Correction of a VAT declaration - when can it be submitted?


Everyone makes mistakes - but what happens when it concerns a VAT return? Nothing scary! The correction of VAT returns is a right of active taxpayers granted by the legislator. It is worth noting, however, that in certain situations it is not possible.

Tax proceedings or control and correction of VAT returns

What to do if the taxpayer wants to submit a correction of the VAT declaration during the ongoing tax proceedings or tax inspection?

If the correction of the VAT declaration is to relate to the period which is subject to inspection or tax proceedings, its submission will be legally ineffective - the legislator suspended the right to submit the correction in such a situation. However, if he wants to correct a period that is not subject to inspection or tax proceedings, there are no contraindications to submit the correction.

In a situation where the taxpayer wants to adjust the period that has been subject to inspection or tax proceedings, he has the option to do so. This is specified in the tax ordinance in Art. 81b. The indicated provision states that the correction of the VAT declaration is still due after the end of the tax inspection and tax proceedings, to the extent not covered by the decision determining the amount of the tax liability.

The same situation occurs when the inspection has detected irregularities, they have been described in the inspection report along with the instruction on the right to submit a correction of the VAT return, and the taxpayer agrees with the inspection findings. Before tax proceedings are initiated against him, he has the right to correct the VAT return, taking into account all or part of the irregularities indicated in the protocol.

The revision may additionally take into account other changes that were not listed in the protocol. However, it should be remembered that in the event of failure to comply with all the guidelines contained in the audit report, tax proceedings will be initiated against the taxpayer.

Decision determining the amount of tax arrears and the correction of the VAT declaration

If the taxpayer receives a decision stating the amount of tax arrears, it is no longer possible to make a correction for the period covered by the decision. If, in the opinion of the taxpayer, the issued decision is unfounded, he may appeal against it to the competent director of the tax chamber.

Correction of VAT declaration - reason for submission

The correction of the VAT declaration no longer needs to include a written justification for submitting the correction. However, it is not prohibited and, if the taxpayer wishes, he or she may provide the reason for correcting the declaration in the form of a regular letter or a ready ORD-ZU form. If the taxpayer does not use a ready-made form, the justification letter should contain at least:

  • taxpayer data,

  • the date and place of the letter,

  • indication of the head of the tax office to whom the letter is addressed,

  • justification of the correction and signature of the taxpayer.

The amount to be refunded in the declaration and the correction of the VAT declaration

What to do when, after submitting a VAT return to the tax office, it turns out that the amount shown should be less? Should I wait for the return first and then correct the declaration, or do it immediately after noticing the error?

The answer is simple - the correction of the VAT declaration should be submitted immediately after noting the error. However, it is worth remembering that when a correction is submitted that changes the amount of tax to be refunded, the return date is counted from the moment of submitting the correction to the tax office.

Correction of the company's VAT declaration in a situation where the civil law partnership has already been terminated

When the company has been dissolved and the VAT return requires a correction, a partner in the dissolved company has the option to submit such correction to the tax office. If, on the other hand, VAT is due for reimbursement on account of this correction and the partner wants to apply for it, it is necessary to:

  • submit a correction of the VAT declaration,

  • attach an application for overpayment together with a copy of the articles of association in force on the date of its termination.

The overpayment will be returned to the former partners of the civil law partnership within 60 days, according to the proportion of shares specified in the partnership agreement.

Correction of the VAT declaration and the reduced rate of interest

In the event of a correction of the VAT declaration, which results in an underpayment in VAT, an outstanding tax liability arises. Statutory interest is charged on unpaid tax liabilities. Art. 56 of the Tax Ordinance states that "the default interest rate is equal to the sum of 200% of the basic interest rate on the lombard loan, determined in accordance with the provisions of the National Bank of Poland, and 2%, however, this rate may not be lower than 8%”.

However, the taxpayer may apply a reduced rate of statutory interest on tax arrears amounting to 50% of the default interest rate - says Art. 56a of the Tax Code. For this to be possible, all conditions should be met:

  • submission of a legally effective correction of the declaration, no later than within 6 months from the date of expiry of the deadline for submitting the declaration;

  • payment of the entire arrears within 7 days from the date of submitting the correction of the VAT declaration.

If these conditions are met, the taxpayer has the right to apply a reduced rate of interest.

However, there are circumstances that prevent the payment of lower interest on tax arrears. This happens when:

  • the correction of the VAT declaration will be submitted after the taxpayer receives the notification of the intention to initiate a tax inspection, and if the notification is not applicable - after the inspection is completed;

  • the taxpayer will submit a correction as a result of checking activities.