Poland simplifies postponed accounting relating to import VAT
As from July 1, 2020, Poland has simplified the postponed accounting relating to import VAT. Until the end of June 2020, in order to settle import VAT via the Polish VAT return without physical payment of the output VAT to the customs authorities, it was necessary to hold an AEO Certificate or clear the goods based on the customs simplification procedures as foreseen in the Art. 166 or the Art. 182 of the European Union Customs Code (i.e. simplified declaration or entry into declarant’s record).
As of July 1st, also entities not in the possession of an AEO Certificate or not using the above-mentioned customs simplifications are able to benefit from the postponed accounting for import.
Customs clearance by indirect or direct representation
However, in this case the customs clearance has to be made by indirect or direct representation. Such representative acting on behalf of an entity not holding AEO Certificate or not using the above-mentioned customs simplifications is jointly and severally liable (with the taxpayer) for the Polish import VAT.
In order to use the postponed accounting scheme to settle of import VAT the taxpayer must provide the Head of the Customs Office:
- either with confirmations received from the tax authorities that the taxpayer is registered for VAT and that it has no outstanding taxes or social security contributions
- can submit his statements that he is registered for VAT and has no outstanding taxes or social security contributions. However, such statements are subject to criminal responsibility if they turn out to be incorrect. So, we always recommend to apply for confirmations from the tax authorities. Sometimes the taxpayer may not even be aware that he has some small outstanding taxes.
The above confirmations or statements cannot be older than 6 months, so they need to be submitted to the Customs Office every 6 months.
In case of Polish companies, the above mentioned confirmations or statements should be sent to the Customs Office according to the place where the taxpayer has its seat. In case of foreign companies the competent authority is the Head of Dolnośląski Urząd Celno-Skarbowy in Wrocław.
What you should also know
Furthermore, until the VAT settlement for September 2020 there is an obligation to provide the customs authorities with proof that the import VAT was settled via the Polish VAT return within 4 months after the importation. If it is established that for some reasons the taxpayer did not settle import VAT via VAT return in addition to reporting missing import VAT only as input VAT there is a need to pay to tax/customs authorities import VAT with interest for late payment. The VAT Act does not specify what is considered as a “proof that the import VAT was settled via VAT return". However, in practice it is sufficient to provide the customs authorities with a copy of the VAT return and VAT register where import transactions were reported.
As of VAT settlement for October 2020 (i.e. at the same time when the new Polish SAFT_VAT file will be implemented), the above obligation to provide the customs authorities with proof that import VAT was settled via VAT return will be abolished. The customs authorities will be able to check this on their own based on the information provided by the taxpayer in the new SAFT_VAT file. However, please keep in mind that the consequence of not making a settlement of import VAT via VAT return despite declaring this (i.e. an obligation to pay the import VAT with interest for late payment) will be still kept. So, the real difference is that since 1 October 2020 taxpayer is not required to provide additional documents to the customs authorities.
More information and/or VAT support?
Please contact Pincvision in case you need further information or assistance with this procedure for Poland. We will get you started or take care of the entire process for you. We have years of experience and employ the best specialists who can support your VAT compliance processes or take over your VAT compliance activities completely. You are 'in control' and do no longer run risks.