The consultations of the Ministry of Finance on the draft amendment to the VAT Act to introduce e-invoicing have ended. Poland will join countries like Spain, Portugal or Italy that have already introduced this innovation. It means not only facilitation for entrepreneurs, but also greater control over their transactions.
New e-Invoice – assumptions
The Ministry of Finance is planning further changes in the framework of issuing invoices by VAT payers. Under the current regulations, it is possible to issue a paper invoice and an e-invoice, mostly in PDF format, which can be sent to the contractor by e-mail. The planned e-invoice is to be a special form of electronic invoice, a so-called structured invoice, i.e. it will be issued via the National e-Invoice System.
The National e-Invoice System
The National e-Invoice System is to be an IT platform that enables taxpayers to issue, send and receive invoices in a standardised form. This will not only benefit taxpayers, but also the Ministry of Finance, which will be able to control and analyse data from structured invoices. This streamlines the issuing of documents, but at the same time increases control over transactions conducted by traders.
Benefits for taxpayers through structured invoices
The Ministry of Finance has announced that the use of e-invoices will initially be voluntary. Taxpayers who choose to issue structured invoices can expect the following relief:
- Exemption from the obligation to store and archive invoices;
- Introduction of a uniform format for e-invoices;
- Certainty that the buyer will receive the invoice.
At the same time, one benefit that will encourage the use of the National System of Electronic Invoices will be the reduction of the waiting period for the refund of excess input tax from 60 to 40 days. This is undoubtedly a beneficial bonus for the taxpayer who, by choosing structured invoices, will be able to receive the refund due more quickly. However, it will not be easy.
Shorter VAT refund period
According to the draft amendment to the VAT Act, in order to obtain a refund within 40 days, it will be necessary to meet all of the following conditions:
- issuance of only structured invoices using the National System of Electronic Invoices in the accounting period in which the taxpayer wishes to receive a refund on preferential terms;
- registering as an active VAT payer and submitting VAT returns for each accounting period for 12 months prior to the accounting period in which the taxpayer wishes to receive a refund, within 40 days;
- having a clearing account or a registered account with a savings and credit union for the 12-month period preceding the period in which the excess VAT is reported;
- the amount of overpaid VAT indicated in the return to be sent does not exceed PLN 3000.
If any of the above conditions are not met, the VAT refund will be refused within 40 days. If the legality of the declaration on preferential terms requires additional verification, the Head of the Tax Office is entitled to extend the deadline for the declaration until the completion of the verification of the taxpayer’s statement.
Effective date of the e-invoice regulations
The Ministry of Finance anticipates that the structured invoices regulations will come into force on 1 October 2021. As mentioned above, the use of e-invoices will initially be voluntary but will eventually, after a transition period, likely become mandatory as early as 2023.
Who will benefit from structured invoices
Every taxpayer should already analyse whether it will be advantageous for them to use the new solution during the transition period. In order to maximise the profit from issuing new e-invoices, it is worthwhile to review the current internal processes and adapt them to the legal requirements. This will allow for an earlier VAT refund. Entrepreneurs who adjust their business to the upcoming changes can feel the positive effects of the planned amendment.
VAT-settlements specialist, LL.B.