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Payments only to registered bank accounts

Daniel WIĘCKOWSKI
Tax Director at RSM Poland

The Ministry of Finance is continuing its efforts to make the tax system more effective. Already as of 1 January 2020, prior to making any payment of a VAT invoice, the taxpayer shall be under obligation to verify whether the bank account number of the vendor has been revealed in the register kept by the head of the National Revenue Administration (NRA). This obligation, relating to payments exceeding PLN 15,000 made between entrepreneurs, is introduced in the Act of 12 April 2019 amending the Value Added Tax Act and Certain Other Acts which is now awaiting the President’s signature.

Pursuant to amended regulations, the Head of the NRA shall keep an (online) register of registered VAT taxpayers, featuring, among others, settlement (bank) account numbers.

If an invoice is paid to a bank account other than the one revealed in the register of the head of NRA, both the purchaser of goods or services and the vendor shall be jointly and severally liable for any VAT from such invoice that has not been accounted for.

Moreover, if an invoice is paid to a bank account different than the one revealed in the register of the head of the NRA, the purchaser shall be under obligation to exclude the expenses under such document from his tax deductible costs. If the taxpayer was not able make a downward revision of their tax deductible costs in the period in which they made a payment to a non-registered bank account, it will be necessary to make an appropriate upward adjustment of the amount of taxable income.

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The legislator has provided for only one option of avoiding the adverse consequences of a payment made to a non-registered bank account of the vendor. The taxpayer may retain their tax deductible costs and be released from joint and several liability with the vendor provided that they inform the head of the tax office competent for the invoice issuer about the said bank transfer within 3 days after the bank transfer, providing, among others the details of the invoice issuer, the bank account number to which the payment was made, and the amount paid.

Given the fact that the consequences of payments to bank accounts that are not revealed in the register of the head of the NRA are very strict, it is necessary to plan relevant changes in the accounting systems as soon as possible, so that these systems can conduct on-line searches of your contractors’ bank account numbers in the register of the Head of thte NRA.

Foreign entrepreneurs registered for VAT purposes in Poland should also consider opening a bank account in a financial institution operating on the territory of the Republic of Poland. Otherwise, Polish contractors will not be able to include the incurred expenses in their tax deductible costs and will be subject to joint and several liability together with the vendor.

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