How to prepare for the National E-Invoicing System?
- The Minister of Finance has recently published a bill implementing the so-called “structured” invoices and the National E-Invoicing System.
- The bill is planned to be approved by the Council of Ministers and sent to the Parliament for further works in the first quarter of 2021.
- The act may take effect as early as 1 October 2021, so the time to prepare for the changes and implement new procedures will be scarce.
What are the plans of the Ministry of Finance?
On 5 February 2021, a bill amending the VAT Act in respect of e-invoices was published on the website of the Government Legislative Centre:
- under the National E-Invoicing System, taxpayers can receive and issue the so-called “structured” invoices according to a uniform model, which are a kind of electronic invoices,
- structured invoices will make another type of invoices (in addition to paper and electronic invoices issued so far by taxpayers),
- structured invoices will be issued by the taxpayer, sent to the National E-Invoicing System, and retained therein,
- after an invoice has been sent, the National E-Invoicing System will assign an identification number to it, with indication of the date and time; once a structured invoice is assigned a number, it is deemed issued and received,
- to issue an invoice under the National E-Invoicing System, the invoice recipient’s consent will be required (the consent to receive e-invoices will not be valid),
- access to the National E-Invoicing System will be possible after the head of the tax office is notified of its users,
- after authentication in the system, the taxpayer will have the possibility to view structured invoices issued and received, and send each invoice in xml. format or convert it to pdf.,
- the use of the National E-Invoicing System will require authentication with an electronic signature or trusted profile,
- taxpayers will be exempt from the obligation to retain invoices issued in the National E-Invoicing System – the system will archive documents for a period of 10 years from the end of the calendar year in which they were issued,
- no duplicates will be issued to structured invoices issued in the National E-Invoicing System (such an invoice cannot be lost or destroyed),
- no structured correction notes will be issued to structured invoices retained in the National E-Invoicing System (but taxpayers will be able to issue ordinary correction notes to such invoices as they do now, i.e. outside the National E-Invoicing System),
- invoices issued in the National E-Invoicing System will not need to be presented at the request of the tax authorities under the JPK (uniform control file) for invoices (JPK_FA),
- for taxpayers who issue only structured invoices in a given period, the waiting time for a VAT refund will be shortened to 40 days (instead of 60 day, as is the case now), provided that certain requirements are met,
- negative correction invoices issued in the National E-Invoicing System will not be subject to the Slim VAT regulations; consequently, the seller and the buyer can reduce the taxable base for VAT during the account period in which the correction invoice is issued as a structured invoice, with no need to collect the required documentation (the National E-Invoicing System will verify the moment of receipt of the correction invoice by the buyer, so the seller and the buyer will account for a negative correction invoice at the same time).
The new regulations may come in force starting from 1 October 2021. At the initial stage of the National E-Invoicing System operation, the use of the system will be optional. However, the Minister of Finance plans to make the system mandatory since 2023.
What steps should be considered before 1 October 2021?
Even though the system will only be available in more than half a year, our experience gained from other projects implemented by the Ministry of Finance indicates that the first measures intended to enable the use of the National E-Invoicing System should be undertaken now. In particular, the following steps should be considered:
- An audit of the data sent so far to the tax authorities, In recent years tax authorities gained access to unprecedented quantities of data regarding transactions made by taxpayers (e.g. electronic financial statements, JPK files, MDR, payment date reports, TPR). Before other data are made accessible on a voluntary basis, an analysis is recommended to verify which data have so far been made accessible, and what conclusions the tax authorities can draw on their basis.
- Identification of groups of transactions for which the National E-Invoicing System is recommended. Each business is different and standardized solutions should be tailored to individual situations so that taxpayers can comply with their reporting duties, especially given that it will be easier to transfer certain groups of transactions to the National E-Invoicing System, while other groups may require adaptation measures. It is also recommended that counterparties who want to use structured invoices are identified and contractual clauses used so far are analysed in terms of rules and manner of receipt of invoices, including correction invoices.
- Creation of procedures and employee training. The use of the National E-Invoicing System will mean that tax authorities have real-time access to invoices. For this reason it is recommended that procedures be established to ensure uniform rules of invoicing throughout the organisation and the IT systems be adapted accordingly. Moreover, employees delegated to handle the National E-Invoicing System should have access to the current knowledge about the rules of invoicing.
Should you have any questions or doubts regarding the issues discussed here, we are ready to assist you.