The texture and its elements - pattern with discussion


A VAT invoice is a document issued, as a rule, by active VAT payers in order to document the transaction. Issuing an invoice is obligatory if the company is also the other party to the transaction. If the buyer is a natural person who does not run a business, the invoice should only be issued at the express request of the buyer.

The invoice should be issued in two copies - one for each party to the transaction (seller and buyer).

Who is required to issue VAT invoices?

The following entities are obliged to issue invoices:

  • registered VAT taxpayers active when selling to other entrepreneurs,
  • registered VAT taxpayers active when selling to natural persons who do not conduct business activity, if such a buyer requests an invoice,
  • registered VAT taxpayers active in mail order sales from the territory of the country and mail order sales within the territory of the country,
  • registered VAT taxpayers active in the case of intra-community supply of goods.

Invoices (excluding VAT) may be issued by VAT exempt taxpayers.

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What elements should a VAT invoice contain?

Both the rules for issuing, storing and sending invoices are strictly defined by law. The right to deduct VAT, closely related to this document, results in a number of requirements that an invoice must meet in order to be considered correct. Pursuant to the VAT Act, the invoice should contain elements such as:

  • invoice number,
  • date of issue,
  • the date of making or completing the delivery of goods or the performance of the service, if this date is different from the date of issue of the invoice,
  • names and surnames or names of the seller and buyer, their addresses and tax identification numbers,
  • name of the goods sold or the service performed,
  • the number of goods sold or the scope of services provided,
  • the net unit price of a good or service,
  • rebate amounts,
  • the total net value of the goods or services rendered,
  • tax rates,
  • the sum of the net sales value with the division into sales subject to individual tax rates and sales exempt from tax,
  • the amount of tax on the sum of the net sales value of goods (services), broken down into amounts related to individual tax rates,
  • the total amount due.

Additionally, on the sales document you can include:

  • date and method of payment,
  • rebates, if any,
  • notes to the document.

In addition, the VAT invoice must have annotations, the content of which depends on the method of VAT settlement:

  • split payment mechanism - if the invoice is covered by the obligatory split payment,
  • reverse charge - in the case of selling services to a company from another EU country or outside the EU,
  • cash method - if the invoice is issued by a taxpayer settling VAT using the cash method.

From October 1, 2020, active VAT payers are required to use additional markings and codes when issuing VAT invoices. However, they are not a mandatory element of the invoice and do not have to be visible on its printout. The new codes and markings will be visible only in the registration part of the JPK_V7 structure, more in the article: JPK V7 - what is included in the new structure of the uniform control file?

How to issue VAT invoices?

Neither the act nor any regulation specifies how taxpayers are to issue invoices. Therefore, it can be done in any way, e.g. manually, using ready-made prints available in stores or using invoicing programs. You can also prepare a pattern yourself and fill in the appropriate data. It is important that these documents meet the above guidelines and that the correct numbering is followed. A VAT invoice can be issued both in paper and electronic form, i.e. online invoice. The Ministry of Finance has announced the introduction of the KSeF, i.e. the National System of e-Invoices, i.e. a nationwide IT program in which entrepreneurs will be able to issue and receive structured electronic invoices. More on this subject in the article: National System of e-Invoices - new!

Storage of VAT invoices

Invoices and their copies should be kept for a period of 5 years from the end of the calendar year in which the goods and services tax payment deadline expired, broken down into individual accounting periods. These documents can be stored both in paper and electronic form (if they meet the requirements of the act in this regard), it is important that the manner of their storage allows easy access to them. In the event of a possible inspection, the office may request the taxpayer to submit the JPK_FA file, i.e. the structure of a single control file, which contains detailed information on sales invoices for a given period.

VAT invoice - how to issue it in the system?

To issue an invoice in the system, go to the REVENUE »SALE» EXHIBITION »INVOICE tab. In the window that will appear, complete all required fields.

The invoice issued in this way is automatically entered in the tax records, i.e. in the sales VAT register and column 7 of the KPiR - Sale of goods and services or the Revenue register (in the case of taxpayers taxed with a lump sum).