Among the many changes that have come into force, inter alia, as part of the Polish Deal, there are also regulations concerning the possibility of obtaining faster VAT refunds, in some cases even within 15 days from the date of filing the return.
Under the VAT Act, the basic deadline for the refund of excess tax is 60 days from the date of submission of the return. This deadline may, depending on the circumstances, be shortened to 25 days or extended to 180 days. From 1 January 2022, two further deadlines have been introduced within which VAT refunds will be possible – 15 days and 40 days. These deadlines are addressed to taxpayers using structured invoices and in connection with non-cash payments.
VAT refund within 40 days
The 40-day refund will be available to taxable persons who issue only structured invoices as an incentive to use this form of invoicing. However, the refund within 40 days will be possible provided that a number of conditions laid down in the VAT Act are met.
As regards the possibility to obtain a VAT refund within 40 days, the taxpayer performing taxable activities, that should be documented with an invoice pursuant to art. 106b section 1 items 1 or 3 or 4 of the VAT Act – must issue only structured invoices (i.e. the so-called e-invoices), and the amount of the input tax or the difference in tax unsettled in previous settlement periods and disclosed in the tax return cannot exceed PLN 3,000.
In addition, the taxable person shall, for the consecutive 12 months immediately preceding the period in respect of which he claims a refund
- be registered as an active VAT taxpayer,
- file a JPK tax return for each settlement period,
- have a bank account indicated on the “white list” of VAT taxpayers.
VAT refund within 40 days is also possible if the taxable person fails to issue a structured invoice due to:
- the impossibility to issue a structured invoice due to the lack of compliance with the template of a structured invoice made available on the electronic platform of public administration services, or
- for the issue of a simplified invoice, where the total amount due does not exceed the amount of PLN 450 or the amount of EUR 100, provided that it includes the details allowing to determine the amount of tax for particular rates.
Fulfilment of the above-mentioned conditions is verified with the use of ICT resources of the Head of the National Fiscal Administration. Therefore, this refund is mainly addressed to taxpayers who decide to issue e-invoices, which is currently optional. The question is whether this institution will survive the introduction of the obligatory issuance of these invoices.
VAT refund within 15 days
The VAT refund within 15 days is to be an incentive to use non-cash payments. According to the new regulations, the tax office will be obliged to return the VAT within this period counting from the day:
- on which the deadline for submission of the return has expired, in the case of:
- a declaration in which the taxable person indicated a tax difference to be repaid
- a correction to the return in which the taxable person indicated a tax difference to be repaid, where that correction is submitted before expiry of the deadline for submission of the return;
- the submission of a correction to a return in which the taxable person indicated a tax difference to be repaid, where that submission was made after expiry of the time limit for submission of the return.
With regard to the possibility of benefiting from the shortened period of up to 15 days, the taxpayer will also have to meet jointly a number of conditions indicated by the provisions of the VAT Act. These conditions include:
- showing, for the three consecutive accounting periods or quarter (in the case of taxable persons settling quarterly) immediately preceding the period in which the taxable person applies for an accelerated VAT refund, a percentage of no less than 80% in respect of:
- the total value of gross sales recorded on cash registers during the financial period in question in the total value of gross sales during the financial period,
- non-cash payments received from gross sales recorded on cash registers, documented by receipts indicating that the payment was made by payment card, by mobile payment or by credit transfer, consistent with the form of payment received, in relation to the total value of gross sales recorded on such cash registers in the relevant accounting period;
- indicating for the consecutive 12 months immediately preceding the period for which the taxpayer applies for a refund, the total value of gross sales recorded with the use of cash registers for each settlement period in the amount not lower than PLN 50 000;
- to show in the period for which the taxable person claims a refund
- the amount of tax difference not exceeding twice the amount of tax on sales recorded in the settlement period with the use of cash registers,
- the amount of input tax or tax difference, unsettled in previous settlement periods and shown in the declaration not exceeding PLN 3000,
- timely submission of JPK declarations.
Moreover, in order to benefit from the quicker 15-day period, the taxpayer should have, for the consecutive 3 months immediately preceding the period for which the refund is claimed, a bank account indicated on the “white list” of VAT taxpayers and for the consecutive 12 months immediately preceding the period for which the refund is claimed:
- be registered as an active VAT taxpayer,
- submit JPK declarations for each settlement period,
- keep records of sales using only cash registers that allow the connection and transfer of data between the register cash register and the Central Repository of Cash Registers.
Faster VAT refunds may also benefit the liquidity of some entities. However, it should be noted that the conditions for obtaining a faster VAT refund may result in some entrepreneurs not deciding to take advantage of these preferences introduced by the new legislation, as not all of them depend on them. There is no denying that the reimbursement is mainly aimed at retailers conducting most of their sales to natural persons and using online cash registers. This is something that is no longer entirely up to the taxpayer, who can only encourage customers to make non-cash payments, but cannot eliminate cash payments. However, the possibility of obtaining a faster VAT refund is certainly an advantageous and interesting solution for many taxpayers.