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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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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).
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.