Polish VAT returns

Any company registered with the Polish tax authorities (see our Polish VAT registration briefing) as a non-resident VAT trader must report taxable transactions through periodic filings, known as returns.

How often are Polish VAT returns required?

In Poland returns may be filed electronically or manually.

The default tax period for VAT in Poland is one calendar month. However, the VAT reporting period, quarterly or monthly, can be selected by a business when registering using the VAT-R form. If a business chooses to file quarterly returns it may still be required to make monthly VAT pre-payments depending on turnover. Only businesses with a turnover of less than PLN5,068,000 may make quarterly payments. Businesses supplying “sensitive” goods such as steel, fuel and rough gold must make monthly returns and payments.

What Polish VAT can be deducted?

In addition to declaring sales or output VAT in the Polish return, companies can offset this by the corresponding input or purchase VAT. There are some exceptions, including:

  • Accommodation and restaurant services
  • Cars where the vehicle is not used exclusively for business purposes (under certain circumstances 50% of the input VAT may be deducted)

What are the deadlines for filing Polish VAT returns?

Polish monthly or quarterly VAT returns are due on the 25th of the month following the period end. Any Polish VAT due must be paid at the same time. In the case where a business has opted to file quarterly returns but is required to make monthly prepayments, VAT due for the quarter should be paid as below:

  • Obligatory prepayment in first two months of the quarter of an amount equivalent to one third of the total VAT paid in the previous quarter
  • VAT due in the third month is calculated using the VAT return for that quarter

Polish VAT penalties

If there are misdeclarations or late fillings of Poland VAT returns, foreign companies may be subject to penalties. Penalties generally take the form of interest charged on the amounts of unpaid VAT. The interest rates are currently set at twice the Polish National Bank rate plus 2%. The rate charged must be a minimum of 8%.
The tax assessment period is five years from the end of the year in which a business was liable for VAT.

How are Polish VAT credits recovered?

If there is a surplus of VAT inputs over outputs (more VAT incurred than charged), then a Polish VAT credit arises.  In theory, this is due back to the VAT registered business from the tax authorities. This credit can be refunded or carried forward to offset any tax due in the next period. A business applying for a VAT refund in Poland will be subject to time limits depending on the nature of the transactions involved.

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