Penalty for errors in JPK, i.e. what consequences await taxpayers?


Along with the amendment to the VAT Act, from October 1, 2020, a new structure of the Standard Audit File was introduced. This is another change in the last few years regarding reporting, which requires entrepreneurs to keep the company's accounting in a program adapted to the ever newer requirements of the legislator. In connection with the introduction of the new file structure, penalties imposed on entrepreneurs for errors that may be in the new JPK have also changed. Let's check the penalty for entrepreneurs for errors in SAF!

Who and from when does the obligation to send a new JPK structure apply?

The amendment to the VAT Act did not oblige all taxpayers to send the new SAF at the same time. However, due to the difficult economic situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the obligation to send a new JPK has been unified and from October 1, 2020, all active VAT payers, i.e. micro, small, medium and large enterprises are obliged to use the new JPK_V7 file

The new SAF-T structure applies to both entrepreneurs who choose monthly VAT settlement and those who pay quarterly. Pursuant to Art. 99 sec. 11c of the VAT Act, the new SAF-T structure should be submitted only in the form of an electronic document consisting of two parts - records and declarations. The file template is made available by the Minister of Finance, who by means of a regulation specifies the detailed scope of data contained in SAF-T with additional explanations. The registration part contains detailed information contained in the VAT register of purchases and sales. However, the declaration part contains other information that was included in the VAT-7 or VAT-7K declaration before October 1, 2020. In the case of settling VAT for monthly periods, the taxpayer is obliged to send a new JPK structure by the 25th day of the month for the previous month. The new JPK will consist of both parts - declaration and records. However, in a situation where the entrepreneur has chosen quarterly settlement of VAT, for the first two months of a given quarter, only the record part is shipped - the declaration part is sent along with the record part for the third month of the quarter.

Example 1.

Mr. Łukasz settles VAT for quarterly periods. How must it send the new JPK structure from October 1, 2020?

Due to the fact that the new SAF structure has been divided into part of the declaration and records, the SAF shipment will look like this:

  • JPK with only the registration part filled in for October - the entrepreneur will send by November 25;

  • JPK with only the registration part filled in for November - the entrepreneur will send by December 25;

  • JPK with the completed registration part for September and the declaration part for October,November and December - the entrepreneur will send by January 25, 2021.

What is the penalty for errors in JPK?

In a situation where, after sending the file, the taxpayer notices errors, he should immediately make a correction so that a penalty for errors in JPK is not imposed on him. Errors may result from incorrect presentation of purchase or sales invoices (inconsistent with the actual state) or from a change in the data in the sent file. The entrepreneur has 14 days to submit a correction from the day:

  • detecting that the sent records contain errors or revealed data inconsistent with the facts, or

  • change the data contained in the sent register.

In a situation where the entrepreneur detects an error in the JPK VAT that applies to the period before October 1, 2020, he prepares a correction of the file in accordance with the structure applicable in this period, i.e. "according to the old rules".

Example 2.

Mr. Aleksander did not show the sales invoice in the JPK file for May 2020. He noticed the oversight only in October 2020 and will immediately correct SAF-T. Due to the fact that the correction will be submitted in October 2020, is Mr. Aleksander obliged to send the correction in accordance with the structure of the new JPK?

No, for corrections of VAT declarations and JPK VAT files for settlement periods before October 2020, the legal regulations applicable in the period for which the correction is submitted, so Mr.Alexander is obliged to correct the VAT declaration for May and ship the JPK VAT correction to the old rules.

However, if the entrepreneur does not detect errors in JPK on his own, and they will make it impossible to verify the correctness of the transactions contained therein, he will receive a request from the head of the tax office to correct specific irregularities in the file. Pursuant to Art. 109 paragraph. 3f of the VAT Act, the entrepreneur has 14 days from the date of receipt of the request to send to the head of the tax office the correction of the errors mentioned in the request. The taxpayer may also not correct the errors and submit an explanation to the tax office in which he will indicate that the JPK file does not contain the errors mentioned in the request. Failure to submit a JPK correction or explanations from the taxpayer or their submission after the deadline will result in the imposition of a fine of PLN 500 for each error indicated in the request, preventing the verification of the correctness of the transaction in the JPK file.

