Who is obliged to register VAT in Poland?

/ VAT in Poland and Europe

Polish Entities

The VAT Act (The Goods and Services Tax Act) states several situation when a company or an entrepreneur has to register as VAT payer in Poland.

The first case when a Polish company or entrepreneur has to obtain a VAT number is, if their sales exceed the limit of PLN 200.000 (around EUR 45.000) during the tax year. It’s important to keep in mind that if the business activity in Poland has been started during the tax year, this limit has to be calculated in proportion to the number of months remaining to the end of the calendar year.

Furthermore a Polish company has to register and account for Polish VAT (regardless of amount of sales during tax year) if it operates in the field of specific business arias pointed out in VAT Act. Therefore, a subjective VAT exemption is not available if, among other things:

  1. sells goods subject to excise duty (except: of: electricity, tobacco products and passenger cars other than new, classified under the provisions on income tax as fixed assets subject to depreciation);
  2. sells precious metals, scrap, jewelry;
  3. provides services:
    • legal;
    • consultancy (except for agricultural consultancy);
    • debt collection, including factoring.

Non-Polish Entities

Non-polish entities planning to conduct business in Poland such as for example: local sales (with exceptions), intra-EU transactions, import or export must register for Polish VAT number before the date of the first taxable activity.

The most common examples when a company is obligated to register for Polish VAT number are:

  1. Buying and selling goods in Poland.
  2. Importing goods into Poland from outside the European Union.
  3. Acquiring goods in Poland from another EU country (Intra-community acquisitions).
  4. Selling goods from Poland which are delivered to customers outside of Poland (private customers or business).
  5. E-commerce sales of goods to consumers, subject to Distance Selling VAT registration thresholds.
  6. Holding inventory in Poland for sale, distribution or consignment.
  7. Legal clarification: In principle, the mere storage of goods in the warehouse of, for example, Amazon does not result in an obligation to register for VAT purposes in Poland. The obligation to register arises in the case where the stored goods have previously been imported from abroad (WNT or import) or because they will be sold out of Amazon's warehouse in Poland or abroad. Therefore the import of goods from abroad or their sale are the circumstances which trigger the obligation to register for VAT purposes in Poland and not their storage.
  8. Organizing events in Poland where delegates or attendees must pay admission.

The VAT registration threshold (for distance selling) for EU distance sellers, selling the goods to the customers in Poland, is 160 000 PLN so around 35 000 EURO.

Non-EU companies or entrepreneurs must appoint a fiscal representative in Poland. Fiscal representatives are severally responsible for the tax liabilities of the taxpayers they represent.

If you are planning or have already conducted any of the above (or similar) transactions in Poland, we invite you to contact our advisor for a free consultation.
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Last updated: 04.05.2021

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