Information on the income tax exemption from 1 January 2022 for scholarships and other funds awarded under NCN calls.
Pursuant to the Act amending the Personal Income Tax Act, the Corporate Income Tax Act and certain other acts of 29 October 2021 (Journal of Laws of 2021, item 2105), point 39(f) was added to Article 21(1) of the Income Tax Act, according to which the following are exempt from income tax: doctoral scholarships and other funds awarded under calls for doctoral scholarships launched by the National Science Centre and scientific scholarships awarded pursuant to the regulations laid down by the Council of the National Science Centre. This provision will enter into force on 1.01.2022.
According to the National Science Centre, under the aforesaid provision, from 1 January 2022, income tax will not be liable for:
- doctoral scholarships and other funds awarded under the ETIUDA call,
- scientific scholarships awarded and paid under research projects in all NCN calls under which such scholarships can be planned and paid (OPUS, SONATA, SONATA BIS, MAESTRO, SYMFONIA, DIOSCURI, POLONEZ BIS, international bilateral or multilateral calls).
In addition, pursuant to Article 21(1)(39) of the Personal Income Tax Act, the following are free of income tax: scholarships and financial aid referred to in the Act on Higher Education and Science of 20 July 2018, and scholarships received under programmes or projects referred to in Article 376 (1) of that Act; in the case of scholarships awarded by a natural person or a legal person which is not a state or local government legal person, the exemption will apply provided that the rules for awarding them have been approved by the minister responsible for higher education and science.
According to the National Science Centre, the exemption resulting from the above-mentioned provision includes doctoral scholarships paid for projects financed by the National Science Centre under the PRELUDIUM BIS call. In the PRELUDIUM BIS call, the National Science Centre finances projects carried out by PhD students as part of their doctoral dissertations. The budget for such research projects will include, inter alia, the costs of doctoral scholarships paid as part of the research project. However, the fact that the project budget includes such costs does not mean that the National Science Centre is the entity paying the grant. Article 209 of the Act on Higher Education and Science of 20 July 2018, the doctoral scholarship granted under PRELUDIUM BIS is paid by the institution running the doctoral school. Thus, in the National Science Centre’s view, such scholarships fall within the scope of the exemption provided for in Article 21(1)(39) of the Personal Income Tax Act.
At the same time, we point out that the National Science Centre is not authorised to issue tax law interpretations. In the event of any doubt, the taxpayer or tax agent should request individual interpretation from the relevant tax authorities.