If you keep a revenue and expense ledger (KPIR),  you can choose how you want to record expenses (tax costs).  You have the choice of two methods — accrual and cash accouting.

Keeping KPIR you recognize a day of bearing  the tax costs as the day on which the counterparty  issued the invoice or other accounting evidence.  Depending on the choice of the method of taxation, you will keep records of these costs differently.

The choice of the method of KPIR  you will not have to report to the head of tax office and to show in the entry in the CEIDG.  It is an internal, adopted by you method of cost recording.  You need to be aware, however, that the method chosen must be used for the entire tax year.

Accrual method

In case of accrual method you need to divide costs into directly and indirectly related to your economic activity.

Indirect costs are those that cannot be clearly attributed to a particular revenue.  For example, advertising expenses, telephone subscription, rent.

Direct costs are those that are directly attributable to invoices you issue to your customers.  This is the purchase of certain goods which then you sell, purchase of services necessary to fulfil a contract (e.g. an insurance of particular transaction, legal assistance in drawing up a specific contract).

In the case of direct costs, they are included in the year to which they relate, even if incurred in the following year (but only to the moment of the submission of tax return).

For example, if you buy a machine in November 2014 with deferred payment (payment in January 2015) and you will sell the machine to a customer in December 2014, then the purchase cost, although incurred in January 2015, must be recorded  in revenue and expense ledger for the year 2014 (dated 31 December).

If, however, you submit a tax return ( the time limit for lodging a tax return expired) prior to the date of issuance of invoice related to the income achieved in the previous year, you register the cost in the year of purchase.

In the case of indirect costs - you register them on the date of issuance of the invoice by your supplier.  There is only one exception to the recognition of indirect costs in this way.  If the cost relates to the turn of the year  - it is divided proportionally to the tax year to which it relates.

For example, if you pay for a permanent service (e.g. rent, leasing, phone bill), but for periods other than monthly (from the 1st to the last day of the month), at the turn of December and January proportionately divide the cost resulting from the invoice, despite the fact that it was issued in January.  Another example is the phone bill, which consists of the settlement  of talks for the previous month and subscription fee for the current month.

This can be done more simply - cash accounting method

The cash accounting method (also referred to as simplified) is that expenditure is included in the KPIR on day they were incurred.  There is therefore no need to follow on which date the counterparty  issued the invoice or divide the costs into direct and indirect.  It is sufficient to trace the history of transfers from the bank account and on this basis record all expenditure.


There are economic events which specific provisions would  treat differently. The exceptions are the payment of remuneration for work and for the payment of social and health contributions.  Irrespective of the cost accounting method, this expenditure shall be recorded for the month for which remuneration is due.

Remember that ZUS contributions paid for your own social security insurance will be expense only at the time of actual payment. 

For example, if the remuneration for employees is paid for March until 10 April, such expenditure is always for you  the expense of March.

There is an exception to this rule.  If you are late with the payment of remuneration - you record expenditure during the month of actual payment.

For example, if remuneration had to be paid for March to 10 April, but the employee received it on 12 April, such cost is recognized in April.  If the date of payment for March is the last day of the given month in respect of which remuneration is due (the last day of March) and that remuneration is paid on 1 April, then such expenditure is recognised as an expense in April.

Share Print