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The Financial Shield controls have started

Olesiński i Wspólnicy

  • Agregado 21 diciembre 2020
  • ·

In recent months, inspections of entrepreneurs who have benefited from financial aid obtained under the governmental programme “Financial Shield”(“tarcza antykryzysowa”), including subsidies from the Polish Development Fund (PFR) in the form of a partly non-refundable loan and subsidies for working capital for medium-sized entrepreneurs from the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP), have begun. 

What is the subject of such controls and what should the entrepreneurs benefiting from the aid pay attention to?


Verify employment data

One of the basic parameters controlled by both PFR and PARP is the employment level. Data declared by the entrepreneur in the application for financing are compared by the entity paying the subsidy with official data provided by the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS). What is important, not all persons employed in the company can be considered as employees for the purposes of the granted subsidies.


So who is an employee? For PFR, these are persons employed on an employment contract, reported to social security with insurance codes: 0110, 0111, 0125, 0126, 0120 and persons cooperating with the employer on a basis other than the employment contract (e.g. civil law contracts as contract of mandate), reported to social security with codes: 0411, 0417, 0426, 0428, 020 0, 2241, 2242, 0511, 0545. The number of employees should include people on maternity, paternity, parental and educational leave (codes: 1240, 1211)[1].  In the case of persons employed on an employment contract, the matter is also complicated by the obligation to properly convert the number of employees into full-time equivalents.


On the other hand, PARP, for the needs of working capital subsidies, considers as employees only persons with an employment relationship (employment contract) with the entrepreneur, including owners of such enterprises. For the needs of the programme, the number of full-time employees should also be recalculated, with the restriction, however, that the calculations should not include employees on maternity leaves, leaves on conditions of maternity leave, paternity leaves, parental leaves, as well as those employed for professional preparation[2].


Entrepreneurs who have doubts as to the correctness of the declared data, using a dedicated form, may apply to the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) to issue the applied information on employment. That will make it possible to disclose possible errors in advance and take the applied countermeasures.


Provide missing documents and settle properly received funds

By the end of the year, the entrepreneurs are obliged to provide certain documents confirming, that the person applying for a subsidy and signing the subsidy agreement, had the right to represent the entrepreneur. The PFR requires the submission of such documents as an excerpt from the National Court Register (KRS), power of attorney and statements on the confirmation of terms of the contract for the payment of the subsidy. The way of their submission is determined by the bank in which the entrepreneur received the grant - most often the documents are submitted by electronic banking.


Failure to fulfil the obligation by the end of 2020 is to result in the necessity to return the entire PFR subsidy received.


Aid recipients are also obliged to settle the received funds within short deadlines. Funds received under the subsidy for working capital of PARP should be settled within 90 days from the end of the eligibility period specified in the agreement with PARP. The period for settling the PFR subsidy is much shorter and amounts to 10 days from the end of the financing period. Failure to comply with these obligations may also involve the obligation to return all received funds.


A small, medium-sized or perhaps large enterprise? Check the status of SMEs

One of the key criteria on which the amount of aid granted (PFR) or the possibility of granting it (PARP) depends, is the need for the entrepreneur to confirm the status of an SME (small, medium-sized enterprise) at the time of application.


The status of the enterprise shall be verified on the basis of EU legislation[3] according to which:


−    medium-sized enterprises are enterprises with fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million, or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million;


−    small enterprises are enterprises with less than 50 employees and an annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 10 million;


−    microenterprises are enterprises which employ fewer than 10 persons and whose annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet total does not exceed EUR 2 million.


What is crucial – by examining the data mentioned above, it is necessary to obtain financial and human resources data of all bound entities (so-called “linked enterprises”) or associated entities (so-called “partner enterprises”) with the entity applying for financing. It is also important from the point of view of the received subsidy to correctly determine the manner of relations between these enterprises (such as financial, personal, contractual etc.). This information will be verified by PFR, PARP or a specialist entity acting on behalf of these institutions and may affect the outcome of the control.



Marcel Mańka
Senior Associate at Olesiński & Wspólnicy




[3] Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty