Report on Hearings on US-Poland Tax Treaty before Sejm Committee on Contacts with Polonia

On, February 7, 2013, as Polish American Congress Vice President for Polish Affairs, I addressed Poland’s Sejm Committee on Contacts with Polonia and Polish People Abroad. The Thursday session, chaired by the Committee’s Chairman, Sejm Deputy Adam Lipinski, heard testimony on how the pending U.S.-Poland income tax treaty would affect taxation of retirement benefits of Poles returning to Poland from the United States.

In my remarks to the Committee, I presented the PAC’s views as expressed in the Resolutions adopted by the Council of National Directors on October 26, 2012. I also expressed the PAC’s concern of not having been notified or consulted about the treaty during its negotiation and of not being given an opportunity to present the treaty’s negotiators views of PAC members on how Polonia would be affected by terms of the treaty.

The main witness testifying before the Committee, Mr. Cezary Krysiak, Director of the Polish Government’s Tax Policy Department, was questioned in detail by members of the Committee, including Deputy Adam Kwiatkowski. His response emphasized that, under the treaty, the Polish government will no longer tax U.S. retirement benefits received by Polish citizens in Poland.

Mr. Krysiak also assured me of his commitment to answer any questions concerning the details of the agreement, and we established a direct line of communication between us for this purpose.

The “Convention Between the United States of America and the Republic of Poland for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect To Taxes on Income,” as the treaty is formally titled, was signed on February 13, 2013, in Warsaw, Poland by U.S. Ambassador Stephen Mull and Polish Deputy Finance Minister Maciej Grabowski. It replaces the 1974 treaty of similar name and will enter into force upon ratification by both countries. Text of the treaty is available here: in English, in Polish.

Bozena Kaminski
Vice President for Polish Affairs

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