Privire generală Polonia TVA


Poland implemented its Value Added Tax (VAT) system in 1993, partially in anticipation of its entry into the European Union. This VAT system replaced the old Soviet-style Sales Tax. Locally known as ‘Podatek od towarow I uslug’. Polish VAT rules is set by Poland, with the only proviso is that it is above 15%. The standard Polish VAT rate since January 2011 is 23%*.

Poland again updated the VAT system in 2004 upon its full consent into the EU. This included implementing all the EU VAT Directives’ rules on VAT registrations, returns, compliance, intrastate and other related requirements. The Polish VAT Act of 2004 contains most of the rules on VAT. This is also backed-up by various instructions and the Tax Ordinance Act of 1997. The Polish Ministry of Finance is responsible for the administration of the VAT system.

Foreign companies which provide either taxable goods or services in Poland may be require to VAT register as a non-resident trader, and obey with all the accounting and payment requirements.

There are also reduced rates of 8%* for certain foodstuffs; water supplies; pharmaceutical products; medical equipment for disabled persons; children’s car seats; domestic passenger transport; intra-community and international passenger transport by inland waterway and road; some newspapers and periodicals; admission to cultural events and amusement parks; some pay TV/cable TV; writers and composers; social housing; certain renovation and repair of private dwellings; certain agricultural supplies; hotel accommodation; restaurants (excluding alcoholic and certain other beverages); admission to sports events; use of sports facilities; undertaker and cremation services; collection of domestic waste; minor repairs of bicycles, shoes and leather goods, clothing and household linen; hairdressing; firewood; some take away food; some bars and cafes; cut plants and flowers for decorative use and food production; reduced rate of 5%* for some foodstuffs, fruit juices; certain books and periodicals (excluding e-Books); some agricultural supplies; 0%* rate for intra-community and international passenger transport (excluding inland motorway and road transport).

Poland VAT Law

The laws establishing the VAT are national laws, therefore, all business entities conducting business in Poland have to comply with the Polish VAT Act and EU Council Directive 2006/112 on the common system of value added tax.

Polish VAT Registration

With the implementation of the European Single Market initiative in the 1990’s, it became possible to buy and sell goods without a local company – known as non-resident (no permanent establishment) VAT trading. There is no VAT threshold in Poland for the registration of non-resident traders that are VAT/GST/Tax registered in their home state, but you will require one to record transactions and your Polish customers will want proof that you have obtained one.

For EU VAT registered companies selling goods over the intranet to consumers in Poland, the VAT registration threshold (distance selling) PLN 160.000* per annum.

Poland sets a number of situations where foreign companies should register for VAT. It follows many other of its fellow EU member states. There are of course strict rules on the situations where a registration is permitted. Common scenarios which require a Polish VAT registration include:

  • importing goods into Poland from outside the EU – please note there are a number of situations (e.g. onward supply) where the requirements are simplified,
  • buying and selling goods within Poland,
  • goods provided to individuals via the internet, which are subject to a VAT registration threshold,
  • holding goods in warehouses as consignment stock for clients,
  • operating live events and/or shows with paid-for admission on the door,
  • a company that is a non-trader, but is receiving services in Poland under the ‘reverse charge’ rule,
  • the self-supply of goods.

After the change to the place of supply VAT rules in the EU (2010 VAT Package), there are very dew situations where a foreign company must register for VAT if it is providing ONLY services.

Please note that providers of electronic, broadcast or telecoms services to customers in Poland only have to VAT register in the one EU country under the MOSS scheme to file a single return covering all 28* member states.

What information is required to get a Polish VAT number and registration?

Before a business carries out its first taxable transaction registration should be completed. The Polish tax office requires businesses to file forms NIP-2 (tax identification number form) and VAT-R (VAT registration form), along with the following documentation:

  • if appropriate, a VAT certificate to prove the business is registered for VAT elsewhere in the EU,
  • articles of Association,
  • an excerpt from the company’s national trade register,
  • an original copy of the agreement letter from the Polish bank where the business’ account will be held,
  • a full description of the activities to be carried out in Poland,
  • if a fiscal representative is used, ‘a power of attorney’(POA),
  • a copy of the agreement with the organisation, if VAT compliance services are provided.

All copies of documents MUST be translated into Polish by a certified translator and certified by a notary.

Once the registration has been granted, which usually will take approximately 30 days, a unique Polish VAT number will be allocated to the company. All EU member states have fixed format for their VAT numbers, in Poland the prefix is PL followed by 10 digits. For example – PL 0987654321.

Once the business has its VAT number, it is free to begin trading, and charging Polish VAT. But it MUST comply with the Polish VAT compliance rules, and file regular returns (see ‘Poland VAT Returns’ below).

