The National e-Invoices System (hereinafter: KSeF) has been operating in the Polish legal order since January 1, 2022. These regulations were adopted as part of a wider package of tax changes called SLIM VAT 2. The KSeF, introduced under the aegis of the Ministry of Finance, is to fit into the course chosen by the resort and aimed at:
  • implementation of innovative e-services in administration,
  • increasing the security of settlements between entrepreneurs
  • and quick and effective identification of tax frauds.

KSeF is an teleinformatic system (managed by the National Tax Administration) used to issue and share the so-called structured invoices. KSeF can be described as a centralized IT base, made available to a wide group of entities in order to conduct computer-based invoice settlements. The basic function of the system is to issue and receive these documents.

With the establishment of the KSeF, a new form of invoice, i.e. a structured invoice, was introduced to the Polish tax system. From January 1, 2022, this invoice functions as one of the acceptable forms of documenting transactions for VAT purposes (next to traditional paper and electronic invoices).

At this stage, the legislator decided to leave the freedom to use the KSeF to issue and receive invoices. The current solution is therefore voluntary. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Finance plans to make this system compulsory for all entities that issue invoices.

On March 30, 2022, in a press release, the Ministry of Finance announced that it had obtained the consent of the European Commission. The next step on the way to introducing legal regulations obliging taxpayers to use the KSeF will be the approval of the Council of the European Union. In the previous publications of the Ministry of Finance, there were announcements that the KSEF would be obligatory from April 2023. So far, however, no date has been confirmed.

KSeF - how does it work?

Using the KSeF is possible thanks to:

  • commercial finance and accounting programs that have been integrated with the KSeF;
  • free IT tools made available by the Ministry of Finance (on May 17, 2022, the production version of the KSeF Taxpayer application was made available; the software is available at: www.podatki.gov.pl).

To issue a structured invoice, we use one of the above-mentioned tools. The tele informatic system verifies the entered document in terms of its compliance with the standard adopted by the KSeF. Then, an individual identification number is assigned to the document. Finally, after successfully passing the verification, the entity issuing the invoice receives an official confirmation of receipt (the so-called UPO).

Receiving structured invoices using the KSeF requires the acceptance of the invoice recipient (Article 106 (2) of the VAT Act).

However, the regulations do not indicate the form of obtaining it. They leave freedom in this regard. If the recipient does not agree, the invoice issuer will still have the right to use the KSeF, but should make the document available to the other party to the transaction also in a traditional way (in paper or electronic form).

The recipient of the invoice gains access to it after authentication with the Polish Financial Supervision Authority or by providing specific data of the invoice (here is the so-called anonymized access).

The date of issue of a structured invoice is the date of its entry into the system, and the date of receipt - the date of assigning an identifying number to it (Article 106 of the VAT Act).

Using the KSEF

The Minister of Finance (pursuant to Article 106r of the VAT Act) issued an executive act organizing the issues related to the use of the National e-Invoices System. It is the Regulation of the Minister of Finance of December 27, 2021 on the use of the National e-Invoices System; Journal of Laws 2021, item 2481.

This regulation regulates:

  • types of authorizations to use the National e-Invoices System;
  • methods of granting, changing or withdrawing authorizations to use the National e-Invoices System and a template of the notification on granting or withdrawing these authorizations;
  • methods of authentication of entities using the National e-Invoices System, and
  • structured invoice data, the provision of which enables access to the invoice in the National e-Invoice System.

Pursuant to the regulation, the KSeF may be used by the taxpayer and persons authorized by him (e.g., authorized employees of the company) and entities (e.g., a legal person keeping accounting for a given company).

The rights to use the National e-Invoices System are:

  • to issue or receive invoices;
  • to grant further powers;
  • to the so-called self-billing;
  • bailiffs/for enforcement bodies (in the case of invoices in the name and on behalf of the debtor).

To use the system, authentication is required by:

  • qualified electronic signature;
  • qualified electronic seal;
  • trusted signature, or
  • token, i.e., a sequence of alphanumeric characters generated by KSeF.

In the case of qualified electronic signatures that do not contain NIP numbers and/or PESEL numbers, authentication and verification of the rights held may also take place after the data is reported to the competent head of the tax office, in accordance with the template in the regulation.

The introduced solutions are in line with the Legislator's tendency to computerize settlements in business transactions, which has been visible in recent years. At this stage, issuing and receiving invoices under the KSeF remains an option, but ultimately the presented transaction documenting system is to become an obligatory solution.

The next article on the National e-Invoices System will discuss the challenges related to the introduction of the KSEF and the potential benefits resulting from the use of settlements within this system.

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