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Poland: Proposed VAT relief for payments using split-payment mechanism

Poland: VAT relief for payments using split-payment

The Ministry of Finance on 27 January 2020 published a draft amendment that proposes that taxpayers that use the split-payment mechanism would not be required to verify the account number of the other party to a transaction against the numbers listed in the value added tax (VAT) register—the so-called “white list”—and also would not need to inform the tax office that the payment was made to an account not included on the white list.

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The draft amendment has been submitted for legal assessment, and if finalized, the measures generally would be effective 1 April 2020 (certain measures would be effective retroactively from 1 January 2020).


Background

Under regulations effective 1 January 2020, if a payment exceeding PLN 15,000 is not made to an entity’s bank account (that is an entity on the “white list”) and if certain other requirements are met, the purchaser:

  • Cannot deduct the expense for corporate or individual income tax purposes, and
  • Will be jointly and severally liable with the seller for the amount of unsettled VAT on the transaction

Taxpayers can avoid this unfavorable treatment if they inform the tax office (competent for the seller) of the payment. This disclosure is made on a “ZAW-NR” form). The information must be provided within three days.

Currently, using the split-payment mechanism makes it possible to avoid only the joint and several liability sanction.


Split-payment mechanism to address unfavorable treatment of tax-deductible costs

Under the proposal, making a payment using the split-payment mechanism would protect the taxpayer from this unfavorable treatment if the payment is made to an account other than one included on the white list. A taxpayer making such a payment, if using the split-payment mechanism, would not need to verify the supplier's bank account against the information included on the white list. In situations when there is a split-payment transfer to bank account not actually “white listed,” there would be no need to inform the relevant tax office.

Under the proposal, making a payment using the split-payment mechanism would address both possible negative implications (that is, non-deductibility and joint and several liability). In other words, a taxpayer would be allowed to include the expense in its tax-deductible costs and would not be subject to joint and several liability for amounts of VAT not settled by the seller.

Moreover, the proposal in the draft amendment would revise the time for disclosure by means of filing a “ZAW-NR” form. The timing would be expanded from three days to seven days.


Other VAT relief

If the proposed amendments are finalized, payments made to assignment accounts and to accounts maintained by entities as part of their own general administration costs would not be subject to the unfavorable tax sanctions. In general, these types of accounts are used by banks and credit unions for settlements related to the purchase of goods and/or services, assignment of claims, and financial and factoring services.

Taxpayers could avoid the unfavorable treatment in making a payment to one of these types of accounts only when the bank or credit union informs the taxpayers that they are making a payment to an assignment or general administration account. Moreover, the unfavorable tax treatment would be explicitly excluded in payments made per invoices documenting intra-Community acquisitions, imports of goods, imports of services, and settlements of supplies by the purchaser.


Additional relief

The draft amendment would allow for the ZAW-NR form to be submitted the taxpayer's tax office, instead of the tax office that is competent for the invoice issuer, as currently required.

The proposed provisions also provide that if the taxpayer makes more than one payment to a bank account not included in the white list, the taxpayer would be required to submit only one ZAW-NR form notification upon making the first payment to that account.


Read a January 2020 report [PDF 232 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Poland

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