How to pay for transport services from 2014?


From January 1, 2014, a large number of changes to Polish tax law appeared, which in particular concern the scope of VAT settlements. The new rules apply to companies from many industries, including companies dealing in transport services. The most important change for those providing services of this nature is that as of January 1, 2014, the special moment when the tax obligation arises ceases to apply. Shipping services now include generally applicable rules.

The issue of VAT on transport services until the end of 2013

Until 31 December 2013, the tax obligation in the case of the provision of transport services arose upon receipt of the payment in whole or in part, up to the 30th day from the date of the service - this was explained in detail by the then binding Art. 19 paragraph 13 point 2 lit. a and b of the VAT Act. The following types of services were taken into account in determining the specific moment when the tax obligation arises:

  • reloading and forwarding,
  • transport of people, transport of cargo by rail, transport with the use of seagoing ships, ferries, airplanes, helicopters, transport with a fleet of vehicles and by means of coastal and inland waterway transport.

Example 1. Status for 2013

On the day the transport service was performed, the entrepreneur issued an invoice with the date of issue and sale on January 15, 2013. However, he received the remuneration for the service provided only after 14 days, or more precisely on January 29. In this situation, the tax obligation arose on the same day on which the entrepreneur received the payment, i.e. on January 29. In the event that he did not receive the payment on that date, the tax obligation would arise on February 14, i.e. on the 30th day from the provision of the service.

VAT on transport services since 2014

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The biggest changes from the new year concern the issue of determining the moment when the tax obligation arises, i.e. art. 19 of the VAT Act, which has been completely repealed. Moreover, the latest regulations do not lay down any specific rules that should be applied to transport services. Therefore, the general provision - Art. 19a of the Act, pursuant to which the tax obligation arises at the time the service is provided.

However, there is an exception to this rule, concerning the receipt of an advance payment for all or part of the service or prepayment - due to the fact that then the tax obligation under VAT arises upon its receipt. As for the date of issuing the invoice, the entrepreneur is obliged to draw up such a document by the 15th day of the following month, after the date on which he received part or all of the payment.

Example 2. As of 2014

The entrepreneur performed a transport service for another company on January 15, 2014, the performance of which was accepted by the recipient. The invoice was issued on February 10, and the payment appeared on the account on February 12. In this situation, the tax obligation arises on the same day when the service was performed - i.e. on January 15, 2014.

Based on the example above, it can be seen that the new regulations require the VAT settlement at the time of the service or receipt of payment, depending on which of the events occurs first.