VAT compliance

1. Which transactions are subject to VAT in Poland?

  • supply of goods and services within the territory of Poland,
  • importation of goods from outside the EU into Poland,
  • export of goods from the territory of Poland outside the EU,
  • Intra-Community acquisition of goods from the territory of another EU Member State into the territory of Poland,
  • Intra-Community supply of goods from the territory of Poland into the territory of another EU Member State.

2. Who should register for VAT in Poland?

The general rule is that you have to register for VAT in Poland if the value of your sales exceeds the threshold for VAT exemption. This threshold is PLN 200 000 in a fiscal year (calendar year in case of VAT). If your sale is before this threshold you can register for VAT freely.

However, there are few exemption from the above rule (see fee example below).

You are required to register as a VAT taxpayer, regardless of the value of your sales, when:

  • you sell goods or services listed in the VAT Act (e.g. scrap of precious metals, some goods subject to excise duty, tobacco product, some passenger cars, supply of buildings or building lands),
  • your place of business is not located in Poland however you conduct the transaction subject to VAT in Poland for which you are obliged to settle VAT in Poland.

The obligation to register for VAT should always be analyzed in details.

3. What is the deadline to register for VAT in Poland?

You should generally submit an application for VAT registration before the date of the first transaction subject to VAT.

4. Where to apply for VAT registration?

The application for VAT registration (form VAT-R) should be submitted to the head of the tax office in charge according to:

  • the address of your registered office – in case of legal persons and organizational units without legal personality
  • the permanent place of business activity (fixed establishment) – in the case of entities not having their seat of business activity on the territory of Poland, but having a permanent place of business activity (fixed establishment) on that territory,
  • in case you do not possess the seat or fixed establishment in Poland in most cases the relevant tax authority is Naczelnik Drugiego Urzędu Skarbowego Warszawa-Śródmieście.

The relevant tax office should always be identified based on the detailed analysis of your transactions/place of the business.

5. How to submit the application for VAT registration?

The application for VAT registration may be:

  • submitted in person at the tax office,
  • sent by post,
  • sent electronically.

6. How much will you pay for the VAT registration?

Registration for VAT purposes is free of charge. If, however, you indicate in the application that you wish to receive confirmation of the registration, you will pay PLN 170.

7. What are the obligations of a VAT payer in Poland?

If you are registered as an active VAT taxpayer, you must keep VAT registers (presenting sale and purchase transactions):

  • the sales register allows you to calculate the amount of output VAT due in a given settlement period;
  • the purchase register enable you to determine the amount of input tax, which is deductible in a given settlement period.

Based on the VAT registers you have to submit electronically to the tax office (generally on the monthly basis):

  • SAF-T file which includes both the VAT return and the detailed list of your transactions in the particular month,
  • EC Sale List which presents your transactions with the entities from another UE countries (e.g. intra-Community supplies of goods, intra-Community supply of services, intra-Community acquisition of goods).

The above documents must generally be submitted not later than on the 25th day of the month following the settlement month in the case of monthly reporting or by the 25th day of the month following the end of a given settlement quarter for quarterly reports. Please however note that the quarterly settlement of VAT is not always allowed (e.g. new VAT taxpayers cannot choose such settlement period – they must be registered for VAT at least for 12 months).

8. What is the deadline to settle a given transaction for VAT purposes?

The particular sale transaction should be settled in this settlement period in which the tax obligation arose. According to the general rule, tax obligation arises at the moment of the supply of goods or a service. There are also special rules for certain activities (e.g. the provision of construction and erection services, the supply of printed books and book-printing activities).

The input VAT resulting from the purchase transactions may be deducted in this settlement period in which both (i) the tax obligation arises regarding the particular purchase transaction, and (ii) you received the invoice from the supplier. You can also choose to deduct the input VAT in the one of the next three months (assuming you settle VAT monthly) or in the one of two next settlement periods (next two quarters, if you settle VAT quarterly).

9. When should I pay the VAT or I receive the VAT refund?

As a result of the VAT compliance:

  • you could be obliged to pay the VAT to the tax office in case your output VAT exceeds the input VAT. The excess output VAT over the input VAT in a given settlement period is payable before the date of submitting the VAT return (basically before 25th day of the month following the settlement month in the case of monthly reporting or before 25th day of the month following the end of a given settlement quarter for quarterly reports).
  • you could be allowed to receive the VAT refund from the tax office in case your input VAT exceeds the output VAT. Depending on your VAT position or decision the VAT refund is conducted by the tax office within 25, 40, 60 or 180 days, after the date when you submitted the VAT return. The standard period for VAT refund is 60 days. In case you did not conduct any sale transactions in a given settlement period and you settled only purchase transactions, the deadline for the VAT refund is generally 180 days.

10. Which VAT rates are in Poland?

VAT rates applied in Poland are as follows:

  • standard VAT rate is 23%;
  • reduced VAT rate of 8% (e.g. for the supply of selected medical devices and foodstuffs, catering, hotel and social housing services);
  • reduced VAT rate of 5% (e.g. for the supply of certain foodstuffs and selected types of books and newspapers);
  • VAT rate of 0% for the intra-Community supply of goods and export of goods, provided that specified requirements are met.

11. How can we support you with the VAT settlements in Poland?

We provide to our clients the complex support regarding the VAT settlements in Poland. We can offer:

  • Analysis of the VAT registration obligation for you business;
  • Registration of your business for VAT purposes;
  • Preparation of your VAT registers including the analysis of your sale/purchase invoices;
  • VAT reporting on the monthly/quarterly basis;
  • Preparation and submission of:
    • VAT returns;
    • SAF-T files;
    • EC Sales Lists;
    • Intrastat declaration (if necessary);
  • Representation before the tax offices;
  • Support with the VAT de-registration.

Please note that above we present only general information regarding the VAT rules in Poland. In case you have any questions or doubts please feel free to contact us.