Where are Polish VAT registrations submitted?

Foreign businesses should send their registration documents, by registered post, to the tax office of the Second Tax District, Warsaw at the following address:

Drugi Urzad Skarbowy Warszawa-Srodmiescie
ul. Jagiellonska 15
03-719 Warswawa

Poland VAT Fiscal Representation

EU entrepreneurs or businesses are not required to appoint a full VAT fiscal representative for the Polish tax authorities. Entrepreneurs or businesses without any headquarter or fixed place of business within the territory of the EU, are obliged to register for VAT purposes in Poland and to appoint a fiscal representative.

The selection of a fiscal representative follows through the conclusion of a written agreement with an entitled business entity.

The fiscal representative is by law liable for tax liabilities of the foreign entity which they represent. They are also required to take specific actions on behalf of the entity and to fulfil its tax responsibilities.

Due to high requirements towards the fiscal representatives and considerable risks that lie with them, the opportunities in Poland are very limited.

EU Companies

Up to 2003 all companies trading across EU borders were obligated to appoint a local Fiscal Representative in each country where they were providing a taxable supply. This condition was simplified by EU VAT Directive 2006/65/EC, which required EU Member States to in its place allow companies to directly register with the appropriate tax authorities.

To this day, there still remain barriers to direct VAT Registration in several countries. These can range from tax offices being unwilling to provide simple clarifications of their compliance requirements and reporting procedures in anything but the local language, e.g. France and Spain; through to still requiring the formal appointment of a local tax agent, e.g. Poland and Bulgaria.

Additionally, if the EU company is importing goods in a number of EU countries, there are cash-flow friendly schemes that include the appointment of a Fiscal Representative.

Non-EU Companies

Approximately more than half of the 28 EU Member States require non-EU businesses to appoint a Fiscal Representative, if they are providing taxable services within their state borders. There are countries such as the UK, Germany and the Czech Republic have now withdrawn the requirement.

Since the responsibility to appoint a Fiscal Representative and possibly provide bank guarantees, can be extremely arduous, many non-EU companies chose to form a company in one EU country, which can then be used as a platform to obtain simplified direct registrations in the rest of the European trade block.

EU Importing

When goods are brought into the EU for the first time, a VAT number will require to be created to clear the goods through customs. Usually, this was done by the final customer. Progressively more, however, the sellers are looking to do this, so that they can keep confidential the cost valuation of the costs, as well as offer a door-to-door service for their customers.

This means that non-resident businesses are more than ever looking to obtain VAT numbers for importation purposes. For non-EU companies, this still requires a Fiscal Representative in most countries.

Whereas EU companies do not usually require a Fiscal Representative, there are a number of beneficial VAT deferral schemes which can save the importer significantly on cash flows. These often require the appointment of a local Fiscal Representative.

The role and liability of the Fiscal Representative

A Fiscal Representative is regarded by the tax authorities as the local agent of the foreign trader. In many cases, the Fiscal Representative is still held jointly and severally accountable for the taxes of the trader. As a result, it is consequently industry practice to require a full bank guarantee in favour of the Fiscal Representative to protect it from losses.

In most countries, the Fiscal Representative is obligated by the local tax code to make certain that:

  • The foreign trader is appropriately registered with the local tax office,
  • That the trader is fully compliant with rules on invoicing, VAT treatment, exchange rates etc.,
  • Accounting records should be maintained to exacting local standards, and that they are readily obtainable for examination by the tax authorities,
  • All VAT and associated filings are suitably prepared and submitted,
  • All enquiries and tax inspections from the VAT office are professionally handled.

Poland VAT Returns

Any company registered with the Polish tax authorities, as a non-resident VAT trader MUST report taxable transactions through periodic filings, known as ‘returns’.

How often are Polish returns necessary?

Returns In Poland can be filed electronically or manually.

The default tax period for VAT in Poland is one calendar month. Nevertheless, the VAT reporting period, quarterly or monthly, can be selected by a business when registering using the VAT-R form. If a business chooses to file quarterly returns, it may still be required to make monthly VAT pre-payments depending on the turnover. Only businesses with,a turnover of less than PLN 5.068.000* may make quarterly payments. Businesses supplying ‘sensitive’ goods such as steel, fuel and rough gold, MUST make monthly returns and payments.

What Polish VAT can be deducted?

Additionally, when declaring sales or output VAT in the Polish return, companies can offset this by the corresponding input or purchase VAT. There are some exceptions, which include:

  • Accommodation and restaurant services,
  • Cars where the vehicle is not used exclusively for business purposes (under certain circumstances 50%* of the input VAT may be deducted).

