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Poland – Difficulties with opening bank accounts for foreign taxpayers

By October 15, 2020July 10th, 2021No Comments

According to the Polish VAT Act regulations, if the active VAT taxpayer declares within the VAT return the surplus of the input tax over the output tax then he may have two options…

According to the Polish VAT Act regulations, if the active VAT taxpayer declares within the VAT return the surplus of the input tax over the output tax then he may have two options:

  • carry forward the excess of VAT to the subsequent period or
  • claim back a VAT refund to the bank account.

However, the application for the VAT refund can be a challenge.

Why? 

In Poland there is no directly formal obligation for foreign companies (non-established in Poland) only registered for the VAT purposes to open a bank account in Poland.

Nevertheless, the Polish VAT Act provisions constitute that VAT refund can be refunded only to the bank account in the bank which has its seat in Poland. It means that the Polish tax authorities indirectly force a foreign entrepreneur to establish such a bank account in order to receive the VAT refund only.

It is not also possible to receive a VAT refund on bank accounts held abroad and carried out in the Polish currency.

In this regard, the Polish VAT Act regulations are very unfavourable and not consistent with The General Tax Code provisions where the regulations allow to return, by the tax authorities, the overpayment – also VAT overpayment – to foreign bank accounts. Furthermore, the Polish tax authorities have no problems in accepting the transfers from foreign bank accounts for the VAT liability, interest as a result of the tax arrears made by the foreign taxpayers with a Polish VAT registration.

Therefore, in a situation when a non-established company in Poland, but registered as an active VAT taxpayer, is intending to conduct at least one of the following activities: 

  • apply for a VAT refund in the VAT return submitted to the tax authorities
  • receive payments in B2B domestic supply transactions exceeding 15.000 PLN gross (white list regulations),
  • supply and purchase goods or services where the payment needs to be transferred in the obligatory split payment mechanism

 should open a bank account in Poland.

Nevertheless, in case of any problems with opening a bank accounts for a foreign entrepreneur, please do not hesitate to share your experience.

 

The above information was kindly provided by Anna Szafraniec, CEE VAT Compliance Director, aszafraniec@asbgroup.eu and Łukasz Woźniak, VAT Compliance Manager, lwozniak@asbgroup.eu.