Archive for: Polish Act on Goods and Services Tax

Tax law, case I FSK1644/11

August 27th, 2012, Tomasz Rychlicki

A taxpayer who sold the old porcelain and books which were inherited from grandparents and parents, and bought on the antique fairs, was ordered by the Polish tax authorities to pay VAT for four years. Every year the taxpayer sold hundreds of these things, for more than three thousand PLN. Only 3089 PLN is the amount of income received during the year that is deemed as free of tax,. According to tax authorities this activity could not be regarded as a hobby, but as a professional activity, that should be taxed.

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 9 August 2012 case file I FSK 1644/11 dismissed the complaint of the taxpayer.

Tax law, case I FSK 1215/10

September 24th, 2011, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 9 September 2011 case file I FSK 1215/10 ruled that activities of the Polish Artists’ Association, a collecting society which is responsible for collective management of artists’ and performers’ rights that is based on signing of licensing agreements with copyright users and collecting and distribution of royalties, is deemed as a service within the meaning of the Act on Goods and Services Tax – GSTA – (in Polish: ustawa o podatku od towarów i usług) of 11 March 2004, Journal od Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 54, item 535 with subsequent amendments, and such services are not subject to tax exemptions, because the association charges a fee from these activities, and it is not funded by membership fees.

Tax law, case I SA/Łd 762/10

September 24th, 2011, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Łódź in its judgment of 23 September 2010 case file I SA/Łd 762/10 held that a person whose account on an auction website was illegally hacked and used for sale of goods by someone else, is not obliged account to tax for such activity.

Tax law, case I SA/Wr 1080/10

November 27th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Wrocław in its judgment of 24 November 2010 case file I SA/Wr 1080/10 ruled that the client can deduct all the VAT in case of advance payment of fees for the entire period of software maintenance. The position of a tax authority stating that deduction is possible only in the settlement period in which service will be completely provided, is incorrect. It is another judgment favorable to taxpayers.

Tax law, case I SA/Po 454/10

August 15th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Polish company offers its partners and customers different products free of charge during its advertising actions. These are coffee and coffee machines or gadgets such as umbrellas, pens, mugs and other gifts such as shirts and other stuff with the logo of the company. The Company has considered whether this type of gratuitous transfer of goods is a transaction subject to VAT tax in accordance with article 5(1)(i) and 7(2)(3) of the Act on Goods and Services Tax – GSTA – (in Polish: ustawa o podatku od towarów i usług) of 11 March 2004, Journal od Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 54, item 535 with subsequent amendments.

Article 5
1. The goods and services tax, hereinafter called “the tax”, shall be charged on:
i) supply of goods and services for a consideration in the territory of the country;

Article 7
2. The supply of goods, referred to in Article 5.1.1, shall also mean the transfer by a taxable person of goods constituting the property of his undertaking for the purposes other than those related to the undertaking operated by a taxable person, in particular:

i) transfer or use of goods for private needs of a taxable person or that of his employees, including former employees, partners, shareholders, members of a cooperative and their household members, members of decision-making bodies of legal persons, members of associations,

ii) any other transfer of goods without consideration, in particular donations

– where the amount of input tax on those transactions was wholly or partially deductible from the amount of output tax.

3. The provision of paragraph 2 shall not apply to printed advertising and informational materials, gifts of small value or samples.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Poznań in its judgment of 10 August 2010 case file I SA/Po 454/10 held that such transfer of goods is not subject to VAT.

Tax law, case ITPP3/443-52/10/JK

July 5th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Polish newspaper Gazeta Prawna reports in the article entitled “Faktury papierowej nie można przechowywać w formie elektronicznej” on the individual interpretation of the Director of Tax Chamber in Bydgoszcz of 17 June 2010 No. ITPP3/443-52/10/JK regarding e-invoices. The Director explained that there is no possibility to store electronic invoices, which were issued and sent to the contractor in paper form. The tax regulations do not provide that taxpayers can store documents, copies of sales invoices issued in paper form, in electronic form, with the possibility of printing only when the need arose. On the contrary, these regulations require the taxpayer to retain copies of sales invoices and correction invoices in the original form that was created at the time of issue of the originals of these documents. In addition, there is no legal basis for the application of such a mixed-mode, in which on the one hand the invoice would be issued in paper form, and copies of invoices to be kept in the electronic form.

An entrepreneur seeking to reduce costs associated with invoicing can sign invoices issued in the electronic form with the qualified electronic signature, and after prior approval obtained from the recipient of such a document, send it via e-mail, deliver it on a CD or other electronic medium. Such system of delivery of documents that also ensures its authenticity and integrity, not only reduce the cost of billing on the drawer side, but also reduce costs of customers of such entrepreneur, and will be in accordance with the provisions governing the matter of invoicing.

The Polish Ministry of Finance treats only two types of invoices as legitimate way of billing if they could not be received personally. These are paper invoices that one may send to its customer by post or courier, or electronic, not so popular, because to use it the entrepreneurs must pay for the so-called qualified e-signature.

The Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reports in its article entitled “Zabawa w zginanie faktur” that lots of companies in Poland send invoices by e-mail in the attached file (usually scanned), because it’s faster, more convenient and cheaper. One does not pay for stamps or envelopes. There is only one problem – the tax authorities believe that it is illegal activity. In the case of tax control, a company is threaten by financial penalties.