Example 3.

Ms Anna showed in the JPK submitted for October 2020 incorrect sales value in two issued invoices. In connection with the cross-check, on November 31, 2020, it received a request to correct errors in SAF-T. Ms Anna made the appropriate correction only on December 20, 2020, because she was previously on vacation and did not have the appropriate tools to do so. Will a penalty be imposed on Ms Anna despite sending the JPK correction?

Yes, due to the fact that Ms Anna corrected the JPK file after 14 days of receiving the summons, the office may impose a fine of PLN 1,000, i.e. PLN 500 for each error, as the summons listed errors concerning two invoices. In order to meet the deadline for making a JPK correction without imposing a penalty for errors, it is worth using the online accounting system that provides access to data, its correction and sending the correct JPK from any place with Internet access at any time.

Pursuant to Art. 109 paragraph. 3k of the VAT Act, the penalty for errors in JPK should be settled by the taxpayer within 14 days from the date of delivery of the decision to impose a penalty for irregularities in JPK without an additional request to pay it from the head of the tax office. Importantly, if the entrepreneur was liable for a crime or a fiscal offense for the same act, the head of the tax office may not impose an additional penalty for not correcting the SAF file or for failure to submit explanations within the prescribed period. On the official website, the Ministry of Finance ensures that penalties for errors in SAF will only apply to cardinal and conscious errors resulting from negligence in completing the SAF scheme. If the taxpayer submits a file with defects that prevent analysis, he will be requested to submit a correction first. This means that the committed "typos" will not be synonymous with imposing a fine of PLN 500 on entrepreneurs for each mistake.

How does the office verify data in the new JPK?

In the justification to the draft amendment to the VAT Act, we read that the data provided by taxpayers in the new structure of the single control file will be subject to analysis and verification. Moreover, this process "is performed in an automated manner, with the use of appropriate software and special algorithms. The result of such an analysis process are reports showing inconsistencies in VAT settlements with taxpayers, chains of transactions are created, etc. The results of the analysis are the basis for the bodies of the National Tax Administration to take specific actions towards taxpayers, including the initiation of checking or inspection activities at the taxpayer , tax inspection or tax proceedings, as well as to identify entities that may be involved in VAT fraud”.

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In the further part of the justification to the draft amendment to the VAT Act, the legislator indicates that the summons will not be sent to entrepreneurs in the event of inconsistencies resulting from the comparison of files submitted by two taxpayers. Inconsistencies in the files on the part of the seller and the buyer may result from a different moment when the tax obligation arises and the period in which the taxpayer can deduct VAT, therefore they will not be the basis for a finding that the files are incorrect, and therefore taxpayers will not be summoned for this reason to submit JPK corrections. To sum up, the introduction of the new structure of the Standard Audit File is to ensure the correctness of the records kept by taxpayers on the basis of which the tax liability is calculated, as it should be reliable and non-defective. What's more, the planned penalty for errors in JPK is to be imposed only on unreliable taxpayers who, despite the request received, did not submit relevant explanations or sent corrections in order to correct errors in the file detected by the tax office. In the event that the taxpayer will be required to correct tax settlements for a given period, he will only have to correct the JPK file, and not as it is the case before the implementation of the new JPK structure, both the VAT declaration and the JPK_VAT file. Thanks to this, taxpayers will be relieved of the number of reporting obligations.

Benefits of introducing SAF-T

On August 28, 2019, the results of the audit of the Supreme Audit Office (NIK) on the use of the Standard Audit File for tax proceedings and audits were published, according to which the main advantages of using SAF-T are:

  • automation of reporting, thus shortening the time of tax audits and reducing the costs of these audits;

  • faster analysis of the risk of losses for the state budget;

  • faster disclosure of the so-called "Blank invoices" and other fraud and inadvertent taxpayer errors;

  • improving the results of KAS activities;

  • no need for paper printouts.

From October 1, 2020, with the entry into force of the new JPK structure, taxpayers do not have to send separately VAT declarations and JPK VAT files.Replacing the existing declaration forms with one JPK file containing detailed data concerning transactions and events affecting the correctness of determining the amount of the tax liability, is aimed at improving the flow of information between the taxpayer and the inspection authority.