On October 20, 2008, numerous amendments to the 2004 VAT Law were passed by the Polish Parliament. The final version of the new amendments entered into force on January 1, 2009.
The most important changes to the VAT Law include:
- the possibility to file a quarterly tax statement instead of a monthly tax statement, as an option available upon the request of the taxpayer filed with the local tax office up to the 25th day of the second month of each quarter;
- the possibility to settle import VAT by direct filing of a tax statement, instead of paying the VAT due and then requesting a set-off based upon a tax return; again, this is an optional procedure, available upon the request of the taxpayer filed with the local tax office;
- a simplification of the VAT treatment of call-off stocks (so-called consignment stock);
- the introduction of a right to correct the tax statement in case the receivable is not collected within 180 days from the due date;
- the introduction of a right to deduct the input VAT from the output VAT in the two subsequent settlement periods;
- an exemption from VAT on the sale of an enterprise or of an organized part of an enterprise and the introduction of a revised definition of an organized part of an enterprise, consistent with the definition included in the 1992 Corporate Income Tax Law;
- the elimination of a 30 percent penalty for under declaring a VAT liability or over declaring a VAT refund; the only instance in which such a penalty could be levied on taxpayers who fail to obey the obligation to register their sales using the VAT cashiers;
- the elimination of the rule that the input VAT may be deducted from the output VAT only if a given expense was income tax-deductible, as such rule was inconsistent with EU law;
- a change to the VAT refund rules, including introducing a shorter refund period (60 days instead of 180 days) and the elimination of a so-called "preliminary VAT refund" applied to investment expenses made before commencing a taxable sale of goods or rendering of services; the major change here consists of the elimination of the rule that a VAT refund is related to a taxable sale;
- a regulation regarding the sale of real estate: sale of buildings, constructions or their parts will be, as as a rule, exempt from VAT, however, the taxpayer may, under certain conditions, choose a VAT taxation regime; the establishment and sale of the perpetual usufruct rights to a real estate will become subject to VAT;
- an exemption from VAT on the donation of food products by manufacturers for charitable purposes (combined with a corresponding right to consider such donations as tax-deductible expenses for income tax purposes).
The new amendments also include a series of minor changes regarding:
- a higher limit for non-taxable gifts;
- a revised definition of the place of rendering so-called non-material services;
- a confirmation of a receipt of a correcting invoice, as well as numerous "technical" amendments to the existing regulations.