Value Added Tax in local language is “Podatek od towarów i usług”

VAT returns in Poland

JPK VAT files in Poland

VAT returns as we commonly know them are not required in Poland. Instead, Poland introduced the Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T) (in Polish “Jednolity plik kontrolny”, in short, “JPK_V”). These files replace traditional monthly and quarterly VAT returns which are no longer due.

What is a JPK VAT file or SAF-T file?

SAF-T is a collection of data that is created on the basis of information available in the taxable persons’ IT systems through direct export of data, including information on business operations for the given period, having a standardized layout, and format (XML schema) that allows its easy processing.

Who should submit a JPK VAT file in Poland?

All registered businesses in Poland must file SAF-T returns electronically on a monthly basis. The new JPK_V file, which incorporates the VAT return section and the VAT transactions section, is to be filed mandatorily by all active VAT registered taxable persons that have both a monthly frequency of filing or a quarterly frequency of filing. For monthly periods, the return for each month contains both the VAT return and the VAT transactions section. On the other hand, taxpayers submitting their returns quarterly will be required to submit the VAT transactions section monthly and the VAT return section quarterly.

What types of JPK VAT files exist in Poland?

There are two types of the JPK_V file:

  • JPK_V7M – for VAT filings made on a monthly basis; to be used by taxable persons filing their VAT records and VAT returns on a monthly basis.
  • JPK_V7K - for VAT filings made on a quarterly basis; to be used by taxable persons filing their VAT records on a monthly basis and VAT returns on a quarterly basis.

These returns inform the tax authorities about the transactions performed during the reported period and they calculate the amount of VAT payable or recoverable from the tax authorities.

Frequency of filing of SAF-T (JPK) in Poland

The SAF-T returns are filed monthly in Poland.

Small businesses can report the VAT return part of the file on a quarterly basis and settle their liability on a quarterly basis. However, for a new small business that registers for VAT, quarterly VAT filing is allowed after the lapse of 12 months following the VAT registration date, and when the business did not supply goods or services listed in Annex 15 to the Polish VAT Act (goods to which the Split Payment Mechanism applies) exceeding a net amount of EUR 1,200,000 in the previous tax year.

Annual VAT returns are not applicable in Poland.

  • Frequency of filing

    • Monthly
      Standard reporting period
    • Quarterly
      Only small businesses with monthly sales below PLN 50,000
    • Annual
      Not applicable

Polish SAF-T returns (JPK) deadline

Polish VAT returns are due to the tax office by the 25th day of the month following the end of the reporting period. If the 25th is on a Saturday, Sunday, or any public holiday, the deadline is postponed until the first next working day.

Polish VAT payments

The deadline for making the relevant VAT payment is the same as for submitting the VAT return part of the SAF-T, i.e., by the 25th day of the month following the month in which the tax point arises. VAT liabilities must be paid by bank transfer and must be paid in Polish zloty.

The reference to be included when making VAT payments is the VAT number of the company, type of the return i.e., JPK_VAT7M, and the period to which the payment refers to.  

The Whitelist in Poland 

What is the whitelist in Poland?

The “Whitelist” is an electronic list of VAT payers, in which entrepreneurs can verify data on: entities that were not registered for VAT purposes (or were de-registered), and entities registered as the VAT taxpayers (i.e., data on active and exempt VAT taxpayers), including entities whose registration as VAT taxpayers has been restored.

The existing registers were merged into a single list extended by additional data, such as bank account numbers indicated in the tax identification or update notifications.

Where can I find the polish whitelist with VAT information?

The list is made available in the Public Information Bulletin of the Ministry of Finance in a manner that allows checks on whether a given entity is on the list on a selected day, but not earlier than a period of five years preceding the year in which the entity is checked.

If the entrepreneur makes a payment to another account that is not listed and the seller does not pay VAT on this transaction to the tax office, the entrepreneur will be jointly and severally liable with the seller up to the total amount of tax liability for the transaction.

VAT rules on split payments in Poland

When does split payment apply in Poland?

The split payment mechanism, or SPM, is compulsory for sales or purchases of a specific group of goods listed in Annex 15 of the Polish VAT Act. The Annex includes goods determined according to specific Polish Classification of Goods and Services (PKWiU) groups.

The obligatory SPM is used for the supply of goods and services that were covered by the reverse charge mechanism and the existing scope of joint and several liability of the buyer — therefore, it mainly covers the steel, fuel, and construction services.

How is the Polish split payment mechanism applied?

In the case the taxpayer has the obligation to apply the SPM:

  • Payment of the amount corresponding to all or part of the VAT amount resulting from the invoice received is made to the VAT account (for more information on the VAT account go to tax micro-account).
  • Payment of all or part of the amount corresponding to the net sales value resulting from the received invoice is made to the bank account or SKOK account of supplier.

It covers payments regarding invoices documenting transactions made between taxpayers whose one-off value, regardless of the number of payments resulting from it, exceeds PLN 15,000 or the equivalent of this amount.

In order to identify the SPM, the invoice needs to include a “Split Payment mechanism” annotation. Lack of this wording results in high sanctions.

For all the other transactions, each taxpayer is allowed to choose whether they would like to pay their purchase invoices with or without the use of split payment.

For further information on the SPM visit the Polish tax authorities' website.  

Polish VAT refunds

When a SAF-T return is in a repayable position, a VAT refund can be requested together with the submission of the VAT return part of the file (usually monthly, but if the taxpayer falls under the small business category it would be quarterly). A refund is made to the bank account of the company. 

The amount of the VAT refund request needs to be indicated in the field P_54 of the SAF-T file (in the VAT return part of the file). 

The Polish authorities must reimburse the VAT within 60 days following the return. In some cases - within 25 days (this applies to taxpayers who use the split payment mechanism).

If the company did not perform any business activities in a given settlement period, it will receive a refund within 180 days, unless it submits a written application to the tax office along with an appropriate form of security (e.g. in the form of a bank guarantee or a promissory note). Then, the company would receive a refund within 60 days.

The tax refund deadlines (25 days, 60 days, or 180 days) may be extended if the tax office needs more time to verify the refund. If a bank guarantee or promissory note was submitted, the company will receive a refund within the statutory period.

Further information can be found on the Polish tax authorities' website.

Polish nil SAF-T return

A nil SAF-T return needs to be submitted even if there are no transactions to be reported for that period.

Polish distance sales. VAT on e-commerce

Starting on 1 July 2021, the new OSS e-commerce package will come into effect. Until then, the old distance selling rules below will apply. 

These are some of the old rules applicable in Poland regarding until 1 July 2021:

  • The distance sales threshold is PLN 160,000 (~EUR 38,000). Where the total amounts of sales to Polish customers in any 12-month period exceeds this threshold, a VAT registration is required.
  • Foreign companies may opt to register in Poland before the threshold is exceeded. Polish companies may opt to register abroad if the threshold is not exceeded, this option is mandatory for 2 years once the application is sent.
  • When a foreign e-commerce business registers in Poland, a compliant VAT invoice must be issued for each Polish client.
  • Intrastat returns are due when the Intrastat threshold is exceeded.
  • VAT returns must report the sales as domestic sales only. Distance sales are not reported as intra-Community acquisitions followed by local sales.
  • If goods are returned by the client, an intra-Community supply is not reported in Poland.

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