As of 1 July 2018, filing of the Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T, in Polish abbreviated as JPK) shall applyy to all taxpayers – entrepreneurs keeping their books in electronic format.
SAF-T is a set of data on business transactions provided to the office every month (hereinafter: JPK_VAT) or at the request of the National Revenue Administration body (hereinafter: other JPK). SAF-T is an element of tackling tax evasion, with its main (but not the only) goal being the streamlining of tax authorities’ operations. Owing to SAF-T, tax authorities may conduct inspection and control activities faster, which is intended to prevent the problems of tax evasion and VAT fraud, and to improve the checks.
Pursuant to Article 193a of the 29 August 1997 Tax Ordinance Act (Journal of Laws 1997 No. 137, item 926, i.e. Journal of Laws of 2018 item 800, hereinafter: TOA), taxpayers who keep their tax accounts using computer software are obliged to provide them in their entirety or partially, along with accounting records, by electronic transfer or on a digital data medium (for example: flash drive, memory card, CD/DVD disc) in the form of a SAF-T. SAF-T may not be transferred by e-mail.
The Finance Ministry shall prepare data transfer formats and define both the syntax and semantics of each SAF-T, including obligatory and additional fields.
We can currently distinguish 7 standardised SAF-T structures, being the following files:
- files transferred regularly, without having to be requested
- JPK_VAT – evidence of VAT sales and purchases
- files sent at the request of the tax authority
- JPK_KR – data from the accounting books
- JPK_WB – data from bank statements
- JPK_MAG – warehouse records
- JPK_FA – VAT invoice records
- JPK_PKPIR – data from tax revenue and expense ledger
- JPK_EWP – tax register for lump-sum taxpayers.
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Since the introduction of SAF-T by the Act of 10 September 2015 amending the Tax Ordinance Act and some other acts (Journal of Laws of 2015, item 1649), the scope of the obligation to hand over data from tax accounts and accounting records to the tax authorities has been systematically expanded.
When these regulations came into force in July 2016, the obligation to hand over JPK_VAT files every month and other JPK files at the request of the tax authority applied only to large businesses. In reference to other taxpayers, transitional periods were established for introducing SAF-T in their businesses.
Small and medium enterprises have been sending JPK_VAT files since 1 January 2017.
The obligation to keep an electronic VAT register (VAT sales and purchases register) and to transfer it as JPK_VAT has finally also covered micro-enterprises as of 1 January 2018.
For small, medium and micro-enterprises, the transitional period for introducing SAF-Ts sent at the request of the tax authority expires on 1 July 2018. During tax proceedings, inspection activities, a tax audit or a customs and fiscal audit, the tax authorities may now request other JPK files not only from large, but also from small, medium and micro-enterprises.
|Type of SAF-T
Moment of transmission
Type of company + date obligation entered into force
Small and medium enterprises
Employs more than 250 employees or its annual turnover amounts to at least EUR 50 million (equivalent in PLN) or the total of assets in the balance sheet exceeds EUR 43 million – in one of two previous financial years.
Employs less than 250 employees and its annual turnover is lower than EUR 50 million (equivalent in PLN) or the total of assets in the balance sheet is lower than EUR 43 million – in one of two previous financial years, and is not a micro-enterprise.
Employs less than 10 employees and its annual turnover is lower than EUR 2 million (equivalent in PLN) or the total of assets in the balance sheet is lower than EUR 2 million – in one of two previous financial years.
Without request – every month, by the 25th after the end of the given month*
1 July 2016
1 January 2017
1 January 2018
At the request of the authority within a deadline indicated by the authority (at least 3 days)
1 July 2016
1 July 2018
1 July 2018
* if the 25th day of the month is on Saturday or national holiday, the file should be transferred by the first business day.
Under Article 189.2 of the TOA, the tax authority shall define the deadline for delivering specific SAF-Ts in their request (summons). The inspected entity shall have no less than 3 days to provide the requested files. In accordance with the Finance Ministry's information brochure concerning the other JPK files, this deadline may be extended in justified cases, such as for example large amount of requested data or the absence of the responsible person, in agreement with the tax authority. Any unjustified refusal to provide any SAF-T at the request of the authority may result in a fine in the amount of up to PLN 2800.
A failure to file SAF-T within the deadline may also result in fiscal and penal sanctions. Depending on the circumstances, it may be a misdemeanour or even a criminal offence.
The punishment for a fiscal misdemeanour is a fine, calculated as an amount ranging from 1/10th of to 20 times the value of minimum remuneration. The fine amount is determined with due consideration for the financial and family condition along with income-earning opportunities of the perpetrator, and in 2018 it may amount from PLN 210 to PLN 42,000 in case of a misdemeanour, whereas in case of a fiscal offence from PLN 700 to PLN 20,160,000.
The duties related to SAF-T are mainly a technological (or, more precisely, IT) challenge, since they require the IT solutions in place to be adjusted to enable rapid, automated generation of SAF-Ts which include a very wide scope of data, after all.
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