What you need to know about The National e-Invoicing System (KSeF).
The National e-Invoice System is to become mandatory as of July 1, 2024. The advanced legislative stage of the government’s project indicates that this deadline seems realistic. The above means that entrepreneurs have less than a year to prepare for the upcoming revolutionary changes. Given that fulfilling KSeF-related obligations requires a significant commitment, taxpayers should be aware that, counter-intuitively, they do not have much time to begin the process of implementing KSeF in their organization. Please find below a summary of the most important issues to consider as part of this process.
Identifying and managing KSeF obligations
One of the key responsibilities under the mandatory KSeF is the issuing of structured invoices. Taxpayers who have their registered office or permanent place of business in Poland and perform activities covered by the invoicing requirement are to be covered by this obligation. However, there are exceptions to the above rule. In particular, so-called “consumer invoices”, i.e. invoices to buyers who are natural persons not engaged in business activity, will be issued outside the KSeF (i.e. in the form of paper or electronic invoices). Consequently, two entirely different invoicing models will apply within one company.
As a rule, structured invoices will be received via KSeF. Nevertheless, there would be exceptions to this rule. In particular, structured invoices documenting intra-Community transactions or exports of goods will be allowed to be sent outside the KSeF, in a manner agreed with the buyer. Invoice-sending methods for domestic and foreign sales may therefore differ significantly. Visually structured invoices (e.g. in paper form or a non-editable pdf file) sent outside the KSeF will be additionally required to be marked by the issuer with a verification code (i.e. a QR code). This obligation will also exist for the use of these structured invoices outside KSeF.
The work of implementing KSeF should first start with the identification of obligations. Given that there may be different models for issuing and transmitting invoices to buyers, it may be helpful to prepare procedures for managing KSeF obligations to ensure that these obligations are properly fulfilled.
Implementation of a structured invoice template
All structured invoices will be issued according to one standardized template, i.e. according to the so-called logical structure, in XML file format. The types of invoices issued using KSeF will be as follows: basic invoice, correction invoice, advance invoice, final (settlement) invoice, simplified invoice, invoice correcting advance invoice, and invoice correcting final (settlement) invoice. It will therefore be necessary to adopt new invoice templates in the company.
Structured invoices will contain three types of fields: mandatory, optional, and optional. Whether a particular field will be subject to completion will have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis for the type of transaction in question (for example, partially different fields will be required for the domestic delivery of goods and others for the export of goods). Importantly, the structured invoice template will provide for the possibility of showing a lot of additional data not required by the VAT Act. It will therefore be up to the will of the taxpayer whether he decides to provide additional information to the contractor using structured invoices. It will also be crucial to put the right data in the right, i.e. dedicated fields (the so-called data mapping process). Otherwise, there may be a situation where the meaning of the information received by the buyer differs from that intended to be communicated by the seller.
The implementation of a structured invoice template is a huge challenge for taxpayers. The process can improve the identification of individual transactions made within the company. Based on it, it will then be possible to develop an appropriate procedure for documenting individual business operations.
Organization of information and document flow
Issuing and receiving invoices using KSeF will also require the taxpayer to ensure the proper organization of information and document circulation. Therefore, it will be necessary to determine the entities responsible in a given company for the sales invoicing process and for receiving and verifying invoices received from suppliers. This issue may be particularly problematic in large organizations, where the performance of the aforementioned activities is dispersed among different departments and individuals (e.g. accountants, sales representatives). At the same time, the current form of the proposed regulations indicates that a taxpayer using the mandatory KSeF will not automatically receive information or confirmation from the KSeF about the receipt of a purchase invoice. At a certain scale of activity, it will be necessary to organize on one’s own an appropriate IT tool to support this process. The absence of such a tool would mean the need for constant monitoring in terms of the receipt of invoices to the company, which should also entail the appointment of people responsible for this task. It should also not be forgotten that, in addition to the invoices received in KSeF, the enterprise may also receive documents issued outside this system.
Organization of information and document circulation should be an integral part of KSeF implementation. The development of procedures and standards for verifying the circulation of information and documents in the enterprise can be helpful in this regard.
Tools for communicating with KSeF
Issuing and receiving structured invoices will require ensuring communication with KSeF. This means that the onus will be on taxpayers to determine whether the invoicing systems currently in use will have the ability to issue and receive invoices using KSeF. If these programs do not meet the above condition, taxpayers will be forced to find an alternative solution that provides a connection to KSeF. As a last resort, it may be necessary to change the vendor of the system in use to one that meets the above criterion. This can be particularly challenging for companies that use several different accounting systems.
It is highly recommended to make sure that your current invoicing system provider will be providing the tools to communicate with KSeF. Leaving this to the last minute may entail the need to implement not only KSeF but also a new accounting system.
There is no doubt that the changes awaiting VAT taxpayers due to the planned entry into force of the mandatory KSeF regulations are revolutionary. Properly planned and carried out in stages, the process of implementing KSeF can make it possible to ensure that this period will not be cumbersome or problematic. Therefore, it is particularly important to start work in this regard as early as possible, so that even before the mandatory KSeF comes into force, there is an opportunity to verify the correctness of the implemented system in the organization.