Under the new National System of e-Invoices, the direct exchange of invoices between contractors will no longer be legal and will be replaced by a national system, covering 100% of business-to-business transactions.
Thus, in 2024 Poland will become another European country with a nationwide e-invoice program implemented, following in the footsteps of France and Italy, among others.
The Government has not yet published explanatory notes explaining the intricacies of the new system and effective ways to comply with the new rules. For this reason, preparing guidelines on the full transfer to the new system seems extremely difficult for the time being.
It is also worth remembering that for small and medium-sized VAT-exempt businesses, the use of the National System of e-Invoices will be mandatory only as of January 1st, 2025.
The introduction of a communication system with a national scope is certainly a step in the right direction. The implementation of National System of e-Invoices will make it possible to optimize processes related to invoices, document circulation, and the use of invoice systems by businesses. Circulation of e-invoices will become faster and less costly, due to the reduction in printing effort.
Access to key information will become instant and centralized, making it easier for companies and taxpayers to report, analyze, and summarize their financials.
The process of cataloging and archiving invoices will also be automated. This will open up the market for outsourcing companies thanks to several facilitations related to the security of financial document storage. Also, duplicate invoices will no longer be needed.
Using e-invoices eliminates the need to manually transcribe data from paper documents into the system (or use OCR technology), which reduces the risk of human error.
Taxpayers using KSeF who request a refund of input VAT will receive a refund within 40 days instead of 60 days (as was the case before the introduction of the new system).
The new regulations will also allow, via the expansion of the KAS and PUESC systems, to automate the communication of binding information, such as:
Another advantage of National System of e-Invoices will be the reduction of certain obligations, e.g. the need to send the structure of the Unified Control File for JPK invoices at the request of tax authorities. This will be abolished, as the authorities will provide immediate insight for audit authorities.
The National System of e-Invoices offers various authentication methods, such as:
As it turns out, for entities that are not individuals (not natural persons), there is the option of authorization through a Qualified Eectronic Seal. In addition, it is possible to file a ZAW-FA notice with the relevant office, where a specific individual from the company must be designated as authorized.
The logical structure of FA(2) invoices is part of the KSeF regulation, which came into effect as early as September this year. The API, KSeF’s operating system, has already been prepared to support the new system and XML 2.5 file format as of September 2023 – as part of the voluntary phase of using the system. The FA(2) structure is available for download and review on government websites. A template of the updated structure is also available on the podatki.gov.pl website under KSeF XML document structures.
This may seem obvious, but it should be constantly reminded: The National e-Invoice System will become the exclusive legitimate invoice exchange system as of July 1st, 2024. The legislator has ensured that KSeF will manage communication completely in this aspect, providing financial penalties for entrepreneurs for non-compliance with the new regulations.
This is the most controversial issue, as the Ministry of Finance still has not published clear guidelines for distinguishing transaction types in terms of parties to the contract. KSeF, by definition, excludes invoices resulting from B2C transactions, although we are not aware of precise criteria that will clearly distinguish between B2B and B2C transactions.
The Ministry of Finance guarantees secure and long-term storage of e-invoices within the system. But, at the same time, recommends the use of archiving methods external to the system. This is a clear signal to entrepreneurs that it is nevertheless worth preparing alternative sources in case of unpredictable errors or financial audits. KSeF assigns each invoice a unique ID number for 10 years. After this period there will probably be a redesignation of the ID, this will be further explained in the guidelines to the KSeF, which the government side is still working on.
We need to keep in mind that not only the routines for sending invoices within the KSeF system should change, but also many additional factors, such as:
The new obligations will apply to about 2.8 million VAT-paying entities, including about 2 million entities active in the VAT domain.
As of the date of publication of this article, the Ministry had still not published detailed guidelines on contentious issues (such as determining an entity’s actual place of business) and had not made public the tax guidelines that will be relied upon for interpretation.
The clarifications will certainly allow to start the complete and most efficient process of adapting software and staff to the requirements of the National System of e-Invoices.