Blank invoice - consequences of issuing


If the invoice is incorrectly issued by the taxpayer, the taxpayer has the right to correct the document. On the other hand, if the invoice does not refer to the actual sale of goods or services, it is a so-called blank invoice.

A blank invoice in the VAT Act

It must be remembered that issuing a sales invoice for the contractor means the obligation to pay the VAT included in the document - in accordance with Art. 108 sec. 1 of the VAT Act. In other words, regardless of whether the invoice reflects the actual state or not, the taxpayer is obliged to pay the output VAT. According to the position of tax authorities, VAT from an empty invoice cannot be included in the VAT return - it must be paid to the Tax Office by the 25th day of the month following the month of issuing the invoice. However, if the tax is shown in the VAT sales register, and the tax office notices an incorrectness regarding the presentation of a blank invoice, it will itself correct and reduce the output tax resulting from the blank invoice.

Blank invoice - right to deduct VAT

There are situations when dishonest entrepreneurs establish cooperation to issue blank invoices that do not relate to actual transactions. They do this in order to reduce the amount of VAT due to the taxpayer's contractor. Importantly, Art. 88 sec. 3a point 4 letter a of the VAT Act indicates that an empty invoice does not entitle to deduct the tax contained in this document.

Issuing empty invoices is subject to sanctions contained in the Fiscal Penal Code:

art. 56. § 1 of the Fiscal Penal Code

A taxpayer who submits a declaration or a declaration to the tax authority, other authorized body or the payer, provides a falsehood or conceals the truth or fails to comply with the obligation to notify about the change of data covered by them, which exposes the tax to depletion, is subject to a fine of up to 720 daily rates or imprisonment , or both.

Blank invoice - how to avoid negative consequences?

Sometimes an empty invoice is the result of a mistake or inattention of the entrepreneur. In this case, there are two options to avoid the negative consequences of the error:

  • cancellation of an invoice - possible only when the invoice has not entered legal circulation - i.e. it has not been handed over to the recipient. The original and its copies must be printed and the appropriate note (Canceled on ... + signature) should be crossed out, which will make it impossible to put it into circulation.

  • correcting the invoice to zero - when you cannot cancel the invoice, you have to issue a correcting invoice. The Act does not refer directly to the correction of invoices that do not reflect actual transactions, however, this possibility is permissible, which results from the interpretations issued by the Minister of Finance.