Tax & Legal Highlights for Real Estate – February 2020
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1. Amendments to the Developers Act
At the beginning of February, the Government Legislation Centre presented the latest project of Developers Act (PL: ustawa deweloperska). The purchaser of a premises or a single-family house will only be allowed to make payments to an open or closed residential escrow account (PL: mieszkaniowy rachunek powierniczy). Means collected on the account will be disbursed according to a schedule which may be connected, for example, with the progress of construction. It will be the developer’s obligation to pay contributions to the so-called Developer Guarantee Fund from each customer payment. The maximum amount of above contributions will be 3 % for an open residential escrow account and 0.6 % for a closed residential escrow account. A significant feature is the introduction of regulations governing reservation agreements. The reservation fee cannot be higher than 1 % of the price of the property specified in the prospectus (PL: prospekt emisyjny).
2. The extension of the deadline for submitting annual reports on generated waste and waste management
On 31 January 2020, the act amending the Act on Waste and certain other acts entered into force. The amendments focus on records and reports submitted to the database on products and packaging and on waste management. A modification beneficial for both entrepreneurs and the legislator (due to the failure to adapt the relevant government systems on time) is the extension of the deadline for submitting annual reports on generated waste and waste management for 2019 to 30 June 2020. Until the same date, the amendment provides for the possibility of keeping paper records instead of electronic ones, as long as the person handing over the waste issues a waste transfer card (KPO) or a municipal waste transfer card (KPOK) in this form. At the same time, not later than 31 July 2020, documents issued in paper form must be entered by entrepreneurs in the electronic waste database, and failure to meet this requirement will be subject to sanctions.
3. Simplification of the investment and construction process and reduction groundless bureaucracy
On 13 February 2020 the Lower House of the Parliament adopted the Act amending the Geodetic and Cartographic Law and certain other acts. The intention of its authors is to simplify the investment and construction process and reduce groundless bureaucracy. This is to be achieved by means of, among others, the assumption that the data in the land and building register is to be updated by poviat authorities ex officio. However, this data is to be limited by removal from the register information available through other state registers, i.e. information about entering the real estate in the register of monuments, information whether the area is covered by a form of environmental protection or cadastral value of the real estate. The most important anticipated changes include also the introduction of the possibility to start geodetic works at any time and the obligation to report such works within 5 days of their commencement, whereas until now the contractor was obliged to report geodesic works before they began. Moreover, the legislator emphasizes that the amendment to the Act is a step forward in meeting the policy of opening public data by publishing selected spatial data on the government portal, such as orthophotomaps or numerical land models, which to date have been available only upon request and for a fee.
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