On 14 June 2012, the local government appeals court (samorzadowe kolegium odwolawcze, SKO) in Szczecin issued an important and favorable to taxpayers decision in the case of real estate tax and agricultural tax.

The case concerned one of our clients who owns vast areas of land on which agricultural activity is performed. Some of the land that is owned by the company are marked in the land and property register with binary symbols, e.g. BzRIIIb or BzRIVa. Our client regarded this land as agricultural and paid agricultural tax on them. The tax authority, however, has recognized that on the indicated land the company should pay real estate tax. In effect, the authority has issued a decision in which the amount of real estate tax which should be paid by the company was increased over ten times in relation to what had been formerly declared.

As a result of the proceedings that have been going on since February 2011, the SKO has reversed the decision of the tax authority and decided that the land in question, i.e. marked with binary symbols, e.g. BzRIIIb or BzRIVa, should not have been subjected to real estate tax, but, just as the company indicated, to agricultural tax.

The decision by the SKO is vital from the point of view of all entities that own real estates of agricultural character on which agricultural activity is performed, and which lands are marked in the land register with binary symbols, e.g. BzRIIIb or BzRIVa. It appears from our practice that the tax authorities increasingly often are trying to tax this type of lands with real estate tax - an operation which, as emerges from the decision by the SKO, does not always constitute a legitimate solution.

On behalf of the BSJP Brockhuis Jurczak Prusak Sp. k. law company, the case was run by the tax advisor Kamil Skomorowski - counsel.