Intra-Community acquisition of means of transport - definition and examples

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In which cases is the purchase of a car by a Polish entrepreneur in the territory of the Member States considered to be WNT? In order to determine intra-Community transactions, the regulations distinguish between the concept of a new and used means of transport. Therefore, it is worth finding out when such a purchase of a vehicle will result in the obligation to settle the tax.

New means of transport

Polish law treats new means of transport in a special way (land vehicles, vessels and aircrafts). Pursuant to Art. 2 point 10 of the VAT Act, new means of transport are considered to be:

  • Land vehicles powered by an engine with a cylinder capacity greater than 48 cubic centimeters or with a power greater than 7.2 kilowatts, which have met at least one of the following conditions:

    • have not traveled more than 6,000 kilometers or

    • no more than 6 months have passed since they were released for use.

It is worth noting that the moment of putting a land vehicle into service is considered (depending on which of these dates is the earlier) the date on which it was first registered for the purpose of putting into road traffic or on which it was first subject to the obligation registration for admission to road traffic. However, in the event that the above-mentioned the dates, the moment of putting the vehicle into service shall be the date on which it was issued by the manufacturer to the first buyer or the date on which it was first used for demonstration purposes by the manufacturer:

  • watercraft with a length of more than 7.5 meters, if they have been used for no more than 100 working hours on the water or no more than 3 months have elapsed since their release for use, the exception is sea-going vessels (Article 83 (1) (1)) .

The moment of putting into service the watercraft is the date on which it is delivered by the manufacturer to the first purchaser or the date on which it is first used for demonstration purposes by the manufacturer.

  • Aircraft with a maximum take-off mass greater than 1,550 kilograms, if they have been used for no more than 40 working hours or no more than 3 months have elapsed since their entry into service, with the exception of means of air transport (Article 83 (1) (6)).

In the case of aircraft, the date of entry into service is the date on which it is issued by the manufacturer to the first purchaser or the date on which it is first used for demonstration purposes by the manufacturer.

Example 1.

Can the purchase by a Polish entrepreneur of a car with a mileage of 5,000 km, which was registered a year ago, be considered a new means of transport?

As already mentioned, it is enough that one condition specified in the VAT Act is met to qualify the car to the new means of transport. In this case, the criterion is met because the vehicle has a mileage of less than 6,000 km.

It is worth remembering that when buying, you should pay attention to the fact whether the invoice contains information clearly confirming the purchase of a new means of transport.

As a rule, we are dealing with intra-Community acquisition of goods when the buyer is a taxable person or a non-taxable legal person. However, this provision does not apply to new fixed assets. In this case, each entity is classified to the WNT. Thus, even a natural person who does not run a business is required to pay tax at the national rate. It informs the head of the tax office about such acquisition by submitting information marked with the symbol VAT-23. This declaration is accompanied by a copy of the invoice documenting the purchase.

Example 2.

The Polish company bought in March 2013. a car after an accident from a German private entity. The vehicle was registered in January 2013 and has a mileage of 2,000 km. Should a Polish entrepreneur settle WNT tax?

The car meets all the conditions for recognition as a new means of transport. For the purposes of the classification, it does not matter whether the car is after an accident and the status of the supplier (in this case a natural person). Thus, the entrepreneur is dealing with WNT.

Fixed assets used

A used means of transport is a vehicle that does not meet two criteria set out in Art. 2 clause 10 of the VAT Act (they were discussed at the beginning of the article). In the case of a car, the vehicle will be recognized as a used agent when the car has a mileage of more than 6,000 km and has been registered more than 6 months ago. It should be emphasized that both of the above-mentioned premises.

In this case, the following criteria are met:

  • the buyer is a VAT payer or a value added taxpayer, if the purchased goods are to be used for his business activity; the buyer may also be a legal person who is not a taxpayer, if the total value of intra-Community acquisition of goods exceeded PLN 50,000 in the preceding tax year,
  • the supplier of the goods is a VAT or value added tax payer.

If the Polish taxpayer purchased a car with a mileage of 7,000 km from a German company, should the purchase be considered intra-Community acquisition?

The vehicle is a used fixed asset, but in this case it does not matter whether the car is new or used, as the transaction in each variant will be considered as an intra-Community acquisition of goods.

A used car should not be considered as an intra-Community acquisition of goods when it is purchased from a private person through a purchase and sale agreement or on commission on a VAT-margin invoice. In this case, the taxpayer is not obliged to settle VAT. According to Art. 10. Paragraph 1 (4), the supply of second-hand goods subject to special rules subject to value added tax in the territory of the Member State of commencement of transport or dispatch shall be excluded from the intra-Community acquisition of goods.

The condition for the application of the above-mentioned The provision is for the buyer to have documents clearly confirming the purchase of goods on these special terms.