Reverse Charge - Selling Smartphones


Due to the amendment to the provisions of the VAT Act, amendments to the reverse charge procedure entered into force on 1 January 2017. The catalog of goods listed in Annex 11 to the VAT Act has been expanded and Annex 14 has been added containing the list of services covered by the reverse charge procedure. Check when reverse charge is applied!

Reverse charge and smartphone sales

The reverse charge shifts the obligation to settle the tax on goods and services onto the buyer who is an active VAT payer. Therefore, sales to natural persons who do not conduct business activity or taxpayers exempt from VAT will not change. So it is the seller who has to tax the transaction.

Sales of smartphones from July 1, 2015 are subject to a reverse charge. As a rule, the seller will not indicate VAT on the invoice, the net value will be equal to the gross value.However, it is the buyer who will have to account for the output VAT.


Since 2015, the reverse charge has been applied to electronic equipment, including: mobile phones, smartphones, portable computers, such as:

  • tablets,

  • notebooks,

  • laptops,

  • video game consoles (of a kind used with a television receiver or standalone screen); and

  • other devices for games of skill or gambling with an electronic display

excluding parts and accessories (items 28a-28c of Annex 11 to the VAT Act).

The use of reverse charge when selling smartphones does not apply to all transactions, but only to the following conditions:

  • the buyer is an active VAT payer,

  • the person making the delivery is an active VAT payer,

  • the reverse charge is applied if the total value of the goods sold under an economically uniform transaction exceeds PLN 20,000 net.


The reverse charge applies only to active VAT payers!

Uniform transaction and reverse charge

The reverse charge is to apply to an "economically uniform transaction" whose value exceeds PLN 20,000. It is not a single delivery, but a transaction involving a contract in which there are more than one supply, even if they are made on the basis of separate orders. And also if there are more invoices that document the individual deliveries.

The regulations also consider a transaction involving more than one contract to be a single economic transaction if the circumstances or conditions on which it was performed differed from the circumstances or conditions usually occurring in trade.


It will be the sellers' responsibility to check and verify that the buyer is registered as an active VAT payer.

Construction services and the reverse charge

At the beginning of 2017, some construction services were placed under the reverse charge procedure. In order for construction services to be subject to the reverse charge procedure, the conditions set out in Art. 17 sec. 1 point 8 of the VAT Act:

  • the subject of purchase are services listed in Annex 14 to the Act,
  • the service provider is an active VAT payer, the sale of which is not exempt from tax pursuant to Art. 113 paragraph. 1 and 9 (due to the turnover below PLN 200,000), having the status of a subcontractor,
  • the service recipient is an entity registered as an active VAT payer.

Detailed information on the reverse charge in construction services can be found in the article: Reverse charge in 2017 - construction services

The scheme for issuing invoices in the system for construction services covered by reverse charge can be found in the article: Invoice reverse charge in the sale of construction services - how to issue?

How to settle the reverse charge in practice

It should be remembered that it is the entrepreneur selling smartphones that is responsible for determining whether the buyer is a VAT payer. This fact determines whether the seller taxes this transaction or applies the reverse charge procedure.

The use of online accounting systems can be helpful in recording reverse charge transactions.

Let's see how simply, on the example of the interactive online accounting system, it is possible to issue a sales invoice, where the VAT settlement is imposed on the buyer of the goods:

  • in the Sales tab, select the ISSUE AN INVOICE option and complete the basic information,

  • after entering the sales amount in the VAT RATE field, select VAT PURCHASED BY THE BUYER,

  • after saving the invoice, there will be a note "reverse charge".

The system will also very easily settle the purchase of smartphones related to the reverse charge procedure when the limit of PLN 20,000 is exceeded:

  • the invoice should be entered via the EXPENSES tab; complete basic accounting fields,

  • Include the amount from the invoice in the net value and select the VAT rate appropriate for the goods (smartphones 23%),

  • after switching to the ADVANCED tab, select the 'VAT BILLED BY THE BUYER' box,

  • the saved expense goes to the purchase VAT register and automatically to the sales VAT register.