer shares and ensure that new measures for identifying the owners of bearer shares are effectively enforced, so as to facilitate the identification of the owners of the shares.

The report also recommends that Poland should ensure that updated beneficial ownership information is available for foreign companies with sufficient nexus, to the extent that they engage with AML-obliged institutions in Poland.

With regard to the exchange of information, in seven cases Poland could not provide complete responses to information requests, as the holders of the information did not respond to notices asking for the information. The report recommends that in such cases Poland should make use of its compulsory powers to oblige holders to produce information, so complete information can be given in response to EOI requests. The report also recommends that Poland should make sure that its network of EOI relationships covers all relevant partner jurisdictions.




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