Poland no longer requires qualified signature or EDI with e-invoicing

February 2, 2011  |  Electronic Invoicing, Publications

Poland’s Minister of Finance issued a new regulation concerning the storage of and tax authorities’ access to electronic invoices (e-invoices). With the new guidance, businesses can send e-invoices in any electronic format that allows for authenticity of origin and integrity of content.

The regulation effectively removes restrictions that limited the use of e-invoices. Previously, issuing, sending and storing e-invoices was only possible through the use of electronic data interchange (EDI) or by using an qualified electronic signature. Just like in any other country, compliance with these rules proved to be expensive and, in practice, a restricting in the use of e-invoices.

Already in May 2010, Poland’s Supreme Administrative Court held that it was allowed to send an invoice as an attachment in an email. This e-invoice even after being printed by the receiver, could be treated as a paper invoice, allowing for VAT deduction.

This recent regulation affords businesses an opportunity to issue, send and store invoices in any electronic format. Just like current and upcoming EU legislation acceptance from the customer is still needed Even though this can be achieved either explicitly or implicitly and either in electronic format or in writing.

To send invoices electronically, two conditions must be satisfied:

* Authenticity of origin—certainty that the identity of the person supplying the goods or service, is the issuer of the invoice

* Integrity of content—invoice data has not been altered

The former requirements for a qualified electronic signature and to use EDI no longer apply; however, both methods are mentioned in the new guidance as examples of how to satisfy the required conditions for e-invoices. Sending an PDF invoice per e-mail is also permitted. As well as storing your invoices electronically.

Source: KPMG

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1 Comment

  1. The title and substance of this piece could mislead people into the same form-obsessed misinterpretation of the 2010 Directive that created so much trouble under the 2001 Directive.

    ” Just like in any other country, compliance with these rules proved to be expensive and, in practice, a restricting in the use of e-invoices.”

    Disappointing that a major like KPMG resorts to such simplistic statements as to a presumed universal truth in relation to the cost or added value of specific compliance methods.

    The 2001 Directive was restrictive in that it allowed Member States to limit implementation options. For other reasons it led to fragmented Member State transpositions. The option to restrict was lifted in 2010 so that from 2013 the market can choose which functionally equivalent paths to compliance are the most cost-effective in which circumstances. The two technology-based compliance options laid out in the 2001 Directive are sometimes extremely cost-effective and sometimes they are not - and this can surely be said about any other way to meet the legal objectives of demonstrating long-term integrity and auditability.

    We see some players trying to mystify the 2010 Directive ameliorations by creating an “old” vs “new” dichotomy, obviously in order to discredit technology-based options and push people to process-based compliance. It would be going too far to speculate about underlying commercial motives — this reaction is just to encourage everyone to finally focus on the WHAT (the bar hasn’t been lowered: you MUST be able to demonstrate long-term integrity and authenticity, in all cases and always) so that businesses can evaluate the costs and benefits of the HOW on the basis of competitive market offerings. If we don’t get the discipline to this in the expert community we end up with more endless and pointless discussions about the absolute good or bad of various methods.

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