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Office container and real estate tax

Apr 15, 2023 | Blog

Office containers is a modern, functional and affordable alternative to traditional ones offices. Easy assembly, mobile and flexible design and the ability to move make this solution more and more popular both for freelancers who need a place of retreat for work, as well as classic companies.

Before you decide to buy or rent container office building, it is worth knowing what are the legal and tax rules related to this type of building. In this article you will find out if container is subject to property tax and how to avoid it.

What is an office container?

Office container it's an object building, which consists of one or more modules container arranged for the needs of office work. It meets all classic standards and is equipped with electrical, sanitary and ventilation installations as well as thermal and acoustic insulation. Office containers can be combined with each other in various configurations, creating spaces of any size and shape.

They are both temporary and permanent offices, especially popular in the construction, industrial, commercial and service industries - in which I assume the function of a place enabling the provision of services and customer service.

Another popular use containers office buildings is to use them as a service point at mass events, construction sites and car parks. 

Office containers have many advantages that make them more and more popular among entrepreneurs. The most important is their low price, mobility and ease of assembly - thanks to which they are perfect for industries with a dynamic nature, associated with frequent changes of the workplace. Their functionality is not inferior to classic offices - they can be adapted to the individual requirements and preferences of the company
.

Container offices

Offices container | Ultramodulae

Is an office container subject to property tax?

Property tax is one of the costs associated with running a business. It applies not only to buildings and business premises, but also to buildings and land. 

Pursuant to the Act on Local Taxes and Fees, the real estate tax covers buildings or their parts as well as structures or their parts constituting separate objects of ownership or possession. Under the concept building it is understood as a building structure with a closed body, permanently connected to the ground, which can be used throughout the year. On the other hand, a structure is understood as a structure that is not a building, permanently attached to land or water.

Office container is a closed building that can be used all year round. But is it permanently attached to the land? There is no clear answer to this question. It all depends on how the office container was installed and how long it is to be used in a given place.

Tax authorities and administrative courts take different positions on classification office containers as buildings or structures. Some believe that an office container is permanently attached to the ground if it is placed on foundations or other structural elements that prevent it from being moved without damage. Others believe that an office container is permanently attached to the ground if it is intended for long-term use in a given place and it is not possible to move it without incurring significant costs.

For example, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled in its judgment of March 14, 2019, file ref. II FSK 230/17, that an office container constitutes a building subject to real estate tax if it is placed on concrete foundation blocks and connected to a permanent electrical, water and sewage system. On the other hand, the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw ruled in the judgment of February 18, 2020, file ref. III SA/Wa 1807/19, that an office container is not a building subject to real estate tax if it is placed on metal legs and is not connected to a permanent electrical, water and sewage system.

As you can see, the issue of taxing office containers with real estate tax is not unambiguous and requires an individual analysis of each case. Before buying or renting office container it is worth consulting our advisor who will provide you with the necessary assistance in this regard.

How to avoid property tax for an office container? 

Taxation of office containers is subject to individual interpretation - however, you can take certain steps that will significantly reduce the risk of having to pay tax costs.

Here are the most important steps you should follow if you want to avoid paying property tax for an office container:

– choose an office container Mobile, i.e. one that has wheels and can be easily moved around
– place the office container on a surface not permanently attached to the ground, e.g. on concrete or steel plates
– do not connect the office container with other buildings or technical devices, e.g. do not connect it to the power or water supply network
– equip the office container with portable and easy to disassemble installations, e.g. a power generator or a water tank

Remember, however, that these are only guidelines - they are not guarantees. For more professional help, please consult a solicitor or our advisor who will provide you with assistance tailored to your individual case.

Summation

Office containers are a modern and functional solution for companies that need additional space to work. In some cases, office containers may be exempt from real estate tax if they meet certain conditions - unfortunately, the regulations on this subject are not entirely clear and are subject to individual interpretation. 

If you want to make sure whether the tax will apply to you, it is best to consult a specialist - a legal advisor or our advisor.

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