Information and services website for entrepreneurs

Refund of foreign VAT

Do you run a business and travel on business to other EU countries? Do you buy fuel, pay highway tolls and for entry to fairs. You have the right to apply for a refund of foreign VAT. You apply for a refund in Poland according to the special VAT-REFUND procedure by filling in a VAT-REF form. Below you will learn how to obtain a refund of foreign VAT.

How to proceed

This procedure can be completed:

  • electronically
Complete the procedure online

Pobierz i zainstaluj najnowszą wtyczkę (plug-in). Uwaga! Aby wysłać formularz VAT-REF elektronicznie musisz mieć podpis kwalifikowany.

What you should know and who can use this service

You can apply for a refund of foreign VAT if:

  • you do not have a registered office, permanent place of business, permanent residence or habitual residence in the EU country where you made the purchase.
  • you are an active VAT payer
  • you do not sell exclusively exempt from VAT, nor you take advantage of the exemption from subjective VAT

You will not receive a refund if you conduct exclusively VAT-exempt activities, either because of specific activities or because of the low value of turnover not exceeding PLN 200,000 per year.

You can apply for a VAT refund from another EU country in case of:

  • purchase of fuelthe hiring of means of transport
  • other expenditure relating to means of transport
  • road tolls and other charges related to the use of roads
  • travel costs (taxi fares, public transport)
  • accommodation costs
  • costs of food, beverages and restaurant services
  • entrance fees for fairs and exhibitions
  • expenditure on luxuries, amusements and entertainment
  • other (mainly tools, parts, repairs, office supplies)

Each purchase has a Community code and must be documented by an invoice or import document - sometimes such a document must be attached to the application.

Detailed information on VAT refund rules in other Member States, including goods and services subject to VAT refund, can be found on the European Commission's website and on the Ministry of Finance's website.

When you should complete this procedure

Until 30 September of the year following the tax year to which the application relates.

The deadline for filing the tax return is not later than 30 September of the year following the tax year to which the tax return applies.

Where you can complete this procedure

You can complete this procedure at:

  • Tax Offices
  • urzędy skarbowe dla największych podmiotów
Aby dowiedzieć się gdzie zrealizować usługę, podaj siedzibę lub miejsce zamieszkania.

What to do step by step

  1. Submit application for a refund of Value Added Tax (VAT) charged in another Member State on a VAT-REF form.

Submit your VAT-REF application only electronically via e-Deklaracje.

A VAT-REF application sent via the e-Deklaracje system obtains an Official Acknowledgement of Receipt (OPO) after shipment. The application is then transferred to the Polish VAT-REFUND system, where within 72 hours it receives its proper reference number in the VAT-REFUND system.

Participation of an attorney-in-fact

You can apply for a tax refund through an attorney-in-fact(representative). Submit the original special power of attorney to the same tax office where you apply for your tax refund. In the case of a foreign VAT refund, you cannot use the power of attorney to sign an electronic declaration (UPL-1).

The Member State of refund may require a power of attorney in accordance with the legal provisions in force in the Member State of refund. A special power of attorney in the form of an electronic document should be sent to the electronic mailbox of the tax office to which you have submitted VAT-REF.

Practical information on the power of attorney.

Rejection of an application by the e-Deklaracje system

If the e-Deklaracje system rejects the application, you will receive a message about the reason for rejection. The system will also automatically indicate positions that have been filled in incorrectly or have not been filled in. In this case, make corrections and resend the application.

You will only receive all messages regarding your refund application to the e-mail address provided in the application. Your application reference number will always be included in your messages.

Documents

Download:
You can submit a document as:
Dokument elektroniczny
Download:
You can submit a document as:
Oryginał, Dokument elektroniczny
You can submit a document as:
Przedstaw do wglądu, Dokument elektroniczny, Uwierzytelniona kopia

Time limit

Until 30 September of the year following the tax year to which the application relates.

The deadline for filing the tax return is not later than 30 September of the year following the tax year to which the tax return applies.

  1. Verification of VAT-REF application

You will be notified that the application has been transmitted to the Member State of refund by a separate message to the e-mail address indicated in the application.

If the verification of the entitlement to claim a refund is unsuccessful, the head of the tax office will issue an order not to forward the application to the Member State of refund.

You will receive a non-transmission order by post to the address indicated in the application and to the e-mail address given in the application.

Time limit

The Polish tax administration will check whether you were entitled to a refund of foreign VAT in the requested period.

If it confirms that you are entitled to a refund, it will forward the application to the Member State of refund within 15 calendar days of receipt of the application.

How much you will have to pay

PLN 17 - power of attorney fee (you do not pay for a power of attorney granted to a husband, wife, children, parents or siblings).

How long you will have to wait

You will be informed by the Member State of refund of the acceptance or rejection of the application within: 4 months after receipt by this Member State 2 months from the date of receipt of additional information requested, not less than 6 months from the date of receipt of the application by the State of refund. 8 months after receipt of the application by that Member State, where the Member State of refund requests further additional information The return shall be executed not later than within 10 working days from the expiry of the above mentioned deadlines. You shall be entitled to interest for late payment.

How can you appeal

If the Member State of refund rejects the refund application in whole or in part, you will receive a decision on the rejection of the application.

You can appeal against the decision to reject a refund application, in accordance with the rules of the Member State of refund.

Good to know

Correction of a VAT-REF application

You can correct your application. Not all EU Member States accept corrections to applications.

If the Member State does not accept the corrections, submit a new application with the correct data.

Why is it useful to include a telephone number in the application?

The telephone number is intended to facilitate contact between you and the official in order to clarify any inaccuracies in the application as soon as possible.

If you provide the wrong e-mail address in your VAT-REF application, make a correction to your application with the correct e-mail address. If the application is not corrected, the correspondence will be sent to the address given in the application, because the VAT-REFUND system does not allow the tax office to make changes to the application.

Correction of an application is the only effective way to change the e-mail address also in the Member State of refund. 

E-mail addresses should be filled in particularly carefully in applications, as not all Member States of refund accept corrections.

Was this page useful?