Incorrect VAT rate when selling at the cash register

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Sales of goods or services to natural persons who do not conduct business activity and flat-rate farmers, as a rule, should be recorded at the cash register. Of course, all sales should be credited correctly, but there are mistakes. Incorrect VAT rate when selling at the cash register is one of the mistakes that can happen to an entrepreneur while keeping records. Read the article and find out what to do in such a situation!

Cash register - when is it necessary?

As a rule, each sale by a taxpayer to a natural person not running a business or to a flat-rate farmer must be registered at the cash register. This means that taxpayers providing services or selling goods to the above-mentioned recipients must not only have a cash register, but also register each such sale on it, even if the buyer wants to issue an invoice to him as a private person. On the other hand, the taxpayer whose sales to private individuals and lump-sum farmers did not exceed PLN 20,000 in the previous year is exempt from the obligation to have a cash register. If the taxpayer started business during the tax year, this limit is calculated proportionally to the time of conducting the business.

However, the legislator specified taxpayers who, due to the type of services or goods supplied, cannot benefit from the exemption from the obligation to have a cash register. The Ordinance of the Minister of Finance of December 16, 2016 on exemptions from the obligation to keep records using cash registers stipulates that taxpayers who provide services must absolutely have a cash register:

  • passenger transport in car communication,

  • transport of people and their hand luggage by taxis,

  • repair of motor vehicles and mopeds (including tire repair, fitting, retreading and regeneration),

  • as regards the replacement of tires or wheels for motor vehicles and mopeds,

  • in the field of tests and technical inspections of vehicles,

  • in the field of medical care provided by doctors and dentists,

  • legal,

  • tax consultancy,

  • food-related (PKWiU 56), only:

    • provided by stationary catering establishments, also seasonally and

    • food preparation services for external recipients (catering),

  • hairdressing, cosmetic and cosmetology

and delivery:

  • liquid gas,

  • engine parts (PKWiU 28.11.4),

  • internal combustion engines of a kind used for propulsion of vehicles (PKWiU 29.10.1),

  • bodywork for motor vehicles (PKWiU 29.20.1),

  • trailers and semi-trailers; containers (PKWiU 29.20.2),

  • parts of trailers, semi-trailers and other vehicles without mechanical drive (PKWiU 29.20.30.0),

  • parts and accessories for motor vehicles (excluding motorcycles) not elsewhere classified (PKWiU 29.32.30.0),

  • internal combustion piston engines of a kind used in motorcycles (PKWiU 30.91.3),
  • radio, television and telecommunications equipment, excluding electron tubes and other electronic components as well as parts for apparatus and devices for sound and image manipulation, antennas (PKWiU ex 26 and ex 27.90),

  • photographic equipment, excluding parts and accessories for photographic equipment and accessories (PKWiU ex 26.70.1),

  • goods made of precious metals or with the participation of these metals, the supply of which cannot benefit from the exemption from the tax referred to in article 2. 113 paragraph. 1 and 9 of the VAT Act,

  • recorded and unsaved digital and analog data carriers,

  • products intended for use, offered for sale or used as motor fuels or as additives or admixtures to motor fuels, regardless of the PKWiU symbol,

  • tobacco products (PKWiU 12.00), alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content above 1.2% and alcoholic beverages containing a mixture of beer and non-alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content exceeding 0.5%, regardless of the PKWiU symbol, excluding goods delivered on board airplanes ,

  • perfumes and toilet waters (PKWiU 20.42.11.0), excluding goods delivered on board airplanes.

Cash register - what about mistakes?

As you can see, many entrepreneurs must have a fiscal cash register, and thus - register sales on it to natural persons who do not conduct business activity and flat-rate farmers. What should be done, however, if the entrepreneur makes a mistake while punching the sale on the cash register? We answer below.

The regulations stipulate that in the event of an obvious entrepreneur's mistake when recording sales on the cash register, such as, for example, an incorrect amount or an incorrect product on the receipt, the entrepreneur may include such a sale in a separate record, i.e. a record of obvious mistakes. He must do it immediately after noticing the mistake, and then load the sale correctly on the cash register again.