The deadlines for filing Polish VAT returns?

Polish monthly or quarterly VAT returns are due on the 25th of the month following the period end. Any Polish VAT due MUST be paid at the same time. In the case where a business has opted to file quarterly returns, but is required to make monthly prepayments, VAT due for the quarter should be paid as below:

  • Compulsory prepayment in first two months of the quarter of an amount comparable to one third of the total VAT paid in the previous quarter,
  • VAT due in the third month is calculated using the VAT return for that quarter.

Polish VAT penalties

If there are incorrect declarations or late fillings of Poland VAT returns, foreign companies might be subject to penalties. Penalties normally take the form of interest charged on the amounts of unpaid VAT. The interest rates are currently set at twice the Polish National Bank rate plus 2%*. The rate charged must be a minimum of 8%*.

The Polish tax assessment period is five years from the end of the year in which a business was liable for VAT.

How can you recover Polish VAT credits?

If there is a surplus of VAT ‘inputs’ over ‘outputs’ (more VAT incurred than charged), then a Polish VAT credit arises. In theory, this is due back to the VAT registered business from the tax authorities. This credit can be reimbursed or carried forward to offset any tax due in the next period. Any business applying for a VAT refund in Poland will be subject to time limits, subject to the nature of the transactions involved.

Companies with a Polish VAT number MUST submit regular returns detailing all taxable supplies (sales) and inputs (costs). Generally, returns are normally submitted monthly in Poland. The tax authority has 60 days to make the reimbursement after the VAT return has been submitted.

Poland was the last country to join the group of EU member states lacking VAT ledgers to be submitted together with the VAT return. Only within the last 12 months, Poland has added two returns to the number of VAT obligations that MUST be submitted by registered businesses.

This new VAT ledgers return MUST be filed by large companies only. Businesses with a turnover exceeding €50million* or with more than 250 employees* MUST submit their ledgers on a monthly basis. The level of detail and format of these ledgers will be the same as the SAF-T.

This new requirement also relates to non-established VAT registered foreign companies. Although only appropriate to large taxpayers as from the 1st July 2016, this requirement has been extended to medium-sized companies from the 1st January 2017 and to all registered companies as from the 1st July 2017. The regularity of filing of this new return is still monthly, regardless of the VAT returns being filed on a quarterly basis. The tax authorities have not published any explanation about the complications that this might create for quarterly reporting companies. To finish, the due date to submit this new return is the 25th day of the month, following the reporting period.

Poland VAT Rates

The standard VAT rate in Poland is 23%*; reduced rates are 8%*, 5%* and 0%*. (please refer to the second paragraph of this page)

Supplies of good and services VAT registered in Poland MUST charge the correct VAT rate, and accumulate the tax for onward payment to the Polish tax authorities through a VAT filing: see ‘Poland VAT Returns’ below.

What is the tax point for Polish VAT?

The tax point (‘time of supply’) rules in Poland regulate when the VAT is actually due. It is then due to the tax authorities 7 days after the VAT reporting period end (‘monthly’ or ‘quarterly’).

For most ‘goods’, it is the time of delivery, or passage of title. For ‘services’, it is the completion of the actual service.

Poland VAT Compliance

Non-resident traders providing taxable supplies in Poland are obliged to obey with the local VAT rules and rates. In terms of accounting and recording, this covers the following:

  • Arranging invoices with the revelation details outlined in the Polish VAT Act,
  • Electronic invoices with an appropriate signature, legitimacy and agreement by the recipient,
  • Accurate invoicing of customers for goods or services in accordance with the Polish tax point (‘time of supply’) VAT rules,
  • Accounts and records to be maintained and MUST be held for at least 8 years,
  • The use of approved foreign currency rates,
  • The processing of credit notes and other corrections.

Polish VAT Invoice Requirements

The Polish VAT rules on the layout and information to be provided on invoices generally follow the requirements of the EU VAT Directive and its VAT invoice requirements.

The date an invoice should be issued and storage of Polish invoices

VAT invoices in Poland must be supplied no later than the 15th day of the month, after the taxable supply. An invoice must not be issued more than 30 days before the supply of goods or completion of a service.

These invoices must be stored for five years. Poland, like all of the EU Member States, now allows the use of electronic invoices under certain conditions.

Invoice requirements in Poland

The following basic information must be on invoices:

  • The date the invoice was issued,
  • To have a unique, sequential number,
  • The VAT number of the supplier,
  • The full address of the supplier and the customer,
  • A full description of the goods or services provided,
  • The quantity and details of goods suppler, or the extent of services provided,
  • The unit price of goods or services exclusive of VAT,
  • The date of supply, if different from the invoice date,
  • Any discounts or rebate details, if not included in the unit price,
  • The net, taxable value of the supply,
  • The VAT rate(s) applied, and the amount of VAT at each rate,
  • The details to support zero VAT- export, reverse charge or intra-community supply,
  • Finally, the total, gross value of the invoice.

