In Poland, the term invoice is understood as a document issued on the basis of the provisions of the Act of 11 March 2004 on the tax on goods and services, in contrast to an invoice issued on the basis of the provisions of the Tax Ordinance.
To issue invoices in Poland, in principle, VAT taxpayers are obliged to perform activities subject to taxation. Most often they will be simply taxpayers who run a business in Poland and sell goods and services. However, it should not be forgotten that VAT payers in Poland are recognized not only by persons conducting business activity, and the sale of goods and services are not the only activities subject to taxation. Among the activities subject to VAT taxation in Poland, one can also mention the export or import of goods, intra-community transactions or taxation of goods remaining after the liquidation of economic activity. Making such transactions is also burdened with specific documentary obligations, including invoicing.
As mentioned above, the obligation to invoice rests, as a rule, on taxpayers carrying out the operations of selling goods or services. However, the Act on the tax on goods and services provides for cases when the invoice will be obligatory for the purchaser to issue invoices. As an example, the obligation to issue invoices by purchasers of agricultural products from the so-called lump sum farmers or issuing invoices on behalf of and for the benefit of the taxpayer.
Issuance of invoices in Poland is defined in detail in the provisions of Section XI Documentation (Chapter 1 Invoices) of the above-mentioned Act on Value Added Tax.
These regulations specify who is required to issue invoices, by which date and what elements should be included in the invoice. These provisions also regulate such issues as issuing invoices in the event of prior registration of sales using cash registers, issuing invoices, correcting, corrective notes, duplicate invoices or issuing electronic invoices.
It should be noted that depending on the type of transaction, not only the invoicing dates but also the elements that the invoice must contain may differ.
It follows from the above that issuing invoices in connection with their activity as a VAT payer in Poland is not at all easy and obvious. A multitude of different types of elements, which must include an invoice depending on who and under what circumstances makes transactions, the variety of invoice dates, additional regulations on invoicing resulting from the ordinance of the minister responsible for public finances make issuing invoices in Poland a complex matter. At the same time, the more complex and complex the economic activity is, the greater the variety of invoicing rules.
It should also be noted that all taxpayers in Poland (not only VAT taxpayers) are under an obligation to keep documentation allowing to determine the amount of tax liability. This obligation therefore also applies to the storage of all invoices that affect the determination of the amount of tax. The documentation should be kept until the tax liability expires.