As of 1 September 2019, new provisions pertaining to amendments to the Act on the value added tax introduce a so-called White List of VAT payers.
The White List is an electronic list of entities:
- registered as VAT payers;
- not registered as VAT payers or removed from the register of VAT payers;
- whose registration as VAT payers has been re-established; together with their Articles of Association, Tax Identification Numbers (NIP), Statistical Identification Numbers (REGON) and bank account numbers.
Every enterprise shall be obliged to immediately report (in the NIP, CEIDG update notification) all its bank accounts. Types of accounts are specified in Article 49(1)(1) of the Banking Law. All banks operating in Poland shall confirm the company account numbers. Personal accounts, used for the purposes of conducting sole proprietorship activities, will not appear on the list.
The White List will be made available on BIP (Bulletin of Public Information) websites. The data on the list will be updated once a day (at night). As of the effective date of the Act, it will be possible to check a limited number of business partner accounts (up to 300 accounts a day). The Ministry of Finance is working on making available a solution allowing mass verification of invoice issuers’ accounts.
The period from 1 September to 31 December 2019 is a transition period, without any sanctions. This is the period for verification of accounts on the White List and reporting of “forgotten” bank accounts. Enterprises will be able to check their business partners’ accounts and verify the completeness of their accounts on the White List made available.
An enterprise using collection services shall report bank accounts linked to virtual accounts. There is no obligation to report the full list of virtual accounts. Banks will report collection (virtual) account masks linked to their clients’ settlement accounts. The system prepared by the Ministry of Finance will make it possible to verify the link between the collection (virtual) account and the settlement account. If the system finds the link, it will confirm that the account is on a White List.
Assignment accounts are not settlement accounts, but the Ministry of Finance claims that, before 1 January 2020, it will amend the Act, and payments to assignment accounts will not be subject to sanctions under the Act.
The Act considers the launch and repayment of products based on the acquisition of receivables (debt discount, payment for liabilities) as payments for invoices. The Bank will carry out these launches and make these payments in accordance with the Act, in particular as regards payments to accounts on the White List.
As of 1 January 2020, payments of invoices for an amount of at least PLN 15,000 (or equivalent in another currency) transferred to accounts not included on the White List, will result in sanctions imposed on the payer, namely:
- inability to classify the payment as a tax-deductible expense in the part in which the payment was made to an account not included on the White List;
- the payer being jointly and severally liable with the supplier of goods or services for unsettled VAT, in the part to which the payment referred.
Therefore, you should always verify whether the amount due to your business partner is transferred to the correct account.
However, if the transfer is made to an account other than that appearing on the list, in order to avoid sanctions, you should notify the head of the tax office (competent for the issuer of the invoice) thereof, within three days of the transfer date.
Verification of the account is the taxpayer’s responsibility
Banks are not obliged to offer their clients solutions allowing the verification of business partners’ accounts on the White List. Only the taxpayer bears the risk and is responsible for verifying whether the payee’s account is on the White List as at the date of placing the transfer order.