The fundamental document is the VAT-R application form (available in both Polish and English). This form is also used to register for intra-Community transactions.
Apart from the registration application, the registration process also includes an identification application on the NIP-2 form.
The VAT-R registration application and the NIP-2 update application may both be submitted in electronic form (a qualified signature is required) and paper form.
- Current extract from the commercial register of the country of residence.
- A copy of the partnership agreement.
* The aforementioned documents must clearly portray the entity’s form of representation. Any doubts as to representation may prolong the registration process.
- Confirmation of taxpayer status in the country of residence.
- Document certifying the legal title to the property / premises (lease agreement) - if the taxpayer has a permanent place of business (FE).
- Agreement concluded with a tax representative - if the entity does not have a registered office or permanent place of business in EU territory, nor in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
- Statement on bank accounts or lack thereof.
- Statement on planned activity - an optional document enabling the verification of the scope of activity and the necessity to register for VAT purposes in Poland by the Tax Office. This statement often helps in avoiding additional questions from the public office which has a direct impact on the registration process.
Power of attorney
If the taxpayer intends to commission another entity to perform activities related to the handling of their VAT settlements, in addition to the aforementioned documents, it is also worth submitting appropriate powers of attorney which enable acting on a taxpayer’s behalf in front of tax offices in Poland, e.g.:
- UPL-1 – power of attorney to sign tax returns.
- PPO - general power of attorney, which authorizes to act in all tax matters and in other matters falling within the jurisdiction of tax authorities.
Appointment of a general attorney may be important in a situation where the taxpayer wants the Tax Office to direct all correspondences to the entity servicing it in the scope of VAT.
Currently, in Poland, there is no other possibility to indicate the correspondence address than to specify the address of the general attorney in the PPO-1 form. Indicating such an address is important and facilitates VAT settlement, because the office sends correspondence in Polish to this address. In a situation where this correspondence is sent to the taxpayer's foreign address, it may interfere with the flow of information and compliance with the deadlines set by the tax authorities for performing indicated activities. Unfortunately, the submission of a power of attorney does not take place, as in other cases, by submitting it directly to authorities. This procedure requires setting up a taxpayer's account on a special portal run by the National Revenue Administration - the so-called Taxpayer Portal (pl. Portal Podatnika). The taxpayer can appoint a general representative only via this portal.
All documents submitted to the Tax Office which were drawn up in Polish must be submitted in their original copy or must be notarized. Our experience shows that offices accept situations in which they receive copies of documents during a visit to the office, and the originals are presented for inspection.
Documents in a foreign language must be submitted along with a certified translation from a certified document.
For foreign entities, the head of the Tax Office will most often be the Head of the 2nd Tax Office in Warsaw, Śródmieście.
What is the cost of VAT registration in Poland?
Registration for VAT, including VAT-EU, is free of charge.
If the entity acts through a proxy - submitting a document confirming the granting of the power of attorney, or an officially certified copy of the power of attorney, is subject to a fee of PLN 17.
The fee should be paid at the cash desk of the Municipal / City Office relevant to the seat of the tax authority to which the VAT-R registration application is submitted, or by bank transfer to the account of this Office, with the title "stamp duty for power of attorney". Stamp duty may also be paid by your representative.
Can the authorities refuse registration?
The mere submission of a VAT-R registration application does not mean that the entity will automatically become registered for VAT.
Before registering an active or exempt VAT payer, the head of the Tax Office verifies the data provided in the application. In this regard, the address of the entity may undergo verification of whether it exists, or whether it corresponds to the type and scale of the business. The tax office may also check whether a given entity has the appropriate conditions to carry out the indicated type of activity, e.g., vehicles for transporting goods or warehouse space.
The head of the Tax Office does not conclude registration without notifying the interested party if one of the following instances occur:
- the data provided in the registration application is inaccurate.
- the entity applying for registration does not exist.
- despite documented attempts, it is not possible to contact this entity or its representative.
- the entity or its representative fail to appear when summoned by the head of the Tax Office.
- the available information shows that the taxpayer may conduct activities with the intention of tax fraud.
- the court ruled that this entity is prohibited from conducting business.
How long does it take for a taxpayer to register for VAT in Poland?
If the taxpayer submits all documents and they are properly signed by authorized persons, registration by the tax office is usually carried out within 5-7 working days.
However, it must be considered that the entire process - collecting all documents, making translations, submitting them by the taxpayer, and then the registration with the Tax Office - all take about 30 days on average.
When is a tax representative necessary?
According to Polish regulations, foreign taxpayers without a registered office or permanent place of business in the EU (excluding entities based in Great Britain and Norway) are required to appoint a tax representative in Poland.
A tax representative is appointed by concluding an agreement with an entity authorized to provide such services. The agreement is also submitted to the Tax Office.
The tax representative is responsible for settling VAT in Poland on behalf of and for the benefit of the taxpayer. In the scope of these settlements, the tax representative is jointly and severally liable for the taxpayer's tax liabilities. This risk means that entities providing representation services most often require additional collateral, e.g., in the form of bank guarantees.