Public benefit organisation

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PUBLIC BENEFIT ORGANISATION – entity granted by law with some privileges and obligations, after fulfilling some conditions. Entities that are considered as such include: → non-governmental organisation (NGO), church legal entity, religious entity, joint-stock company or limited liability company, not-for-profit sport clubs that allocate all of their profit to perform their statutory objectives and they do not divide their profit between their members, shareholders, stockholders or employees. Political parties, trade unions, organisations of employers, professional self-governing authorities, foundations formed by political parties and social cooperatives cannot apply for the public benefit organisation’s status. In order to be considered of public benefit (p.b.), an organisation has to (apart from being one of the listed groups of entities) fulfil the following conditions: operate for the public benefit – perform socially useful activities within the scope of public tasks – for the general public or for a specific group for minimum two years; perform operations as additional operations in relation to the p.b.; appropriate the surplus of income over costs to statutory activities; have a separate, collegiate control or supervisory body; in its statute, include prohibition of lending loans, granting and using assets for the advantage of members and purchasing of goods at prices higher than market prices. An NGO becomes p.b.o. when it receives an entry in the National Court Register (Polish KRS) confirming the fulfilment of the requirements. The p.b.o. is also required to introduce an additional internal control regarding transparency of activities and finances. The p.b.o.’s status allows receiving 1% of personal tax, using free air time in public media to inform about the activities, use of real estate belonging to the State Treasury or local government with preferential conditions. P.b.o. are also exempted from some taxes and fees: VAT, income tax, real estate tax, legal proceedings tax and stamp duty and court fees. The tax exemptions relate only to the performed public benefit activities. P.b.o. is obliged to: prepare and publish substantive and financial reports that include, among others, information on resources from 1% of personal tax and how they were spent. These resources should be entirely appropriated to public benefit activities. Unauthorized use of the p.b.o.’s status is subject to a fine. In Poland in 2017, 8542 NGOs had the status of p.b.o. [ A. Bejma ].

Literature: M. Halszka-Kurletko, Organizacje pożytku publicznego. Rozwiązania prawne – funkcjonowanie – rozwój [Public benefit organisations. Legal solutions - functioning – development], Kraków 2008.