18 May 2022

National System of e-Invoices (KSeF) – explanations and useful files

The nationwide invoice revolution is looming. The National System of e-Invoices (in Poland abbreviated as KSeF) is a new system that enables issuing and sending invoices in a “structured” format. The use of the system will indeed be obligatory for entrepreneurs only from the second quarter of 2023, nonetheless, its possibilities can be voluntarily tested from January 1st, 2022.

Similar solutions to KSeF have already been introduced by other European countries, incl. Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

We present the most important assumptions of the KSeF and practical tips on how to engage with the system.

Basic information

KSeF is a system that enables the issuing of electronic structured invoices in XML format compliant with the logical structure of e-Invoices FA(1). The process will take place with the use of tools provided by the Ministry of Finance or with the use of commercial tools – by integrating external accounting systems with the system’s API.

It should be remembered that the National System of e-Invoices can be used freely as part of the production environment from January 1st, 2022 – however, this does not mean that the system has become applicable. However, it is worth pointing out an important aspect: invoices issued in the production environment and sent to the KSeF are documents entered into the legal circulation.

The effectiveness of the new system is expected to reach – according to the assumptions – over 2 billion invoices managed per month, which translates into approximately 100 million invoices daily throughout the country.

Structured invoice

The invoice issued under the KSeF should not be confused with the electronic invoice that has been used in business transactions for years. A structured invoice is a third, separate form of transaction settlement, in addition to paper and electronic invoices. Under Directive 2014/55 / ​​EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 16th, 2014, a structured invoice contains a form (logical structure) defined by regulations and is held in an appropriate electronic format, e.g. XML, enabling automatic reading and processing of the data contained therein.

Therefore, the invoice in a structured form is prepared so that it can be read and analyzed by accounting programs and universal file formats, such as JPK_VAT.

The National System of e-Invoices will only work with structured invoices. In the long run, such invoices will completely replace electronic and paper invoices, so it is worth planning the transfer of accounting solutions now, to prepare as well as possible for the second quarter of 2023.

The practical aspect of the new system

As a rule, the National System of e-Invoices is designed to cooperate with external accounting tools. The system can be used by:

  • entrepreneurs registered as active VAT payers,
  • entrepreneurs exempt from VAT,
  • taxpayers identified in Poland for the special EU OSS procedure, having a Polish tax identification number (NIP).

According to the Ministry of Finance, invoices issued under the KSeF will be stored for up to 10 years from the end of the year in which they were issued. It ensures their protection and, if necessary, convenient access to the archives. The system will also analyze data consistency based on a structured invoice scheme, which will reduce the number of errors while generating JPK files.

Authentication of the KSeF Taxpayer Application – tutorial

When we start using a completely new IT system, we have to come across problems and ambiguities due to inexperience. Indeed, the National System of e-Invoices is already (from January 1st) in the production phase. However, it does not mean that it is free from minor errors subject to regular updates.

The connection of the locally used accounting systems with the KSeF must take place after performing the authentication in the KSeF Taxpayer Application. The process consists in downloading and signing an authorization request with the help of a Trusted Profile or a Qualified Certificate. The signed authorization request should then be uploaded to the Application and connected to the account created based on the NIP number. The Ministry of Finance has prepared a tutorial that shows how to obtain authentication.

Useful files and links

Documentation of the logical structure

Accounting offices using the KSeF may use materials and examples prepared by the Ministry of Finance. Downloadables includes complete documentation of the logical structure of e-Invoices FA(1) and sample files showing the format in practice. The Ministry’s list of XML document structures includes a new column presenting structures specific to the KSEF – available here.

The public key of the production environment

Tool for checking the e-invoice status

As part of the version production, the system provides the ability to view the status of shipment processing and preview and download the Official Receipt Certificate (UPO) without logging in – in an anonymous manner. Just enter the session reference number in the KSeF search engine.

Invoice preview

The system also allows viewing e-invoices anonymously without logging in. For this purpose, however, several data related to the document sought must be completed, such as the buyer’s tax ID, type of entity, KSeF numbers and invoices, and the sum of the amount due. An overview is available here.

In case of other doubts or questions about the system, it is worth contacting the KSeF helpdesk at info.ksef@mf.gov.pl.

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