E-Invoice – alias a structured invoice: what does it look like and what should it contain?
As of 1 January 2022 you can use the National e-Invoicing System (pl. KSeF) – a new system for issuing and storing the invoices rolled out by the Ministry of Finance. Its aim is to facilitate the settlements on the market and prevent VAT fraud. The system will be mandatory in a year and so the sooner you familiarise yourself with the system, the better you will be prepared for its implementation.
An e-Invoice, or structured invoice, is a document that contains information and form as defined by applicable regulations and is drawn up in an appropriate electronic format (e.g. xml) which enables automated reading and processing of the data contained in that document. It is nothing more than a data file with the information that should be contained in any invoice: date of sale and issue, customer data, values, prices etc. These data are recorded not in the form of an jpg or pdf image, but rather in the extensible mark-up language, xml, used to transmit data in a structured manner. This format is also used in JPK_VAT files submitted regularly by active VAT taxpayers. An e-Invoice in xml format is not readable by you, but it will be understood by IT accounting programs. The new invoicing system entails a range of benefits for companies.
What should an e-Invoice contain?
Pursuant to Article 106e, paragraph 1, of the Value Added Tax Act (VAT Act), the invoices should contain following information:
- invoice issue date,
- identification number,
- first and last names or title of a taxpayer and purchaser of goods or services and their addresses,
- the number that identifies the taxpayer for tax purposes,
- the number that identifies the purchaser of goods or services for tax purposes or VAT purposes, under which the purchaser received goods or services,
- the date of effecting or completing the delivery of goods or provision of service, or the date of receipt of payment. where this occurred before the sale, provided that such a date is entered and is different to the invoice issue date,
- the name (type) of goods or service,
- the measure and quantity (number) of goods delivered or scope of services provided,
- the unit price of the goods or service minus the tax (net unit price),
- the amounts of all price discounts or reductions, including a form of rebate for early payment where not included in the net unit price,
- the value of goods delivered or service provided covered by the transaction minus the tax (net sales value),
- rate of tax,
- the total net sales value broken down by sales covered by individual tax rates and tax exempted sales,
- the amount of tax on total net sales value broken down into amounts related to individual tax rates,
- the total amount due,
- cash accounting method – applies to small enterprises that selected this VAT settlement method,
- self-invoicing, if the purchaser of the goods issues invoice on behalf of the seller,
- split payment mechanism – for the sale of goods and services from annex no 15, which has been in force since 1 November 2019,
- margin scheme for travel agencies if they provide tourist services where the taxable base is the amount of the margin,
- margin scheme for following groups: second-hand goods, collectible items and antiques, works of art – where the taxable base is the amount of the margin.
What else should we know about e-Invoices?
If you are an VAT exempted taxpayer then pursuant to Article 106e, paragraph 1, point 19, of the VAT Act, you should include this information in the structured invoice. You do not have to provide information on the grounds of the exemption if you don’t exceed the limit of sales value (Article 113, paragraphs 1 and 9, of the VAT Act).
With respect to electronic invoices, you do not need to have written consent for their receipt. Payment of the amount specified in the e-invoice by the customer means that the customer agrees to receiving electronic invoices.
When you sell goods or services to private individuals who are not self-employed persons, you can, at their request, issue a personal invoice which does not need to contain all the data required for standard invoices: it would not display the purchaser's tax identification number.
A template of the logical structure of an e-Invoice (FA_VAT) is available in the Central Repository of Electronic Document Templates (CRWDE) on ePUAP platform.