VAT in Poland

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Poland VATPoland joined the EU VAT regime in 2004, and is part of the EU single market economy.  VAT was first introduced in Poland in July 1993.  VAT Directives, issued by the EU, lay out the principles of the VAT regime to be implemented by each member state.  These Directives take precedent over the Polish VAT legislation where there may be conflict.

Poland VAT law

Polish VAT is overseen by VAT acts and the Fiscal Penal Code, and is enforced by the Ministry of Finance (Ministerstwo Finansow).

Polish VAT registration

Foreign companies from inside or outside the EU may register for VAT in Poland without incorporating a Polish company or forming a permanent establishment; this is known as non-resident VAT trading.  Apart from distance sales to Poland, there is no VAT threshold in Poland for non-resident traders and a VAT number must be in place before the commencement of taxable supplies. There is some limited flexibility for reclaiming Polish VAT incurred prior to the registration. In Poland, a fiscal representative is required for the VAT registration of a non-EU trader.

There are strict rules on the situations where a registration is necessary. Common scenarios which require a Poland VAT registration include:

  • importing goods into Poland and exporting goods out of Poland
  • selling goods within Poland
  • selling goods from Poland to other EU countries
  • distance selling to private individuals living within Poland, e.g. internet sales.

Registering for VAT in Poland generally takes three weeks, although this can vary from one day to even over a month; it depends on the quality and completeness of documents provided.

Polish VAT compliance

There are detailed rules controlling the recording and processing of Polish transactions. These include guidelines on:

  • moment of recognising tax obligation
  • invoice requirements, including electronic invoices
  • foreign currency reporting, rates and translation
  • documents required in performing EU sales and exportation out of the EU
  • correcting errors from previous returns
  • credit notes and corrections
  • what accounting records must be maintained.

Poland has strict rules on the layout and format of VAT records to be kept by companies or their tax agents.

Poland VAT rates

The standard VAT rate in Poland is 23%.  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 many variations to the rates above, including exempt taxable supplies. Contact us if you have any questions.

Poland VAT returns

Businesses with a Polish VAT number must submit periodic returns. VAT filings and payments are submitted either monthly or quarterly.  If quarterly, then pre-payments are required during the period.  Any Polish tax credits should be paid within 60 days (or 180 days if no taxable supplies), but the deadline may be extended if a tax audit is performed.

European sales listing

Where intra-community transactions (IC acquisition and sales of goods, exportation of services) are performed, IC transactions listings need to be filed. Filings are made on monthly basis except when statutory thresholds have not been exceeded.

Polish Intrastat

In addition to VAT returns in Poland, companies may be required to submit additional statistical information to the Polish customs office. Polish Intrastat- which lists sales (dispatches) and purchases (arrivals) within the EU region - must be filed monthly once the annual thresholds are exceeded. The threshold is PLN 1,100,000.00 for arrivals and dispatches.

Poland VAT refunds

If a foreign business is providing taxable goods or services in Poland but cannot to obtain a VAT number, or is incurring Polish VAT on local goods or services, then VAT may be recovered through a VAT reclaim.

For EU entities, VAT refund applications are made through the tax authorities of the applicant’s home country.

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