Did you know that a proforma can be treated like a regular invoice?


In January 2014, many changes related to VAT entered into force. Among them, you can distinguish, among others determining the moment when the tax obligation arises, or issues related to changing the dates of issuing invoices. Importantly, only now the regulations define such essential terms as invoice or electronic invoice. The introduction of these concepts creates quite a stir around proform (orders).

Invoice - statutory definition

An invoice is a document in paper or electronic form, containing data required by the Act and regulations issued on its basis - this is the statutory definition, which is included in Art. 2 point 31 of the Act on tax on goods and services.

An electronic invoice, on the other hand, is an electronic invoice issued and received in any electronic format.

What basic data should the invoice contain?

In art. 106e paragraph. 1 point 1-15 of the Act specifies the basic data that should be included in the invoice, namely:

1. date of issue;

2. sequential number, based on one or more series, which uniquely identifies the invoice;

3. names and surnames or names of the taxpayer and purchaser of the goods or services and their addresses;

4.number by means of which the taxpayer is identified for tax purposes, subject to point 24 (a). and;

5.the number by which the buyer of goods or services is identified for the purposes of tax or value added tax under which he received the goods or services, subject to point 24 (a). B;

6. the date of the delivery or completion of the delivery of goods or the performance of the service or the date of receipt of the payment referred to in art. 106b paragraph. 1 point 4, if such date is specified and differs from the invoice issue date;

7. name (type) of goods or services;

8. measure and quantity (number) of delivered goods or scope of services provided;

9. unit price of a good or service without the tax amount (net unit price);

10. the amount of any price rebates or reductions, including in the form of an early payment rebate, if not included in the net unit price;

11. value of the goods delivered or services performed, covered by the transaction, excluding the tax amount (net sales value);

12. tax rate;

13. sum of the net sales value, with a breakdown into sales subject to individual tax rates and sales exempt from tax;

14. amount of tax on the sum of the net sales value, broken down into amounts related to individual tax rates;

15. total amount receivable.

The mentioned article also contains further points indicating additional data that should be included in the invoice. However, they were not listed due to the reference to specific transactions.

Definition of a pro forma invoice

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A pro forma invoice, unlike an invoice, is not an accounting voucher, it only serves as an order. Importantly, until the end of 2013, it did not have any tax consequences on the basis of VAT. It should be emphasized, however, that already then there was a certain amount of uncertainty among taxpayers, as some tax authorities stubbornly claimed that the pro forma including all data required for an invoice triggers a tax obligation in the tax on goods and services. The situation was so tense that the Minister of Finance himself had to react by ensuring that the pro forma invoice was only a commercial offer and not a full-fledged invoice.

From January 2014, further changes in the field of VAT came about, with certain consequences. Importantly, with the emergence of the definition of an invoice, the risk of treating a pro forma invoice as a full-value invoice with all its consequences arose. So how should entrepreneurs behave? First of all, you should show common sense when providing all data on a pro-form - these should be limited to the necessary minimum, and certainly not all that are necessary to prepare a fully-fledged invoice. The effect of the lack of caution may be the treatment of a pro forma invoice as an ordinary invoice requiring VAT. Importantly, in 2014, no clarifications from the Ministry of Finance in this regard appeared and will not appear, because the ministry can only submit them to its own regulations, and the invoicing regulations were transferred to one of the most important legal acts - the VAT Act, which excludes this possibility .