Polish VAT on consignment or call-off stock

When a non-Polish taxable person is undertaking intra-community supplies, storing goods in Poland for onward sale, and has no permanent establishment (local company, staff, offices etc.) in Poland, then it might require to VAT register for a Polish VAT number. This would enable it to report on any sales, and pay over any collected VAT.

VAT stock simplification in Poland

For EU VAT compliance purposes, there are two kinds of stock rules. The following two instances are a summary of the Polish VAT guidelines for stock.

Polish Call off stock

If the goods are stocked at the premises (consignment warehouse) of the customer, and it is under their control, even if the legal title has not passed, then there is no obligation to VAT register the seller.

The Polish tax authorities must be formally notified of this arrangement, and the customer must retain detailed records of the goods held under this arrangement for the tax office. The goods must transfer to the customer within two years.

Polish Consignment stock

When goods are stocked in a warehouse for multiple customers, and continue to be under the control of the foreign company, then the foreign company must register with the Polish tax authorities for a VAT number.

Important – if the goods are received from outside of the EU, they are an import (as opposed to an intra-community supply), and a registration might be necessary on this basis alone.

Poland – Intrastat

Intrastat reporting fills the gap left by the removal in 1993 of customs reporting on the movement of goods within the EU. It empowers governments and the EU to track the trade between countries for statistical purposes. Increasingly, it is also being used as a check on possible VAT fraud.

Foreign companies trading in Poland in addition to VAT returns, might be required to complete statistical reports called ‘Intrastat’, giving information on the movement of goods across the national borders. This can contain both sales to other companies, but also the movement of goods by the same company.

When should Polish ‘Intrastat’ reports be completed?

There may be a requirement to complete monthly ‘Intrastat’ reporting, if resident or non-resident companies move goods across the Polish national border to or from other EU countries.

‘Intrastat’ filings list goods which are sent out of Poland, called ‘dispatches’, as well as goods brought into Poland, called ‘arrivals’. This system was introduced at the time of the 1993 launch of the EU free trade market, due to customs borders and reporting being withdrawn. ‘Intrastat’ does not relate if the goods are coming in from outside of Europe (‘imports’) or being sent out of the EU (‘exports’).

The Polish ‘Intrastat’ reporting thresholds are…

‘Intrastat’ returns only require to be concluded once the reporting thresholds are exceeded.

Polish Instrastat reporting threshold for goods is set at PLN 3.000.000* (arrivals) and PLN 2.000.000* (dispatches).

The Polish thresholds for more comprehensive ‘Intrastat’ returns are PLN 42.000.000* (arrivals) and PLN 76.000.000* (dispatches).

What information should be included on a Polish ‘Intrastat’ filing?

For each movement of goods across the Polish national border to another EU country must be listed.

The shipment lists should include:

  • The trade classification,
  • The quantity and the value,
  • The weight,
  • The commodity code,
  • The country of arrival or dispatch.

When should you file Polish ‘Intrastats’?

Monthly ‘Intrastats’ should be submitted electronically using the website of the Polish Ministry of Finance, within 10 days from the end of the month to which they relate.

There might be small infringement penalties for late or incorrect filings.

Poland – EC Sales Lists (ECLs)

If a Polish VAT registered business, resident or non-resident, is selling goods or services to other VAT registered companies within Europe, then an EC Sales List (ESL) return might be required. These are also known as recapitulative statements. This would be in addition to the regular Polish VAT return or Polish ‘Intrastat’.

When should Polish EC Sales List reports be completed?

When a Polish VAT registered business concludes an intra-community supply, i.e. the sale to another EU VAT registered business of goods or services across the Polish border, then this might have to be reported in the ESL. There is no reporting threshold.

When should Polish EC Sales List reports be completed?

In Poland, ESLs should be filed on a monthly basis for goods once sales are over PLN 250.000* per quarter (supplies), or PLN 50.000* (acquisitions). If not, it is quarterly filings for goods. For services, the returns are filed quarterly. The filing date is the 25th of the month following the reporting period (monthly/quarterly) end, with paper submissions having an earlier deadline of the 15th of the month following the reporting period.

There could be a fine of up to PLN 3.360* for late or incorrect filings. Also, there could be an additional interest of 10%* charged on any VAT due.

All of the above information is correct as of October, 2017 and also specifically highlighted with *.