The Polish VAT Law is a part of the European VAT System.
The Value Added Tax, or VAT, in the European Union is a general, broadly based consumption tax assessed on the value added to goods and services. It applies more or less to all goods and services that are bought and sold for use or consumption in the Community. Thus, goods which are sold for export or services which are sold to customers abroad are normally not subject to VAT. Conversely, imports are taxed to keep the system fair for EU producers so that they can compete on equal terms on the European market with suppliers situated outside the Union.
VAT is a tax charged on most business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions in all the countries of the European Union and in a growing number of other countries. The laws establishing the VAT are national laws therefore all business entities conducting business in Poland have to comply with Polish VAT Act and EU Council Directive 2006/112 on the common system of value added tax.
The Value Added Tax (VAT) was introduced into Polish Tax System in 1993. Regulations in the field of VAT have been often amended in order to harmonise Polish solutions relating to turnover taxes with the current European common system of Value Added Tax. At present, the fundamental Legal Act in the scope of VAT is the VAT Act of 11 March 2004.
VAT rates in Poland
The standard VAT rate in Poland is 23% since January 2011. There are reduced rates of 8% and 5% on certain food, books, newspapers and the supply of a limited number of other services. A number of services are exempt from Polish VAT, such as financial and postal services. There are exempt taxable supplies, and many variations to the above rates. Please contact us for further information that you may need.
Polish VAT registration
To conduct activities subject to VAT in Poland the taxpayer must file a registration form before the date of the first taxable activity. Taxpayers who intend to conduct Intra-Community transactions must be EU VAT registered.
For EU distance sellers, selling the goods to the customers in Poland, the VAT registration threshold (distance selling) is PLN 160,000.
In order to register for VAT purposes in Poland, companies without a registered office, permanent place of residence or place of business in the European Union must appoint a tax representative. Tax representatives are responsible for the tax liabilities of the taxpayers they represent.
The following activities are liable to VAT in Poland:
- Supply of goods and the supply of services within the territory of the country
- Export and import of goods
- Intra-Community acquisition of goods
- Intra-Community supply of goods.
Polish VAT compliance
Non-resident traders providing taxable supplies in Poland are required to comply with the local VAT rules and rates. In terms of accounting and recording, this covers :
- Preparing invoices fulfilling formal requirements outlined in the Polish VAT Act
- Correcting invoices (issuing credit notes) according to the Polish VAT rules
- Issuing electronic invoices securing the authenticity of origin, integrity of content and legibility of the invoice
- Maintenance of accounts and records
- Using proper foreign currency rates etc.
Polish VAT rates
Suppliers of goods or services VAT registered in Poland must charge the appropriate VAT rate and afterwards report the turnover and output VAT corresponding to the different rates in a monthly or quarterly VAT return.
The standard VAT rate in Poland is 23%. There are also reduced rates of 8%, 5% and 0%.
Polish VAT returns
Taxpayers file monthly VAT returns by the 25th of the month following the month in which the tax obligation arose, or quarterly, by the 25th of the month following the quarter in which the tax obligation arose. However, if that date is on Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the due date will be postponed to the next working day. VAT liabilities are calculated in PLN.
Taxpayers conducting intra-Community transactions (sales/purchase of goods) and/or providing services (for which the place of provision is determined in accordance with general principles) to EU taxpayers are required to file monthly or quarterly Recapitulative Statements (EC sales list). Furthermore, taxpayers are required to file statistical information (INTRASTAT) on Intra-Community commodity transactions.
Polish Intrastat and EC Sales Lists
A taxable person trading with other EU countries must complete statistical reports, known as Intrastat reports, if the value of sales or purchases of goods exceeds certain thresholds. Separate reports are required for Intra-Community acquisitions (Intrastat Arrivals) and for Intra-Community supplies (Intrastat Dispatches).
The thresholds for Intrastat Arrivals for the 2015 calendar year is 3 000 000 PLN.
The threshold for Intrastat Dispatches for 2015 calendar year is 1 500 000 PLN.
The Intrastat return in Poland has to be filled monthly. The submission deadline is the 10th day of the month following the period in which the movement of goods took place.
EC Sales Lists
If a company completes an Intra-Community supply – a sale to another EU VAT registered company of goods or services across the Polish border, then this has to be reported in the ESL.
The EC sales lists are filled monthly (in some cases can be quarterly). The submission deadline is the 15th or 25th day of the month following the period in which the tax obligation arose (25th in case of EC sales lists submitted electronically).
Polish VAT refunds
Foreign entrepreneurs, if they are not registered and not obliged to be registered for VAT in Poland may apply for a VAT refund through VAT-REF claim.
For businesses established in the EU, refund is made under the terms of the EU 8th Directive. For businesses established outside the EU, refund is made under the terms of the EU 13th Directive.
The submission deadline for VAT-REF application is the 30th of September of a year following the year in which purchases with PL VAT were made.
Sales of goods on “consignment stock”
In case of consignment stock procedure, the transfer of goods to the warehouse located in Poland and then the supply of those goods at a later date from that stock to a particular customer can be settled (under specific conditions), as a single operation, for the vendor as intra-Community supply of goods, and for the buyer as intra-Community acquisition goods. From a VAT perspective, no VAT is due at the time of the physical shipment of goods to the consignment stock.
The main conditions to use the consignment stock procedure :
-The consignment stock must be conducted by the customer,
– Supplier of the goods to consignment stock cannot be registered in Poland for VAT,
– The goods kept in the stock may be used only for production or services of the customer,
– The customer must notify the director of the regional tax office about the establishment of the call-off stock and he must keep records of incoming and outgoing goods.
Last updated: 2015