Such a record should be made by the taxpayer for each VAT accounting period, but it is usually practiced to have a separate record for each month, even if the taxpayer settles VAT on a quarterly basis. Thanks to this, when posting a monthly report from the cash register and a monthly record of obvious mistakes, the actual amounts of income for a given month are included in the accounting and VAT records.

Incorrect VAT rate when selling at the cash register

There are situations when the seller, while filling the cash register with a sale to a natural person not conducting business activity or a flat-rate farmer, makes a mistake and chooses the wrong VAT rate. What to do in this case? Incorrect VAT rate when selling at the cash register is the subject of consideration of many individual interpretations issued. Therefore, you should start by analyzing them.

In the individual tax ruling No.IPTPP1 / 4512-546 / 15-2 / RG issued on November 27, 2015 by the Director of the Tax Chamber in Łódź, the situation of the taxpayer was analyzed, who gave the clients of his facility gross prices for entry cards and incorrectly recorded this sale at the cash register with 23% VAT rate, not 8% as it should. He asked whether he could correct incorrectly taxed sales, and thus - reduce the VAT liability to the Tax Office.

The director of the Tax Chamber in the above-mentioned interpretation wrote:

(...) In the discussed case, we are dealing with a situation where the burden of VAT on the services provided was borne by final consumers, i.e. natural persons. Thus, it was not the Applicant who ultimately incurred the economic burden of the tax on goods and services, but third parties (from whom this tax was collected in the price for the service). A refund of the tax on goods and services paid to the Applicant who did not bear the economic burden of the tax would mean an unjustified gain by the State Treasury for the benefit of the Applicant. The return of the tax on goods and services to the taxpayer who only formally and not actually paid it would lead to unjust enrichment on the part of the Applicant.

In this situation, the unduly charged amount of VAT is undoubtedly due to the person who lost this value, and therefore to the person who actually incurred the economic burden of the tax. In the present case, these will be customers purchasing entry cards (in the form of, inter alia, entry cards, passes, one-time entries and admission tickets) authorizing to use the facility. However, from the description of the case it does not appear that the Applicant has made or intended to refund the difference in the amount of tax to customers.

Therefore, in relation to customers who have not been issued invoices, in the circumstances of the present case, i.e. no refund of the difference in the amount of tax to customers, the Applicant has no right to correct the amount of tax due in the declaration by showing the 8% rate for the sale of admission cards ( in the form of, among others, entrance cards, passes, one-time entries and admission tickets) entitling to use the facility instead of the 23% rate. (...)

The above-mentioned interpretation is a confirmation of the individual interpretation No. IBP2 / 4512-297 / JJ issued by the Director of the Tax Chamber in Katowice on July 3, 2015. It can read that:

(...) The return of the tax on goods and services paid to the Applicant who did not bear the economic burden of the tax would mean an unjustified gain by the State Treasury for the benefit of the Applicant. The return of the tax on goods and services to the taxpayer who only formally and not actually paid it would lead to unjust enrichment on the part of the Applicant. (...)

In connection with the above, in relation to natural persons who have not been invoiced, the Applicant cannot correct the unduly declared VAT, thus correcting the monthly VAT-7 declaration, in which he calculated and paid VAT for the provided fitness and gym services, because it is not able to identify natural persons and refund them unduly paid excessive VAT. (...)

It follows, therefore, that the correction of the excessive tax on the cash register receipt is possible only in the case when the customer receives a refund of the overpaid amount from the seller. However, it is very unlikely, because the seller usually does not have any data of the private customer and at the time of finding the mistake cannot contact him in order to refund the overpaid tax. And the situation where the overpaid tax remains with the seller is unacceptable, as it would result in an unjustified gain for the entrepreneur, because the State Treasury would pay the tax directly from the state property to the entrepreneur's private property.