KSeF (Krajowy System e-Faktur or national system of e-invoices) is an ICT platform for issuing, receiving and storing structured electronic invoices (e-invoices). From the beginning of January 2022, taxpayers can use KSeF voluntarily. However, it is planned to introduce the obligatory use of e-invoices in Q1 2024.

What does e-invoicing look like on the KSeF platform?

Under the KSeF system, businesses may document sales in the form of a structured electronic file (e-invoices), as well as receiving e-invoices from contractors.

The structured invoice has the .xml format, compliant with the logical structure of the e-invoice FA(1) published by the Ministry of Finance in its central repository of specimen electronic documents (Centralne Repozytorium Wzorów Dokumentów Elektronicznych or CRWDE) on the ePUAP platform.

As a rule, the sales invoices should be ‘pre-prepared’ in the taxpayer’s financial and accounting / billing program, and then sent to the KSeF system via an API. KSeF will verify invoices and assign them an individual identification number. According to the amended regulations, the date of issuing an e-invoice is the date of its submission to the KSeF, and the date of its delivery to the contractor is the date of assigning an individual identification number to the e-invoice in the KSeF.

Voluntary at first, obligatory soon

From 1 January 2022, businesses may use the KSeF voluntarily – so structured invoices already function as one of the acceptable forms of documenting sales, in parallel with invoicing using paper and electronic form. At the same time, to be able at present to send structured invoices to the recipient via the KSeF, the seller should obtain the buyer’s consent to receive e-invoices in the KSeF system. However, if the buyer does not agree to receive e-invoices in the KSeF, it is still possible to issue structured invoices and use certain preferential solutions provided for taxpayers issuing e-invoices. Then such invoices should be sent to the recipient in the form agreed with the recipient.

Initially, the Ministry of Finance announced that invoicing via the KSeF is to become obligatory for VAT payers without the need to obtain the buyer’s consent in 2023. However, on 10 June 2022, the Council of the European Union issued an implementing decision authorising Poland to introduce e-invoices as a mandatory solution as of 1 January 2024. The decision follows the need for companies to extend the deadline in order to prepare in time for the new obligations. The above means that that KSeF should remain a voluntary solution at least until January of 2024.

What are the benefits of the voluntary use of structured invoices?

Voluntarily issuing e-invoices on the KSeF platform brings a number of benefits:

  • Shortening the deadline for VAT refund from 60 to 40 days –  taxpayers who choose to issue invoices in a structured form will receive a refund of the excess input VAT faster. Nevertheless, to take advantage of such accelerated VAT refund, the taxpayer will have to meet the conditions provided for in the VAT Act, including issuing invoices in a given settlement period exclusively using  KSeF and be registered as an active VAT taxpayer for 12 months before the settlement period of the accelerated return. The accelerated mode of refund will also be limited – the amount of input VAT or excess input VAT over output VAT not settled in previous tax periods may not exceed 3,000 złotys.
  • Facilitations in the settlement of in minus corrective invoices – in case of issuing structured invoices, provisions related to the ‘arrangements’ will not be applied (Art. 29a (13) and Art. 86 (19a) of the VAT Act). The correction will be made by the seller during the period of issuing in minus corrective invoice in the KSeF platform, and by the buyer (provided that the buyer agrees to receive e-invoices via the KSeF) in the period of receiving the in minus correcting invoice in the KSeF platform.
  • Exemption from the need to send a SAF-T invoice report (in Polish, JPK_FA) at the request of tax authorities – if the invoice is issued in a structured form, the taxpayer won’t have to send a JPK_FA for such an invoice, as the e-invoice will be available to tax authorities in the KSeF database.
  • No need to archive e-invoices – a taxpayer using e-invoices won’t have to store e-invoices received and issued, as these will be automatically archived under the KSeF system for 10 years.
  • No obligation to issue duplicate e-invoices – the provisions on duplicates do not apply to e invoices. After issuing, the e-invoice will be available on the KSeF platform, so from a practical point of view it will not be possible to lose or destroy it.

Who will be affected by mandatory e-invoicing?

In accordance with the decision of the Council of the European Union, Poland is allowed to impose obligatory e-invoicing only on taxable persons having their seat in Poland.

However, the final shape of e-invoicing obligations will be known only when local Polish regulations implementing mandatory e-invoicing will be passed by the Polish parliament. As for now, no drafts of bills related to mandatory e-invoicing have been published.

How to prepare for mandatory e-invoicing via the KSeF?

  • Verification of the process of issuing invoices – issuing e-invoices on the KSeF platform means that the tax authorities will have information about transactions in real time. An e-invoice that doesn’t contain the data required by the new regulations won’t be issued on the KSeF platform, as it will not be accepted by the system. Therefore, before switching to issuing invoices in a structured form, verify whether the current invoicing system used in your company is correct as regards VAT regulations.
  • Determining the scope of data necessary to issue an e-invoice – the e-invoice schema published by the Ministry of Finance contains over 400 fields. Therefore, to prepare well for issuing e-invoices on the KSeF platform, it is crucial to define the fields of the structured invoice template in advance, which must be filled in for your type of transactions / business activity. It is also advisable to properly adjust the existing billing system so that it’s possible to collect the data needed for e-invoicing in the logical structure provided by the Ministry of Finance on an on going basis.
  • Adjusting contracts with contractors to the new regulations – the new way of issuing invoices may require revision of contracts with contractors and changes to the provisions on invoicing.

– Integrating your billing system / document management system / accounting system with the KSeF platform – so that you’ll be able to effectively implement new           obligations in respect of issuing sales invoices and receiving purchase invoices.

Iit is advisable to integrate systems with the KSeF platform to enable the optimisation of sending sales invoices and to ensure the possibility of downloading purchase invoices from the KSeF platform.

Preparing for change

Taking into account the issuing of invoices in a structured form is planned to be obligatory in 2024, we encourage you to plan in advance the implementation of the new invoicing mode. Switching to issuing invoices via the KSeF platform requires comprehensive preparation in terms of content and technology, and therefore may be a multi-stage and time-consuming process.