IE-599 message and the 0% rate in exports

Service-Tax

The subject of taxation with value added tax is, in accordance with Art. 5 of this act, incl. export of goods. The export of goods should be understood as the delivery of goods outside the European Union, transported or dispatched from the territory of Poland. Under the VAT Act, exports may be taxed at a preferential rate of 0%, although several conditions must be met, including: obtaining appropriate documents confirming the export of goods. This document may in particular be the IE-599 message. Later in the article we will consider the conditions for applying the 0% rate in the export of goods and we will specify what the IE-599 message is.

Conditions for applying the 0% rate in exports under the VAT Act

In order to talk about the export of goods, to which the 0% rate can be applied, first of all, the statutory conditions must be met, enabling the delivery of goods to be considered exports, which must then be properly documented. The conditions referred to above include:

  • commencement of the export of goods to the territory of the Republic of Poland,
  • possession of documents confirming the export of goods, before the deadline for submitting the tax return. The VAT Act lists the types of documents, which include: an electronic document received from the IT system used to handle export declarations, or a printout of this document confirmed by the competent customs authority; an electronic document from the electronic system for handling export declarations received outside this system, if its authenticity is ensured; the export declaration in a fixed paper form submitted outside the IT system used to handle export declarations or its copy certified by the competent customs authority.

The movement of goods to the territory of another Member State, where it is unloaded and stored (outside the customs warehouse) where the export outside the EU procedure will be initiated, is not considered as export of goods.In such a situation, the basic condition for recognizing a given delivery as an export of goods in the form of commencement of exportation from the territory of Poland is not met, because the transport procedure is not continuous and uninterrupted. In such a situation, the 0% rate cannot be applied, because the given delivery does not meet the condition for recognition as an export of goods.

One of the documents entitling to apply the 0% rate in the export of goods is the IE-599 message, which confirms the export of goods outside the territory of the Community.

What is the IE-599 message and how do I get it?

In Poland, there is the ECS (Export Control System) system, whose main task is to handle customs export declarations. Electronic system in the form of the so-called Customs messaging processes and generates specific information regarding the various steps related to the customs clearance of goods. And so, among others

  • the IE-515 message concerns the declaration of goods for the export procedure,
  • the IE-518 message concerns the results of the control carried out by the Customs Office of Exit, i.e. the office from which the goods leave,
  • the IE-529 message concerns the release of goods for the export procedure,
  • the IE-599 message concerns the confirmation of the exit of goods or the refusal to consent to the exit of goods.

Note that the IE-599 message does not always mean that the goods have left the EU customs territory. In this case, it will contain the inspection result code B1 (non-compliant) and the date the goods were detained.

Not always the IE-599 message will constitute a document entitling to apply the 0% VAT rate in the export of goods. If the goods are detained and the message contains the B1 code, then the statutory definition of the export of goods will not be filled (the goods will not be exported outside the EU territory).

The IE-599 message generated by the system is sent to the e-mail address provided in the export declaration (IE-515). The IE-599 message is electronically signed by the ECS and takes the form of an XML file. The visualization of the document is presented in the picture below.



IE-599 message received from another country and the right to apply the 0% rate

The VAT Act allows for the transport of goods in the export of goods, both by the supplier or on his behalf (so-called direct export), and by a buyer established outside the country or on his behalf (so-called indirect export).

Especially in the case of indirect export, i.e. in a situation where the transport is organized by a buyer from a third country or another entity acting on his behalf, in practice there may be a situation in which goods are cleared by a customs office located in the territory of a Member State other than Poland. EU.

Due to the fact that the customs system in the EU (ECS system) is an integrated system for the Community customs territory, the IE-599 message will entitle the taxpayer to apply the 0% VAT rate, also in the case of taking goods outside the EU from the territory of another Member State . The IE-599 message will then contain information about the competent customs office of exit, which may be, for example, the customs office in Hungary. The key to recognizing a given transaction as an export of goods, for which the 0% rate can be applied, is the initiation of transport from the territory of Poland. It does not matter that the country of exit will be another EU Member State. The document confirming the export of the goods will be the IE-599 message, containing a note about the competent customs office of exit. It can be a Polish customs office, but also another customs office belonging to each EU Member State. The above is confirmed in particular by the Director of the National Tax Information in the individual ruling of April 24, 2018, file ref. 0112-KDIL1-3.4012.95.2018.2.KM, where the authority stated in particular that

"[From] the above it does not follow that the goods to be exported must leave the territory of the European Union via the national border customs office, as this can be done through any EU customs office, but it is necessary that the transport (shipment) of the goods before leaving the territory of the European Union European, started on the territory of Poland and it is important that the transport is uninterrupted. However, it is not about the physical aspect of this transport, i.e. that the transport should be carried out by, for example, only one entity (e.g. a forwarder) or that the goods cannot be overloaded or temporarily stored. It is important that the intended use of the goods is only to export them from the territory of the European Union ”.
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It is worth observing the consistency of the data contained in the IE-599 message

It should be emphasized that it is the domestic entity that taxes the export of goods with a 0% rate that is obliged to prove that the goods left the territory of the community. Importantly, the documents should indicate the identity of the goods that have been exported. Therefore, if the data on the IE-599 message is significantly inconsistent with the data on other documents, e.g. invoices, then there will be a risk of questioning the 0% rate by the tax authority. However, in a situation where the taxpayer is able to prove the identity of the goods being exported, then some discrepancies between the IE-599 message and other documents should not, as a rule, constitute grounds for refusing the right to apply the 0% rate (more on this subject in the interpretation an individual document issued by the Director of the National Tax Information of February 27, 2019, reference number 0114-KDIP1-2.4012.63.2019.1.RM, where the authority considered correct the position of the quantities between the IE-599 message and commercial documents).

In the case of doubtful cases, it is worth applying for an individual interpretation in your own case to avoid the need to pursue your case in court. For example, in the judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court of July 10, 2018, file ref. I FSK 93/16, the adjudicating panel condemned the position of the tax authority, which refused to apply the 0% rate in the export of goods, despite having the IE-599 message confirming the export of goods. The bone of disagreement in the case was the fact that the IE-599 message contained data of an entity other than the seller. As a last resort, the court overturned the authority's decision to refuse the right to apply the 0% rate for the export of goods, because the documents indicated the identity of the goods being exported and the consistency of the sales documents, and the authority failed to prove that the transaction did not actually take place.

Nevertheless, it is worth being cautious in such situations and controlling the information disclosed in export documents, because no entrepreneur would certainly want to pursue their case in court.