Individual PDF interpretation is an e-invoice


Based on Article. 14b § 1 and § 6 of the Tax Ordinance of August 29, 1997 and § 7 of the Regulation of the Minister of Finance of June 20, 2007 on the authorization to issue interpretations of tax law, the Director of the Tax Chamber in Warsaw, acting on behalf of the Minister of Finance, states that the receipt of invoices by e-mail in a PDF file and by fax and the deduction of VAT from the invoices thus received is correct. This decision was made in connection with the receipt of a request for a written interpretation of the tax law in an individual case regarding tax on goods and services in the field of receiving invoices by e-mail in a PDF file and the right to deduct VAT from such invoices received.
In relation to this request, the following questions were asked:

Does the VAT invoice sent to the Company by the Contractor in the PDF format via e-mail (e-mail), which has been printed by him and is stored in paper form, entitle the Company to deduct the input VAT contained in such invoice? ?
Under the legal status valid from 01.01.2011, the VAT invoice sent to the Company by the Contractor via fax, which will be stored in paper form, will entitle the Company to deduct the input VAT included in such invoice?

According to the applicant:

When presenting your own position on the matter, you should first make some general remarks that jointly relate to all questions posed by the Company. They refer to the nature of the changes in the law, effective from 01/01/2011, which relate to, inter alia, rules for issuing and sending invoices. Among others, the obligation to define issued invoices as a "copy" or "original" and the wording of § 21 on the rules for storing invoices (including electronic invoices) has been changed.

The regulation on electronic invoices introduces new rules - different from the previous ones - for sending and storing invoices in electronic form. First of all, the rules for sending these invoices have been liberalized. Currently, they can be sent without meeting the special requirements that were until the end of 2010. provided for in the repealed regulation, i.e. the principle that transmission in electronic form is allowed only with the use of a secure electronic signature or through electronic data exchange (EDI) no longer applies. As of 2011, invoices can still be sent using the above-mentioned methods, and in addition, this can be done in any other electronic form (e-mail, fax) and in any electronic format (e.g. PDF), with the freedom of form and format is limited by the condition of ensuring the authenticity of the origin (certainty as to the identity of the issuer of the invoice) and the integrity of the content of the invoice (the data that should be included in the invoice has not been changed in the invoice). The right to use the electronic method of sending invoices was conditional on the prior consent of the recipient of the invoices in writing or electronically.

Pursuant to Art. 106 sec. 1 of the Act of March 11, 2004 on tax on goods and services, taxpayers are obliged to issue an invoice stating in particular the sale, date of sale, unit price without tax, tax base, tax rate and amount, amount due and taxpayer data and the buyer, subject to paragraph 2, 4 and 5 and article. 119 paragraph. 10 and art. 120 paragraph 16.

Invoices may be sent, including made available, in electronic form in any electronic format, subject to prior approval of this method of sending invoices by the invoice recipient, hereinafter referred to as "acceptance". Acceptance or its withdrawal may be expressed in writing or in electronic form.

According to § 4 of the above-mentioned of the Regulation, invoices may be sent in electronic form, provided that the authenticity of the origin and integrity of the invoice content is ensured. § 2 clause 1 of the regulation defines the notions: the authenticity of the origin of the invoice and the integrity of its content. And so by:

  • the authenticity of the origin of the invoice means certainty as to the identity of the supplier of the goods or the service provider or the issuer of the invoice;
  • the integrity of the content of the invoice is understood as not having changed the data that the invoice should contain in the invoice.

In the light of the above, it should be stated that an electronic invoice should be considered a document for which the identity of the issuer (seller) and the integrity of the content are ensured and was sent by electronic means after the recipient's (buyer) approval as to this form of invoice transmission.

Invoices and correction invoices are issued at least in two copies, the original is received by the buyer and the copy is kept by the seller. The above provision does not apply to invoices and corrective invoices sent in electronic form. In the case of these invoices, the seller sends them, including making them available, to the buyer, while keeping them in his records.

When it is mentioned in the regulation of 17 December 2010 on the issue of sending invoices in electronic form, the rules for their storage and the procedure for making invoices available to the tax authority or the tax inspection authority, this term should be understood both as "original invoice" and "corrective invoice". In addition, it should be noted that the above-mentioned regulation does not require that corrective invoices to invoices issued and sent in electronic form be issued and sent in this form.

The taxpayer has the right to reduce the amount of tax due by the amount of input tax, subject to article 22. 114, art. 119 paragraph. 4, art. 120 paragraph 17 and 19 and article. 124. The amount of input tax is the sum of the tax amounts specified in the invoices received by the taxpayer for the purchase of goods and services. Pursuant to Art. 86 sec. 10 item 1 of the Act, the right to reduce the amount of tax due arises in the settlement for the period in which the taxpayer received an invoice or a customs document, subject to items 2-5 and paragraph 11, 12, 16 and 18. If the taxpayer fails to reduce the amount of tax payable within the time limits specified in para. 10, may reduce the amount of tax payable in the tax return for one of the next two tax periods. The basis for deduction of input tax are VAT invoices received by the taxpayer documenting the purchase of goods and services used to perform taxable activities.