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SAF-T VAT changes coming in 2019

The Ministry of Finance has recently published the draft amending the VAT Act that implements, among others, the updated version of JPK_VAT (Polish Standard Audit File for VAT) structure (previously communicated as JPK_VDEK) that might replace VAT returns as of 1st July 2019.

The positive changes on VAT reporting obligations

The aim of proposed amendments is to limit the formalities and administrative burdens imposed on Polish taxpayers by adding in the updated JPK_VAT structure additional part which is equivalent of outstanding data from VAT-7/7K returns, i.e. amount of excess of input tax over output tax, the amount of VAT refund (in 25, 60 or 180 days). The details of reasons for the changes we have already described on KR Group blog.

The new SAF_VAT structure will eliminate the obligation to submit the following declarations:

  • monthly VAT-7 return,
  • quarterly VAT-7K return,
  • VAT-27 return (monthly statement of deduction of VAT at source).

Please note that despite the elimination of quarterly VAT returns, the right of taxpayer to choose such an option will remain based on current approach with the exception that the last JPK_VAT in the quarter will remain additional data.

Unfortunately, the Ministry of Finance decided that Polish taxpayers would continue to fill monthly EC Sales and Purchase Lists in recent form.

Taxpayers caught in a penalty trap

Detailed analysis of the draft law may lead, however, to less optimistic conclusions. The Ministry of Finance decided to implement into VAT Act the regulations that allow tax authorities to impose penalties for submitting JPK_VAT with “data containing mistakes or inconsistencies with the facts”.

The penalty is determined in the amount of 500 PLN on each inaccuracy made in new JPK_VAT. What is important, the term of “data containing mistakes or inconsistencies with the facts” is not specified in the draft law. The Ministry of Finance explains that the new restriction results, among others, from the introduction of Central Register of Invoices – the new electronic system created to gather the information from i.e. different JPK structures and help – based on algorithms – to identify all the entities involved in the transaction chain and performing by them tax reporting obligations. In consequence, the algorithm will require that the data reported by different entities match perfectly with each other, otherwise the analysis performed by the tax authorities will be worthless.

Therefore it might be expected that any mistake, including typos and other unintended mistakes, may result in imposing the penalties.

Moreover, additional penalties will also be implemented to the Polish Penal and Fiscal Code. According to new provisions, if the taxpayers do not meet the statutory deadlines when filling JPK_VAT or send the files containing mistakes or inconsistencies with the fact, they may get the fine amounted up to 240 daily rates (the value of one daily rate ranges between 70 PLN and 28 kPLN in 2018). The punishment can be very severe, depending on type of crime and amount of depletion.

There is, however, a glimmer of hope for the taxpayers. Before imposing the penalties resulting from VAT Act, the tax authorities will have to request from the taxpayers amendments of incorrectly reported data. The correction of JPK_VAT will have to be filled within 14 days at latest to release the taxpayer from paying at least the penalties resulting from VAT Act (which is 500 PLN for each mistake). Please note, however, that despite of the above, penalties resulting from Penal and Fiscal Code will remain valid.

Karolina Pisarek

VAT Consultant     

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