Do you know how to cost an expense for an online foreign course?


Currently, online training and courses are becoming more and more popular. There are many advantages of this solution. First of all - they are often much cheaper than their "real" counterparts. Secondly - they can be carried out at a convenient time - you do not have to interrupt important duties to participate in the course. Thirdly - they give the opportunity to take advantage of the offers of foreign training companies. How to settle the purchase of an online course from a contractor outside the country?

Foreign Online Course - Is It Importing Services?

The question that arises when buying an online course from a foreign training company is: should such an expense be accounted for as an import of services? Let's check.


As stated in the VAT Act, the import of services should be considered to be “the provision of services for the performance of which the recipient is the taxpayer”.

As it follows from the above definition, the import of services will be the purchase of such services (e.g. online course) from a foreign seller whose place of provision is in Poland.

Foreign online course and the place of service provision

The rules for determining the place of service provision are contained in Art. 28b of the VAT Act.

Art. 28b

In the case of services to a taxable person, the place of supply of services is the place where the taxable person who is the recipient of the service has his establishment.

This means that in the case of most services from foreign contractors, a Polish entrepreneur is obliged to charge VAT on their purchase (regardless of whether he is an active or exempt taxpayer). Does this rule also apply to online course purchases?

Yes, as most of the online courses are electronic services to which the general rules set out in the aforementioned Art. 28b. This means that in such a case the entrepreneur is obliged to settle the import of services with all the consequences.


In order for an online course to be considered an electronic service, it must be automated, requiring no or minimal human intervention.

However, if the online course takes place in a form that requires contact with a foreign teacher via the Internet, then the place of providing services is designated by Art. 28 g of paragraph 1. 1.

Art. 28g sec. 1

The place of supply of admission services to cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific, educational, entertainment or similar events, such as fairs and exhibitions, and of ancillary services related to admission services to these events, provided to the taxpayer, is the place where those events actually take place. are taking place.