Undeclared activity and an accounting office - what is worth knowing?
Accounting offices are invaluable support for entrepreneurs, especially in the time of a pandemic. Progressive computerization, which has not bypassed this sector, saves customers a lot of valuable time. Many accountants do not set up a separate accounting office, but only occasionally support entrepreneurs in tax and accounting settlements. Therefore, the question arises: unregistered activity and the accounting office, i.e. whether the provision of accounting services can be carried out without establishing a business? Let's check it out!
Who can provide accounting services?
The demand for accounting offices is constantly growing, and thus - more and more people with appropriate qualifications decide to operate in this area. Any entrepreneur can provide services related to the books of accounts, but must meet the criteria set out in art. 76a paragraph. 3 of the Accounting Act:
Have full legal capacity,
He may not be convicted by a final judgment for economic and fiscal crimes, including an offense against the credibility of documents, property, business transactions, money and securities trading.
A person who wants to provide accounting services does not need to have an education in this field and does not need to have civil liability insurance. It is worth remembering that the competition related to running accounting offices is constantly developing. In order to stand out and attract customers, a great knowledge of current legal standards is mandatory. The work of the accounting office will also be significantly improved by professional specialists in a given field, as well as appropriate software, enabling both free work and reliable customer support.
What are the duties of an accounting office?
The primary goal of each accounting office is to relieve the client of the obligations related to accounting and finances, therefore these types of companies keep tax records in accordance with the current legal regulations, while guaranteeing the security of the data stored by them.
The most important tasks of accounting offices include:
financial and accounting consultancy,
representing the client before tax authorities,
- keeping accounting and tax books,
preparation of financial statements and loan applications,
HR and payroll services,
settlements and reports for ZUS.
The accounting office may also offer its clients additional services, such as:
preparation of relevant documentation as well as applications for co-financing,
preparing financial analyzes,
verification of the correctness of accounting documents,
issuing invoices on behalf of clients.
Accounting offices also have the opportunity to offer entrepreneurs tools supporting accounting services. Most importantly, the client must have full insight into the accounting documents - it cannot, or at least it should not, be beyond its full control.
Undeclared activity and the accounting office
The scope of economic activity is defined by the Entrepreneurs' Law, which is the most important regulation of Polish economic law. The standard contained in Art. 76a paragraph. 1 of the Accounting Act. It clearly states that "Service bookkeeping is an economic activity within the meaning of the provisions of the Act of March 6, 2018 - Entrepreneurs Law"and therefore accounting offices are unconditionally subject to registration.
This judgment is clarified by Art. 5 sec. 1 of the Entrepreneurs' Law: "The activity performed by a natural person whose income due from this activity does not exceed 50% of the minimum wage in any month [...] and who has not performed any economic activity in the last 60 months is not an economic activity".
These provisions clearly indicate that the economic activity which includes the provision of bookkeeping services cannot be conducted in the form of unregistered activity and there are no exceptions to this. Therefore, terms such as undeclared activity and an accounting office cannot be combined.
When can you conduct undeclared activity?
Such activity will work when we run small services, usually without leaving home and for small use. They may include, for example, tutoring, minor handicrafts or baking bread or cakes. People who start this type of business do not need a NIP number, but have to pay income tax, which is calculated on the basis of two rates: 17 and 32%, i.e. based on the tax scale.
The basic criterion for conducting such activity is the monthly income limit - in 2021 it is PLN 1,400. It is closely related to the minimum wage - if this increases, the amount of the limit also increases (if the amount specified is exceeded, the taxpayer has 7 days to register his activity, at the same time, from the day on which the limit was exceeded, the taxpayer loses the right to conduct unregistered activity). The minimum wage has been rising in recent years and so far there is little indication that this trend will change.
It is also worth knowing that in the case of unregistered activity, you do not have to pay any contributions to ZUS, because such activity is not registered in insurance, and thus you do not have to submit any additional declarations to ZUS.
The regulations are merciless - the activity of accounting offices is allowed only if they are registered. However, it should be remembered that accounting offices will not solve all client's problems - sometimes the support of a law or tax office may be necessary. Such cooperation with third parties involves additional costs for the office, so it is necessary to periodically check whether the labor intensity and cost of servicing a given customer has not increased disproportionately to the fixed monthly payment for accounting services.