Polish VAT

Poland implemented its Value Added Tax system in 1993, partially in anticipation of its entry into the European Union.  VAT replaced the old Soviet-style Sales Tax.  Locally, it is known as Podatek od towarow i uslug.

Its VAT regime was updated in 2004 upon Poland’s full accession into the EU.  The included implementing all the EU VAT Directives’ rules on VAT registrations, returns, compliance, Intrastat and related requirements.  The Polish VAT Act of 2004 contains most of the rule on VAT.  This is backed-up by various instructions and the Tax Ordinance Act of 1997.  The Ministry of Finance is responsible for the administration of the VAT regime.

Foreign companies providing taxable supplies of goods and services in Poland may be required to VAT register as a non-resident trader, and comply with all the accounting and payments requirements.


Should you register for Polish VAT?

Poland sets a number of situations where foreign companies should register for VAT.   It follows many of the other EU member states

  • Importing goods into Poland from outside the EU – note there are a number of situations (e.g. onward supply) where the requirements are simplified
  • Buying and selling goods within Poland
  • Providing goods to individuals via the internet, subject to a VAT registration threshold
  • Storing goods in warehouses as consignment stock for clients
  • Operating live events and shows with paid-for admission on the door
  • If a company is otherwise a non-VAT trader, but is receiving services in the Poland under the reverse charge rule.
  • The self supply of goods.

Following the change in the place of supply VAT rules in Europe (2010 VAT Package), there are very few situations where a foreign company must register for VAT if it is providing only services.

Note that providers of electronic, broadcast or telecoms services to consumers in Poland only have to VAT register in one EU country under the MOSS scheme to file a single return covering all 28 member states.

You can read more about Polish VAT on our VAT compliance, VAT registration or other related briefings.

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