STANDARD AUDIT FILE FOR TAX

Entrepreneurs who use computer software for financial and accounting records will be required to provide to the tax authorities data from the accounting books and accounting evidence (see the article What is accounting evidence) in the form of the so-called Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T ). The data shall be provided at the request of the tax authorities.

Who is required to draw up SAF-T

This obligation applies to big companies (over 250 employees).  By the end of June 2018, smaller firms will be able to provide the data in the form of a standard audit file voluntarily.

Since July 2018 both small and medium-sized enterprises and micro enterprises will also have to provide at the request in the form of SAF-T all data, inter alia, of:  accounting books, bank statements, warehouse records, VAT invoices and simplified records.  

Check the information of the Ministry of Finance regarding the establishment of company's status.

Monthly, mandatory reporting of VAT records

The introduction of standard audit file resulted in a new obligation.  Entrepreneurs who keep their tax books in electronic form, are required to send on a monthly basis to the tax authorities the reports on the VAT records according to a given format (such as for SAF-T, more information below).  These records shall contain, inter alia: the data necessary to identify the subject and tax basis, the amount of the tax due, the amount of input tax reducing the amount of tax due and the amount payable to the tax office or reimbursement from the office and other data required for the proper drawing up of the tax return.

Importantly, these reports (for monthly periods)are to be submitted by the 25th of each month without (as opposed to sending SAF-T, which will be held at the request of the tax authorities). This requirement entered into force on 1 January 2017 for small and medium-sized enterprises and for micro enterprises a year later (01.01.2018).  Reporting of VAT records will be a separate activity independent of providing  SAF-T at the request of the tax authorities.

Important! From 1 January 2018, the obligation to provide JPK_VAT without a call from the tax authorities will apply to all VAT payers! See more information on JPK_VAT.

What is the Standard Audit File?

The Standard Audit File for Tax is a collection of data (database), consisting of the information systems of entrepreneur, including information on business operations for the period in question, with layout and format allowing easy processing.  In other words, it is the standard by which the data is submitted to the tax authorities.  This data will need to be submitted to the Ministry of Finance in accordance with the template (in accordance with electronic format XML).  

What data does the Standard Audit contain?

Data to be submitted to the tax authorities in a standard file concern certain types of tax books and accounting evidence. The Ministry of Finance has prepared a set of reporting formats and data required (the so-called structures) in areas such as:

  • accounting books JPK_KR
  • bank statement JPK_WB
  • warehouse (adoption from the outside, exit, internal expenditure, movements in the stock) JPK_MAG
  • records of the purchase and sale of VAT JPK_VAT
  • invoices (the invoices) JPK_FA
  • tax revenue and expense ledger JPK_PKPIR
  • records of revenue JPK_EWP

Data standards and formats of SAF-T also include details of receipts and reports from cash registers and records for the excise duty and currency exchange offices.  

For example, in the case of stock turnover, standard audit file should include data such as:  the price of the goods, the unit of measurement, the value of the goods, the consignees of the goods, or invoice numbers.  The accounting and financial program should ensure coverage of precisely the information that will require the tax authorities in SAF-T.

Time limits

First, you need to establish when you will be required to send data (on request or automatically in case of VAT records).  The calendar is as follows:

Large companies (with more than 250 workers and 50 million euro of turnover).

  • they transmit obligatorily at the request of the authorities data in the form of a single audit file.
  • obligatorily and without being requested, send reports from the VAT records and in accordance with the structure of standard audit file.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (with fewer than 250 employees, including foreign companies)

  • obligatorily and without being requested, they send monthly reports on VAT records (according to the established structure).
  • By 30 June 2018, send, on a voluntary basis, at the request of the tax authorities, data in the form of single audit file.
  • From 1 July 2018, obligatorily at the request of the tax authorities send data in the form of standard audit file.

Micro enterprise (less than 10 employees and 2 million euro turnover)

  • From 1 January 2018 obligatorily and without being so requested, send monthly reports on VAT records (according to the established structure).
  • By 30 June 2018, send on a voluntary basis, at the request of the tax authorities, data in the form of standard audit file .
  • From 1 July 2018, obligatorily send on request of the tax authorities data in the form of standard audit file

Note!  If you want to determine precisely to which group of enterprises your business belongs to (large, small and medium, micro-enterprises), the exact definitions can be found in the Act on freedom of economic activity.

How to prepare

The introduction of a Standard Audit fFle requires changes in the financial and accounting software of your business.  No matter whether this is accounting system or e.g. storage -  it must be able to ‘produce' Standard audit file for tax authorities.  The file must be consistent with that of the Ministry of Finance.  Can I introduce changes on my own?  In theory, this is possible but it requires the IT technician who is thoroughly familiar with your financial and accounting systems and the one who can ‘search' in your systems (invoice, warehouse) the data expected before the tax authorities concerned.  This data should be coherent with each other, even if they come from different systems.

In practice, adaptations to the software are made by software suppliers (keep in mind, however, that the obligation to adapt the system falls on you, therefore check whether the company which supplied you the software had made a relevant update).

 

Preparation for standard audit file

  • Determine which programmes are applied in your business to accounting, record keeping, stock turnover.  Check with your IT technician whether they contain data which standard audit file should include (you will find the data in the files on the website of the Ministry of Finance). Contact the manufacturer of the programmes and check whether the support of standard audit file is provided for.  If not, you may have to use the new software, operating standard audit file.

Sending standard audit file to the tax authority

Standard audit file (JPK_VAT) may only be transmitted in electronic form. Other structures may be made available on electronic data storage in agreement with the authority. When sending JPK you can also use a free Trusted Profile.

Tax books sent electronically should bear a secure electronic signature verified with a valid qualified certificate. Remember that the authority will be able to request the reporting of data in the Standard Audit File at any time during verification, tax audit, tax investigation or inspection.

Note! Issues concerning the method of electronic transmission of data and technical specifications for data carriers, on which books may be recorded and transferred, are defined in the Regulation of the Minister of Finance.

Important! If you want to send standard audit file by yourself, you can use the program provided by the Ministry of Finance. More information and a detailed description of the programme can be found on the website of the Ministry of Finance.

On the Ministry of Finance website you will also find detailed tips for sending Standard Audit files:

If you have any problems or questions in connection with the standard audit file you can send them to an e-mail to info.e-deklaracje@mf.gov.pl.

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