The concept of a controlled transaction

The correct understanding of the concept of a transaction is important because transfer prices are always considered in the context of a specific transaction (or their sum – if the subject of the transaction and their terms are the same).

The definition of a controlled transaction appeared for the first time in the Polish legal system in 2019. According to its wording, a controlled transaction “means activities of an economic nature identified on the basis of the actual behavior of the parties, including attribution of income to a foreign permanent establishment, the conditions of which have been established or imposed as a result of the relationship” 1 .

Polish tax regulations do not contain a definition of economic activities, therefore, in order to clarify the concept, reference should be made to a narrower definition of economic activity.

An economic activity can therefore be understood as an activity:

  • for profit-oriented purposes (profit-oriented, justification for money);
  • within an organized structure (continuity, frequency, repeatability vs. one-time);
  • independent (independent) nature.

The characteristics of an economic activity are identical to those of an economic activity, therefore the definition of economic activity is helpful in correctly determining whether the taxpayer carries out a controlled transaction.

When identifying the documentation obligation, the taxpayer is obliged to distinguish between homogeneous transactions. It may include several transactions between the taxpayer and various related entities and / or entities with the so-called tax haven.

Homogeneous transactions are verified by comparing their similarity. The uniform nature of the transaction is most often expressed through the same subject of the transaction, the similarity of significant risks, functions, assets or by using the same method of transfer price verification, as well as other significant circumstances.


1 Act of February 15, 1992 on corporate income tax, Journal of Laws No. 1992 No.21, item. 86 as amended d. Article 11a (1) 1 point 6.