The recipient's obligations - basic and tax

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The donation agreement belongs to the category of bilateral activities. For its validity, not only the will of the donor is important, but also the consent of the recipient. Theoretically, he may refuse to accept a donation, e.g. for tax reasons. However, let's consider what the recipient's obligations are if such an agreement comes into effect.

Donation agreement

Pursuant to Art. 888 of the Civil Code, by a donation agreement, the donor undertakes to provide a free benefit to the recipient at the expense of his property.

The donation agreement belongs to the category of named agreements (it is regulated by specific provisions of the Civil Code), bilateral and free of charge. The content of this obligation implies the necessity of its two sides - the donor and the recipient. The first of them makes an asset gain for the second, while the recipient agrees to such an action.

The donation agreement can be concluded in virtually any form, even verbally. However, if its subject is to be any real estate or business, then a visit to a notary's office becomes necessary.

Judgment of the SA in Łódź of September 28, 2018 (file reference number I ACa 1555/17)

The essential elements of the donation agreement do not include the donor's obligation to care for the donor by the recipient, but the donation implies, in fact, an ethical relationship between the donor and the recipient, expressed in the moral obligation of gratitude, which takes on a special dimension when the donation takes place between close family members . This obligation may, in certain factual and life situations, include help and support from the recipient, adjusting the behavior and reactions to the actual circumstances, often related to the age or health condition of the donors. This is even more obvious when, through the donation, the donors gave up all their property, counting on understanding and ensuring life stability in their old age.

The basic duties of the recipient

The main duty of each recipient is to consent to the donation being made. If it does not take place, the contract will be ineffective - because no one can be forced to receive any rights or property. Of course, it is worth mentioning here that in accordance with Art. 898 § 1 of the Civil Code, the donor may revoke a donation, even if it has already been made, if the recipient has committed gross ingratitude towards him.

Judgment of the SA in Białystok of April 1, 2020 (file reference number I ACa 62/20)
The gross ingratitude justifying the cancellation of the donation must occur after the conclusion of the contract. The grounds for canceling a donation based on Art. 898 § 1 of the Civil Code does not constitute behavior bearing the features of gross ingratitude that occurred even before the conclusion of the contract, even if the donor became aware of this circumstance after the conclusion of the contract.
The subjective feeling of the donor does not determine the recognition of the recipient's behavior towards the donor as gross ingratitude. The order to take into account the circumstances of the case is to break away from the donor's feelings, feelings and sense of harm, and the task of the court is to consider the circumstances in which this feeling arose.
The concept of gross ingratitude covers only such behavior of the recipient, which consists in an action or omission, directed directly or even indirectly against the donor, and is marked by the recipient's bad will. It is primarily about committing a crime against the life, health or honor or property of the donor and the breach by the recipient of the obligations arising from his / her personal (family) relationship with the donor. As a rule, there is no question of gross ingratitude when the recipient commits actions against the donor that harm his goods, but does so unintentionally or even intentionally, but these actions do not go beyond the framework of ordinary life (family) conflicts in a specific environment.

Tax obligations of the recipient

In the event of acquiring rights, property or money by way of a donation, the recipient is obliged to pay the appropriate tax. Acquisition of property worth more than the tax-free amount is subject to taxation. Currently, in the case of a one-time donation, the tax-free amount is:

  • PLN 9,637 - if the buyer is a person from tax group I,

  • PLN 7,276 - if the buyer is a person from tax group II,

  • PLN 4,902 - if the buyer is a person from tax group III.

Pursuant to Art. 14 of the Act of July 28, 1983 on inheritance and donation tax, the amount of tax is determined depending on the tax group to which the buyer is classified. Inclusion in the tax group takes place according to the personal relationship of the buyer to the person from whom or after whom the goods and property rights were acquired. The individual tax groups include:

  • to group I - spouse, descendants, ascendants, stepson, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, siblings, stepfather, stepmother and in-laws;

  • to group II - descendants of siblings, siblings of parents, descendants and spouses of stepchildren, spouses of siblings and siblings of spouses, spouses of siblings of spouses, spouses of other descendants;

  • to group III - other buyers.

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Within the meaning of the Act, parents are also adoptive parents, and descendants also adopted and their descendants. Descendants within the meaning of the Act are also persons who stay or stayed in a foster family, in a family orphanage, in a care and educational institution or in a regional care and therapy institution, referred to in the Act of 9 June 2011 on supporting family and foster care system, and for ascendants also, respectively, persons creating a foster family, running a family orphanage or working with children in a care and educational institution or in a regional care and therapeutic institution.

We should also remember that the acquisition of money or other things by a person from tax group I in the amount not exceeding PLN 9,637 per one donor, and from many donors in total not more than PLN 19,274 within 5 years from the date of the first donation, if the gifted money or items will be allocated, within 12 months from the date of their receipt, for a construction or housing contribution to a cooperative, construction of a single-family house, purchase of a flat constituting a separate real estate or repayment of a mortgage-secured housing loan with interest, is exempt from taxation.

Notification of the purchase of a donation with a detailed statement of acquired rights, items or amounts of money is made by submitting a declaration on the SD-Z2 form. The form should be submitted to the tax office competent for the place of residence of the taxpayer. However, if the donation includes real estate or a cooperative ownership right to the premises, the competent tax office will be the location of such real estate.

Donation tax exemption

The recipient may benefit from a tax exemption in two cases:

  • when it belongs to the so-called zero tax group (spouse, descendant, ascendant, stepchild, siblings, stepfather and stepmother) and within 6 months from the date of purchase of the donation, he / she will report the purchase to the competent head of the tax office,

  • when he belongs to tax group I (spouse, descendant, ascendants, stepson, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, siblings, stepfather, stepmother and in-laws) and purchases a donation not exceeding PLN 9,637 from one donor, and from many donors in total not more than PLN 19,274 during the period 5 years from the date of the first donation, if the gifted money or things will be allocated within 12 months from the date of their receipt for a construction or housing contribution to a cooperative, construction of a single-family house, purchase of a flat constituting a separate real estate or repayment of a mortgage-secured housing loan with interest.

The recipient's obligations - summary

The tax obligations of the recipient consist mainly in the timely notification of the donation to the competent head of the tax office. This is done within 6 months from the date of donation by submitting a correctly completed SD-Z2 form. If the recipient can benefit from the tax exemption, he should also inform the tax office about the donation in the same way.