But Polish entrepreneurs have found a solution for such unrealistic approach. The invoice that was received by e-mail is printed and bend in half. It looks like it was taken out of the envelope. There is no provision in the tax law tha would require the storage of envelopes. The tax control is not able to prove that it wasn’t printed by the issuer of the invoice and send by post or courier. Almost everyone is happy.

The Ministry of Finance respects the decision of the Supreme Administrative Court that was described in the post entitled “Tax law, case I FSK 1444/09“, but it does not mean that the Ministry agrees with legal arguments presented by the SAC. The Republic of Poland is a civil law country and there are no binding precedents. It means the every entrepreneur would have to go the same way as the one whose case ended before the SAC.

See also “Tax law, case III SA/Wa 396/10“.

Tax law, case I FSK 1444/09

May 21st, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Polish entrepreneur asked the Director of the Tax Chamber in Kraków, whether the inclusion in the billing of VAT of the amount of tax charged on the purchase of goods and services on the basis of invoices and correction invoices received by e-mail or fax, not in the form of electronic invoices with digital signature, is correct. The Director ruled that such interpretation is incorrect. The Company did not agree with this decision and filed a complaint to the administrative court. The Voivodeship Administrative Court (VAC) in Kraków in a judgment of 17 March 2009, case file I SA/Kr 97/09 dismissed the case. The Company filed a cassation complaint. The Supreme Administrative Court in a judgment of 20 May 2010, case file I FSK 1444/09, ruled that invoices that were sent via fax or e-mail are equivalent to these sent via traditional mail. What’s more important, such invoices do not need any electronic signature.

Tax law, case III SA/Wa 1823/09

May 17th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Director of Tax Control Office in Warsaw ruled that the amounts of cash referred to as a “license to exercise the media rights” that were received by Legia football club from the Polish Football Association (PZPN), should be subject to tax on goods and services. Legia argued that such an agreement is not a contract of sale of rights, but the license agreement. However, the Director has found that the PZPN was the sole owner of intangible (economic and non econimic) property rights to the Polish national championships. To be the sole owner of the rights to football matches, PZPN had to acquire these rights. Therefore, Legia had to transfer these rights in some way, and that included proper fee.

The Director referred to a series of court decisions and pointed out that the sports’ event, namely football games, do not constitute a copyrightable work under the Polish Act on Authors Rights and Neighbouring Rights – ARNR – (in Polish: ustawa o prawie autorskim i prawach pokrewnych) of 4 February 1994, published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 24, item 83, consolidated text of 16 May 2006, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 90, item 631. Legia as a football club does not take action on the creative nature. In the opinion of the Director, it is not precluded that on the legal market may exist licensing agreements relating to intangible property, other than works that are defined in the ARNR.

Only article 43(1) pt 13 of the Act on Goods and Services Tax – GSTA – (in Polish: ustawa o podatku od towarów i usług) of 11 March 2004, Journal od Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 54, item 535, includes a reference to the ARNR.

Art. 43. 1. The following shall be exempted from the tax:
13) licensing or authorization to use a license, as well as assignment of the proprietary right within the meaning of the copyright law – in relation to computer programmes – free of charge, for educational facilities, referred to in paragraph 9.

That provision indicates the grant of the license or authorization to use copyright licenses and the transfer of property rights under copyright law (the ARNR). The absence of such references in other regulations means that the transfer of copyright may affect the rights of the author, or a sole owner of any intangible property, which does not have the characteristics of the copyrightable work. A similar situation will occur in the case of a license. Wherever there is no reference to copyright law (ARNR) it will also mean the license agreement for the use of intangible property other than the copyrightable work.

The Tax Office ruled that Legia transfered “media rights” to the PZPN, so the Association could fully manage of them, and so enter into an agreement concerning the disposition of such rights. The rate of the tax shall be 22% for such service. The tax shall become chargeable upon the receipt of all or part of payment, though not later than upon the expiry of the due date specified in the contract or invoice – for the performance in the territory of the country of services referred to in article 27(4) pt 1 of the GSTA.

4. The provision of paragraph 3 shall apply to the following services:
1) sale of rights or granting of licenses or sublicenses, transfers and assignments of copyrights, patents, trademarks, letting joint trademarks or joint guarantee marks for use, or other related rights.

Legia did not agree with the decision of the Director of Tax Control Office and filed a complaint against. The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 26 March 2010 case file III SA/Wa 1823/09 dismissed it.

Tax law, case I FSK 1520/09

March 15th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Supreme Administrative Court in a judgment of 10 March 2010, case file I FSK 1520/09 held that the free of charge transfer of advertising materials for purposes related to operating a company is not deemed as supplying the goods and therefore not subject to value added tax as defined in article 7(2) and (3) of the Act on Goods and Services Tax – GSTA – (in Polish: ustawa o podatku od towarów i usług) of 11 March 2004, Journal od Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 54, item 535.

Article 7.
1. The supply of goods, referred to in Article 5.1.1, shall mean the transfer of the right to dispose of the goods as owner, including also:

1) transfer under an order made by a public authority or an entity acting in the name of such an authority, or transfer in pursuance of the law, of the ownership of the goods against payment of compensation;

2) release of goods under the tenancy, lease or a similar contract concluded for a definite period of time, or a credit sale contract, if the contract provides that in the normal course of events envisaged in that contract or upon payment of the last instalment, ownership shall be passed;