Are gift certificates subject to VAT?


Gift certificate - definition

A gift voucher, defined in the Polish language dictionary as a proof entitling its holder to receive certain products, sums of money or the possibility of using specific services within a specified period, does not have its definition in the Value Added Tax Act, which raises considerable doubts as to this. whether the delivery of a gift certificate constitutes an activity subject to VAT or not.

The VAT Act specifies in Art. 5 sec. 1 point 1 that tax on goods and services is subject to the paid supply of goods and the paid provision of services.

Art. 7 sec. 1 of the same act defines the delivery of goods as the transfer of the right to dispose of the goods as the owner, where according to Art. 2 of the VAT Act, goods should be understood as things and their parts, as well as all forms of energy.

The provision of services, however, is, according to Art. 8 (1) any service for a natural person, legal person or organizational unit without legal personality which does not constitute a supply of goods.

The voucher is not a commodity

Thus, a voucher is not a commodity within the meaning of the VAT Act, because it is not a thing, but a proof entitling to choose certain specific goods and at the same time it is not a provision of services, because the mere fact of handing over a voucher entitling the holder to use some service in the future or benefit cannot be treated as the performance of that service.

Consequences of issuing a gift voucher

The provision of vouchers by the employer to its employees, e.g. as prizes, bonuses or even on the occasion of holidays, or contractors as part of cooperation, entitling them to purchase goods or services in certain stores or service points, therefore, it does not create any tax obligation on ground for VAT.

Only its implementation, i.e. payment with a voucher, which in this case is treated as a means of payment, for selected goods or services will result in a tax obligation for the supply of goods and services to the buyer.