Poland Moves Towards Mandatory E-Invoicing with EU Derogation and E-Invoicing App Testing

Marta Sowińska
April 1, 2022

Transition from voluntary to mandatory e-invoicing expected from 1 April 2023

From 1 January 2022, taxpayers have been able to issue structured invoices (e-invoices) using Poland’s National e-Invoicing System (KSeF) on a voluntary basis, meaning electronic and paper forms are still acceptable in parallel. Introduction of the KSeF system is part of the digital transformation happening in Poland following the establishment of continuous transaction control (CTC) mandates all around Europe, supporting faster and more effective identification of tax fraud.

The KSeF system enables taxpayers to issue and receive invoices electronically. It is one of the most technologically advanced tools in Europe for exchanging information on economic events. Structured invoices issued via the system are prepared in accordance with the invoice template developed by the Ministry of Finance. After issuance, the invoices are sent from the financial and accounting system via an interface (API) to the central database (KSeF). Afterwards they are available in the system and can be downloaded by the recipient.

Poland’s derogation requests

On 5 August 2021, the Republic of Poland requested authorisation to derogate from Articles 218, 226 and 232 of the VAT Directive to be able to implement an obligation to issue electronic invoices, processed through the National e-Invoicing System (KSeF), for all transactions that require the issuance of an invoice according to Polish VAT legislation.

Subsequently, on 9 February 2022, Poland modified its request, asking for the authorisation to derogate only from Articles 218 and 232 of the VAT Directive and specified that mandatory electronic invoicing would only apply to taxable persons established in the territory of Poland.

Poland considers the introduction of a generalised obligation to issue electronic invoices would bring significant benefits in terms of combating VAT fraud and evasion while simplifying tax collection. Moreover, the implementation of the measure will accelerate the digitalization of the public sector.

 The European Commission derogatory decision

As derived from Article 218 of the VAT Directive, Member States are obliged to accept all documents or messages in paper or electronic form as invoices. Poland strived to obtain a derogation from the above-mentioned Article of the VAT Directive so that only documents in electronic form could be considered as invoices by the Polish tax administration.

Additionally, based on Article 232 of the VAT Directive the use of an electronic invoice is subject to acceptance by the recipient. Therefore, the introduction of an electronic invoicing obligation in Poland requires a derogation from this Article, so that the issuer no longer has to obtain the consent of the recipient to send an invoice in a paperless format. Currently, under Article 106n of the Polish VAT law, the use of electronic invoices requires the approval of the invoice recipient, which hinders the possibility to impose mandatory electronic invoicing.

As announced by the European Commission on 30 March 2022, Poland has been granted the derogatory decision both from the Article 218 and Article 232 of Directive 2006/112/EC. The decision will apply from 1 April 2023 until 31 March 2026, after receiving the last approval from the EU Council. The mandatory phase of the mandate is expected to begin on 1 April 2023.

The KSeF taxpayer application – on the horizon

To allow taxpayers to issue and make electronic invoices available using KSeF, the Polish Ministry of Finance will offer several tools free of charge:

  • e-Mikrofirma, an online app accessible via smartphone and a web form to any taxpayer logged on to e-Urząd (e-Office).
  • e-Urząd, will provide taxpayers with online tools that will make it easier to meet tax obligations, including paying taxes, through an online electronic payment service.

On 31 March 2022 the Ministry of Finance announced that the test version of the KSeF Taxpayer application will be made available on 7 April 2022. It will enable management of authorisations, issuing and receiving invoices from the KSeF.

Next steps

With the published decision of the European Commission Poland has entered into the next implementing stage of mandatory e-invoicing. The next steps will follow after receiving the approval from the EU Council (which is now a formality and should take place within a few weeks). Subsequently, the Ministry of Finance will implement universal electronic invoicing in Poland giving adequate time for the businesses to adapt to new solutions.

Need help with Poland’s evolving CTC requirements?

Development of Sovos’ CTC solution for Poland is already well-advanced and will shortly be ready for implementation. To get ahead of the inevitable rush to comply with Poland’s CTC mandate, contact us today.

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Author

Marta Sowińska

Marta Sowińska is a Junior Regulatory Counsel at Sovos. Based in Lisbon and originally from Poland, Marta earned a Bachelor’s degree in International and European Law from the Hague University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands and has studied at the Beijing Normal University in China.
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