The Council of the European Union has approved the introduction of the National e-Invoicing System (KSeF for short) in Poland. The new mechanism allows for the creation and receipt of e-invoices in a structured system, i.e. according to a specific template in XML format. Each invoice will be assigned an individual internal number. KSeF will become mandatory for all entrepreneurs who are taxpayers of value-added tax (VAT) probably from January 1, 2024!
Electronic e-invoices will replace traditional “paper” accounting documents. Once issued, e-invoices will be automatically transferred to the Ministry of Finance’s Central Database (similar to receipts sent by fiscal cash registers). The Ministry of Finance will gain full access to the database of transactions carried out by taxpayers. Every entrepreneur will have access to e-invoices issued by contractors. Similar solutions are already in place in some European Union countries.
As of January 1, 2022, the National e-Invoicing System has been made available on a voluntary basis for testing in the “KSeF test zone.” Each taxpayer can log in to an individual account in the system using an application provided by the Ministry of Finance or use commercial programs.
According to announcements by representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the introduced solution is expected to contribute to quicker action in detecting economic crimes and complement the electronic system for submitting JPK-VAT tax returns. Officials will not have to perform so-called cross-checks and ask taxpayers to send issued invoices, as all information will be available in a database maintained by the Finance Ministry. In theory, the security of taxpayers will be increased, as they will get information about accounting documents related to their business and the possibility of verifying them.
The main benefit remains the ease of archiving accounting documents. KSeF will store invoices for a period of 10 years! The problem of obtaining a duplicate of a lost invoice will be solved, as it will be available in the system. The contractor will gain access to the e-invoice issued by the taxpayer already at the moment of uploading to the KSeF system on the basis of automatic assignment. In the system, correcting invoices will also be visible.
An entrepreneur obligated to use KSeF will be able to authorize an employee, accounting office or designated representative to access the system. In such a case, it will be necessary to submit a written notice of granting or revoking the authorization (ZAW-FA) to the Head of the Tax Office or to modify the data on a dedicated page maintained by the Ministry of Finance.
Issuing an e-invoice via the KSeF system will enable the refund of value-added tax (VAT) within a shortened period of 40 days. It will become easier to issue corrective invoices “in minus”. It will not be necessary to obtain additional documentation for agreeing on the conditions for reducing the tax base indicated on the corrective invoice. A uniform invoice standard will improve communication between business entities.
The European Commission’s decision allows taxpayers to be obliged to provide information on intra-Community purchases of goods and imports of services.
The problem is access to the National e-invoicing System. Logging into the system is possible after undergoing an authentication process using a qualified electronic signature, trusted profile or qualified electronic seal. Business organizations point out that providing individual employees with access to the central database in large companies will pose a major organizational challenge. Software manufacturers must adapt their tools to synchronize data with KSeF databases. An invoice issued using KSeF will contain much more information than a traditional invoice.
In summary, the Ministry of Finance will remain the biggest beneficiary of the planned changes, due to the fact that it will gain access to the database of transactions carried out by taxpayers and will be able to take swift action on economic crimes. Taxpayers need to adapt their software to the new standards and develop organizational mechanisms for granting employees access to KSeF. The reorganization may entail additional costs. Currently, the Ministry of Finance has not released information on the outcome of KSeF tests and the stability of the test environment.