Rules on issuing invoices
The invoice is a basic document confirming a transaction subject to value added tax on the supply of goods and services. Your obligations as a taxable person for VAT purposes is the issuance of invoice to purchasers of your goods or services - remember, however, that such a document must be issued correctly and on time. Wrongly issued invoice may be a reason for contesting your right of deduction of VAT by the tax administration.
Invoicing rules result from the Act of 11 March 2004 on tax on goods and services and the implementing acts.
Correctly issued invoice should contain the necessary elements, you will find a list in the publication relating to issuance of invoices.
When issuing invoices you should pay special attention to the time-limits. An invoice shall be issued no later than the 15th day of the month following the supply of goods or services. Please note, however, that this time limit may change in the case of specific transactions such as: construction services, the supply and printing of books, supply of electricity, heat or cooling services: telecommunications and radio services, hire, leasing or services of a similar nature, the security service, protection of persons and property guard and storage, fixed legal and office services . More on the issuing of invoices can be found in the guide Issuance of invoices with regard to specific situations.
In addition, if prior to delivery of goods or services the whole or part of payment was received, the invoice documenting the receipt of such payment shall be issued no later than on the 15th day of the month following the receipt of the whole or part of the purchase price from the purchaser.
From 2014, it is possible to issue a VAT invoice, within a period of 3 months counted from the end of the month in which the goods or services were supplied. Invoices must be drawn up in at least two copies.
Also pay attention to the correct VAT rate, if on the invoice by mistake you provided the amount of tax which is higher than the amount of tax due, you will be obliged to pay it. In the case of too low value an invoice and VAT return must be corrected.
Please note that the invoices may not be issued earlier than 30 days prior to the delivery of goods or the provision of services. This deadline may be extended in relation to the services provided or settled on a continuous basis including a duration exceeding one year and rental services, fixed legal and office services, if the period to which the invoice relates to had been indicated.
Basic time limit referred to above also applies in relation to advance invoices. However, not in all cases there is an obligation to draw them up. More about this in publication Issuance of advance invoices.
When the invoice contains errors they should be corrected. You can find information in the publication The rules on issuance of corrective invoices.
In the event of loss or destruction of invoice a duplicate should be issued. Here you will learn the rules on issuing duplicate.
If you cooperate with a foreign partner, read the publication Invoices issued in a foreign language.
If you cooperate with a lump sum farmer, check the invoicing rules in this case.
You can also find out when you can issue simplified invoices.
You can issue a VAT margin invoice when buying used cars from natural persons and selling them in a used car dealer's. Here you will find more information on this subject.
Read also the publication of the Ministry of Finance on the issuance of invoices.
You can also issue invoices in electronic form (they can be issued in any electronic format e.g. PDF, XML). They are equivalent to paper invoices and the same rules on invoicing aremapplicable here. The obligation of the seller (the issuer of electronic invoices) is either the transmission of such invoice (sending it in electronic format to the buyer), or making it available (which should be understood as the inclusion of such invoice on the seller's server and allowing buyer remote "downloading" of such invoice).
Please note, however, that the use of electronic invoices requires acceptance by the recipient of the invoice. This does not necessarily have to be a written consent, for example as acceptance can be regarded a consent of future invoice recipient expressed orally, the outcome of which will be adoption by the taxable person of the electronic invoice to implementation, including the resulting payment.
Other requirements involved in electronic invoicing relate to maintaining the authenticity of the origin, the integrity of the content and its legibility. Authenticity means the assurance as to the identity of the issuer of the invoice. It is confirmed inter alia, by a secure electronic signature, verified by means of a valid qualified certificate or EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) system for data exchange between the computer systems of the trading partners in the formats described by international standards, with a minimum of human intervention. There are also other methods. In accordance with the provisions, the authenticity of the origin, the integrity of the content and the legibility of an invoice may be achieved by any business controls', ‘which create a reliable audit trail between an invoice and a supply of goods or services. The example of "business control", in this sense, is "matching" to the invoice supporting documents such as orders, contract, transport document or a request for payment. The audit trail for VAT purposes means an auditable link between an invoice and a supply of goods or services to enable checking whether an invoice reflects the fact that supply of goods or services actually occurred. The means by which a taxable person can demonstrate the link is left to the discretion of the taxable person.
The control bodies must, at any time, be given immediate access to invoices stored in electronic form and download them from the network.
See the explanation of the Ministry of Finance on selected issues relating to issuance of invoices:
- On 10 September 2016, the taxpayer provided a construction serice: a) for a person liable for VAT who is the investor, b) for a natural person not engaged in economic activity. When should he issue invoices documenting this action?
- The taxable person has supplied the service of transport of goods to another counterparty on 10 November 2016. What is the time limit for issuing an invoice, which will document this activity?
- Does a taxable person exempt from VAT issue invoices or receipts?