The consequences of late payment of social security contributions.

The contribution payer is obliged to pay contributions to ZUS on time. Untimely settlement of these obligations generally results in the need to pay default interest. On the other hand, the payer being a natural person conducting business activity, who pays premiums untimely for himself, the pension authority excludes from voluntary sickness insurance. On the other hand, late payment of the health premium does not deprive the payer of the right to free healthcare.

The contribution payer pays contributions by one transfer to his contribution account number (NRS). On the transfer, he gives the total amount of social security contributions (i.e. retirement, disability, sickness, accident), health insurance, FP, FS, FGŚP and possibly FEP. Contributions to these Funds are regulated by the deadlines specified in the provisions. If the payer is a natural person paying contributions exclusively for themselves, then they make payments for a given month no later than by the 10th day of the next month. If it is an entity of the budgetary sphere, then the binding date of their payment for a given month is the 5th day of the next month. Other payers (i.e. paying contributions not only for themselves, but also for other insured persons, e.g. employees, contractors) shall pay contributions for a given month not later than by the 15th day of the following month. This is provided in art. 47 section 1 of the Act on the social insurance system, called the System Act.

From ZUS contributions not paid on time, as a rule, default interest is payable by the payer. The payer pays for them himself, without first calling him to regulate them by ZUS. As follows from art. 23 clause 1 of the System Act, default interest is calculated on the principles and in the amounts specified in the Tax Code. When calculating them, the payer should remember about several important issues, namely that their calculation begins from the day after the day on which the payer was obliged to make contributions to the ZUS bank account. The last day for which the payer should pay interest for late payment is the day on which he will pay the arrears to ZUS (including that day). In addition, calculated interest for late payment is rounded to full zlotys in such a way that the tip of interest amounts of less than 50 groszy are skipped, and the tip of amounts of 50 groszy and more is raised to full zlotys.

In general, interest for late payment is due when the payer makes a contribution payment after the due date. There is an exception to this rule. Interest for late payment is not calculated for a given month if the amount does not exceed PLN 6.60 (Article 23 (1a) of the System Act). Therefore, if the payer pays the ZUS contributions due late and it turns out that the calculated interest (for the date of payment of arrears) is e.g. PLN 6.60, he is not obliged to increase his payment by default interest – they are then not due . They will be due only when they amount to at least PLN 6.61. Then, after rounding them to full zlotys (according to the mathematical principle), they should be forwarded to ZUS.

Late payment of receivables due to contributions undoubtedly affects sickness insurance, including a natural person conducting non-agricultural activities, assuming that she has taken out this insurance. If the entrepreneur has paid premiums for a given calendar month after the due date of their payment, it results in his exclusion from voluntary sickness insurance by ZUS. This is regulated by art. 14 par. 2 point 2 of the System Act. In this case, the insurance shall cease from the first day of the calendar month for which the payer has paid contributions after the deadline. It is possible that for part of the month the entrepreneur has received an allowance (e.g. sickness), then the voluntary sickness insurance of such a person ceases from the day following the day for which the allowance is granted (Article 14 (2a) of the System Act). ZUS automatically excludes an entrepreneur from voluntary sickness insurance.

It is worth adding that untimely payment of insurance premiums by an entrepreneur also affects the termination of voluntary sickness insurance of a person cooperating with him. This circumstance, however, does not have such effects, for example, on the person performing the mandate contract. Despite the fact that sickness insurance is for persons performing a voluntary contract, the regulations arising from art. 14 par. 2 point 2 of the System Act.

It should be noted that not in every case excluding an entrepreneur (or a person cooperating with him) from voluntary sickness insurance excludes the right of such a person to “continue”. ZUS may agree to pay the premium after the deadline, however, this only takes place in justified cases and only at the entrepreneur’s request.

It happens that entrepreneurs who are subject to compulsory health insurance believe that late payment of the premium for this insurance will deprive them of the right to free healthcare guaranteed by the National Health Fund. However, the disability pension body cannot exclude them from this insurance due to late payment of health insurance premiums. Entrepreneurs are covered by compulsory health insurance from the date of commencement of operations to the date of discontinuation of operations (excluding the period in which the activity was suspended). During this time, they have the right to benefit from free health services.