What to do with overpayment of income tax

You have paid more tax than you were obliged to pay and you are wondering what you can do about overpayment? Several scenarios are possible.

If you have tax arrears or current tax liabilities, any overpayment will cover them first. This will be done automatically by the authority, without the need for additional applications.

If you are not in tax arrears, the tax office will refund you the overpayment. 

The overpayment resulting from the annual tax settlement submitted by the taxpayer (e. g. on PIT-28, PIT-37, PIT-36, PIT-36L form) is generally refundable within 3 months from the date of submission of the tax return.

You may also think that you would like to use the money from overpaid taxes to cover future liabilities. To this end, you should submit an application to the tax office for crediting the overpayment for future taxes. The application does not have an official template, but some offices have prepared their templates, which can be found on their websites. Contact the office and find out if there is a special application form.

If you want to prepare the application by yourself, it should contain:

1. details of the applicant:

  • company name/surname and name of the taxpayer,
  • address of the registered office/residence,
  • NIP / PESEL number,
  • specification of the type of tax, the period and the amount to be credited,
  • signature of the person(s) authorised to submit the application;

2. an indication of the recipient (the head of the tax office).


Application for confirmation of overpayment

You may have to apply for confirmation of overpayment by yourself. This may be the case, e.g. if you do not agree with the tax collected or its amount. Another example is when you submitted the incorrect declaration and noticed a mistake.

An application to the head of the tax office for confirmation of an overpayment shall include:

  • details of the applicant - name and surname of the taxpayer (payer or collector), address of residence/seat with postcode and PESEL/NIP;
  • identification of the requested authority (the competent Head of the Tax Office);
  • specification of the type of tax and the period/year in which the overpayment occurs;
  • determination of the amount of overpayment;
  • factual background justifying the submitted application.

At the same time as applying for overpayment, you should submit corrected statements or declarations regarding the period and tax for which the overpayment is being made.

If the tax office agrees with your argumentation and decides that you should get back the overpayment, you can recover it or use it for future tax liabilities. Remember that first of all the overpayment will be automatically allocated to tax arrears and current tax liabilities.

If you have made a mistake which resulted in an undue overpayment to you, you must reimburse it together with default interest accrued from the date of repayment of the overpayment.

When determining the date on which the overpayment is due to be refunded, and hence the date on which interest is due to commence, the form in which your overpayment is refunded is of great importance. If :

  • you have received a refund of the overpayment by bank transfer - the day of return is the day on which the tax office's bank account is debited;
  • you have received a refund of the overpayment by postal order - the date of return is deemed to be the day of delivery;
  • you have collected the overpayment of tax at the cash desk - the day on which the amount is paid or put at the taxpayer's disposal in the cash desk is considered as the day of refund.

The interests on tax arrears shall not be charged if their amount does not exceed three times the value of the fee collected by Poczta Polska for registered mail. Currently, the fee is PLN 8,70.


"Transfer" of overpayment between taxes

Overpayment within one type of tax (e. g. PIT) may be counted towards future liabilities for other types of taxes (VAT, tax on civil law transactions). Such compensation is conditional upon the submission of an application for the relevant credit (the information above).

See also the NSA ruling of 8 April 2016 (file no. II FSK 79/16) on the possibility of counting the overpayment in real estate tax on future tax liabilities for which a different tax authority is competent than the one competent for real estate tax.

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