E-invoicing was first introduced in Poland in 2018 as a transposition of the European eInvoicing Directive (2014/55/EU). Since then, it has been mandatory for public authorities (business-to-government or B2G) to accept invoices in electronic format via the National e-invoicing Platform (PEF).
The PEF system is based on the Peppol standard. It can be accessed via one of the two providers the government has selected (Infinite IT and PEFexpert) or any accounting system connected to PEF.
E-invoicing will also soon be mandatory for all domestic B2B transactions. The government has developed KSeF (Krajowy System e-Faktur), a new e-invoicing system responsible for handling B2B invoices. The entry into force of mandatory B2B e-invoicing was initially planned for July 2024, but it has now been delayed. The new deadline has not been announced yet, but the Ministry has hinted at summer 2025.
On the e-reporting side, all taxpayers in Poland must electronically transmit their VAT and invoicing data to the tax authority using a Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T) file. This requirement has been in place for all taxpayers since 2018, replacing VAT returns files in 2020.
Must I issue e-invoices in Poland?
If you pay taxes in Poland or issue invoices with a Polish VAT ID number, you will need to issue KSeF e-invoices for every business-to-business (B2B) transaction, from the moment that the KSeF regulation comes into place.
The KSeF regulation was initially planned for July 2024, but it has now been delayed.
In the initial schedule, there was an extra six extra months to adopt KSeF for the following categories. While te Ministry hasn’t spoken about this yet, we can expect a similar delay for these types of invoices
- Sales by VAT-exempt businesses (e.g., financial services)
- Sales that are currently operating with simplified invoices
- Cash register sales
Finally, business-to-consumer transactions (B2C) and invoices issued under the OSS and IOSS schemas are excluded from KSeF. In these cases, you can continue invoicing like you are now.
What happens with the PEF system after KSeF?
KSeF will not replace PEF. The PEF system will continue to serve the B2G sector as it has until now. However, public authorities will also accept invoices from KSeF. Suppliers can choose to use PEF or KSeF to send their invoices to public authorities (B2G).
KSeF has been available for voluntary use since 2022, allowing the government to test and improve it. The government has introduced a significant incentive to encourage taxpayers to adopt KSeF voluntarily: taxpayers using electronic invoices will receive a VAT refund within 40 days instead of 60 days for VAT returns below PLN 3,000.
Suppliers using KSeF during the voluntary phase must agree with customers to use KSeF to invoice them or provide an alternative, like continuing to send them a copy of the invoice in PDF or paper.
Penalties for not complying
The penalty for not issuing an e-invoice will be up to 100% of the invoice value.
How will KSeF work in Poland?
The centralized e-invoicing system
Poland has implemented a centralized system for B2B e-invoicing, similar to the SDI system in Italy. This means that sellers must send invoices to a public central repository (KSeF), and buyers can download the invoices from there. These invoices will be in an XML format, called FA_VAT, and defined by the Polish Ministry of Finance.
Let’s see the steps to send an invoice through KSeF:
- The seller sends the e-invoice in FA_VAT format to KSeF. This can be done manually through the free public app or automatically through any accounting or invoicing software connected to the KSeF’s API.
- KSeF validates the invoice, ensuring it is correctly formatted, includes all mandatory fields, and checks the validity of some fields, such as VAT ID numbers.
- If the invoice is okay, KSeF stores it and returns to the buyer an Official Receipt Certificate (UPO), which includes the KSeF number: a unique identification number for the invoice. If there is any error with the invoice, KSeF will return an error message.
- The buyer can access KSeF to download the invoice. Buyers can retrieve invoices manually or automate the reception via their accounting system.
Can I still issue PDF invoices?
Sellers can continue sending PDF and paper invoices to their buyers as informative documents, but the only document with fiscal validity will be the XML stored in KSeF.
KSeF has confirmed that the system will not accept attachments, so it recommends including a link to such documentation in the content of the invoice.
Correcting invoices in KSeF
KSeF will not allow issuing credit or debit notes. In case of any errors on an invoice, they'll need to be corrected by issuing a corrective invoice within KSeF.
What do I need to comply with KSeF?
If you are under the scope of KSeF and need to issue e-invoices within this system, you have a couple of options to comply. The best alternative for you depends on how your business issues invoices today.
If you manually issue a few invoices a month, you can continue using the free app that the Ministry of Finance is building. On the other hand, if you have larger volumes of invoices, you will likely use an ERP or automated invoicing software to issue invoices. In this case, you must ensure that this system integrates with KSeF.
At Invopop, we help companies comply with local e-invoicing standards, so feel free to reach out if you have any doubts. We’ve developed an API that receives the information of a sale in a universal format and converts it to the local format, including FA_VAT.