Pro-forma invoice and VAT - everything you need to know
First of all, a pro-forma invoice is not an accounting voucher, therefore, in accordance with the VAT Act, its issuance does not have any VAT consequences. Therefore, there is no obligation to pay the tax indicated in this document and it does not constitute a basis for VAT deduction for the contractor. Such an explanation was published on the website of the Ministry of Finance due to the ubiquitous doubts surrounding the reporting of the tax due on pro-form.
Pro-forma invoice in the context of regulations
As a result of the amendment to the regulation on issuing invoices, the requirements regarding the elements that these documents should contain have been updated. As of January 1, 2013, the obligation to display the "VAT invoice" has disappeared. The amendment was to implement the EU Council Directive on the common system of value added tax with regard to the rules on invoicing.
Due to the introduced changes, doubts arose whether the pro-forma invoice will be treated on a par with the invoice, which is the basis for showing the VAT due on sales? Taxpayers were afraid that overzealous tax offices might demand payment of the tax twice, once on a pro-forma basis, and the second - at the time of issuing an invoice documenting the advance payment or sale received. There were also comments to remove from the pro-form some of the elements that are necessary in the case of invoices, e.g. NIP numbers or a VAT specification.
Minister of Finance on a pro-forma invoice
The explanation of the Ministry of Finance dispels all interpretation doubts in this matter. According to the opinion of the Ministry, a pro-forma invoice is not an accounting document, and the purpose of its issuance may be, for example, to confirm the submission of an offer or acceptance of an order for execution. However, it does not constitute the basis for the settlement of the VAT due at the exhibitor. The recipient of such a document is also not entitled to deduct VAT for the purchase on its basis.
Pro-forma invoice - explanation
"Due to the emerging doubts regarding the effects of tax on goods and services, the issuance of documents referred to as proforma invoices, which appeared after the amendments to the provisions on invoicing entered into force on 1 January 2013, the Ministry of Finance informs:
Pursuant to Art. 106 sec. 1 of the Act of March 11, 2004 on tax on goods and services (Journal of Laws of 2011, No. 177, item 1054, as amended), hereinafter referred to as the "VAT Act", taxpayers referred to in Art. 15 of this Act, are obliged to issue an invoice stating in particular that the sale has been made. Under Art. 106 sec. 3 of the VAT Act, there is an obligation to document with an invoice some of the receivables received before the goods are released or the service is provided.
Detailed rules for issuing invoices, including the scope and type of data included in the invoice and the dates of issuing them, are regulated by the Regulation of the Minister of Finance of March 28, 2011 on tax refunds to certain taxpayers, issuing invoices, their storage and the list of goods and services, to which do not apply exemptions from tax on goods and services (Journal of Laws No. 68, item 360 and 2012, item 1428), hereinafter referred to as "invoice regulation".
From January 1, 2013, as a result of the amendment to the invoice regulation (see the regulation of the Minister of Finance of December 11, 2012, amending the regulation on tax refund to certain taxpayers, issuing invoices, their storage and the list of goods and services to which they do not apply) VAT exemptions - Journal of Laws, item 1428), the obligation to mark invoices with the words "VAT invoice" has been abolished. A document containing the data required on the basis of the above-mentioned of the invoice regulation, but it does not have to contain the indication "VAT invoice" anymore. The regulations in force from January 1, 2013 do not require that this document contain the word "Invoice". The above changes were introduced in order to implement the Council Directive 2010/45 / EU of July 13, 2010 amending Directive 2006/112 / EC on the common system of value added tax with regard to the provisions on invoicing (Journal of Laws UE L 189 of July 22, 2010, p. 1).
The aforementioned provisions on tax on goods and services do not provide for the issuing of documents referred to as proforma invoices in order to document activities subject to taxation with this tax.
A document called a proforma invoice is not an accounting voucher. It is a document issued in business transactions and its purpose may be, for example, to confirm the submission of an offer or acceptance of an order for execution. Clear marking of this document with the words proforma means that it cannot be assigned the value of an invoice within the meaning of VAT regulations, as the entity issuing such a document clearly indicates that it is not an invoice. Therefore, the issuance of this document does not have any VAT implications, i.e. the obligation to pay the tax indicated in this document, and does not constitute a basis for the contractor to deduct the VAT shown in this document. The issuance of such a document does not release the taxpayer from the obligation to issue an invoice documenting the delivery of goods or the performance of a service or receipt of all or part of the amount due before delivery or performance of the service (as a rule, within 7 days of performing these activities - see § 9 and 10 of the invoice regulation) .
After the entry into force on January 1, 2013, the changes made to the above-mentioned Regulation of the Minister of Finance of December 11, 2012, the factual approach to documents referred to as proforma invoices has not changed. In particular, the position presented by some authors is unfounded that issuing such a document (for example to confirm the acceptance of an order), if it contains all the data required for invoices (including the tax amount), results in the obligation to pay the indicated tax to the tax office on pursuant to Art. 108 of the VAT Act. "
So proforma invoice so far
The pro-forma invoice should therefore be treated as before - only as a commercial document, not an accounting document. Therefore, there is no risk that if the entrepreneur issues a pro-forma invoice, he will be obliged to prove and pay VAT to the tax office on its basis.