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Import tax in Poland

Magda Olszewska

Last update: 02.03.2021
Magda Olszewska

Are you importing goods from third countries (Ukraine, Russia) to Poland? In this article we are presenting the VAT obligations connected to the import to Poland.

The foreign entrepreneurs, who import goods from the third countries’ territory (mostly from Ukraine, Belorussia, Russia, etc.) are oft obliged to register to VAT in Poland and to fulfil the VAT obligations, which relate to the import of goods.

The import tax is triggered, when the good is physically transferred form the third country to Poland and is released in the respective customs procedure for free circulations in Poland. In this case the entrepreneur is obliged to pay import tax to the customs authorities. The VAT would normally be paid by the customs agency, which conducts all the customs formalities for the company.

Die paid import tax can be refunded to the entrepreneur in form of the input VAT to be deducted in the VAT tax return.

The foreign entrepreneurs, who import goods to Poland to sell them subsequently to the Polish buyers, will show in their VAT tax returns the output VAT on those sells, which can be set off against the input VAT resulting from the import tax.

However, the foreign entrepreneurs, who import goods to Poland to sell them subsequently to the foreign buyers, will show in their VAT returns no output VAT, since the intra-community deliveries are subject to taxation with the tax rate of 0%. Those entrepreneurs will be constantly reporting a surplus of input VAT and will be having a refund claim towards the tax office. To receive the VAT refund it is necessary, to claim the VAT refund in the tax return. The input VAT should be refunded within 60 days. The tax office may prolong this deadline.

Special rule: Tax rate of 0% by the import of goods, which are intended for other Member States

The Polish regulations stipulate an interesting possibility for the entrepreneurs, who import the goods to Poland, to deliver them subsequently to other Member States. According to the Polish regulations, the import of goods will be exempt from VAT in those cases. However, there are numerous conditions to be fulfilled, so that the entrepreneur can treat the import as VAT-exempt, i.a.:

  • The delivery from Poland to another Member State has to be considered an intra-community delivery.
  • The importer possesses a valid VAT ID number in Poland, assigned to him for the purposes of intra-community transactions.
  • The importer provided the valid VAT ID number of the buyer, assigned to him for the purposes of intra-community transactions in the Member State of destination.
  • At the import of goods the importer has submitted documents, that confirm, that the imported goods are intended for another Member States.
  • The importer will report the intra-community delivery in its recapitulative statement and will submit this recapitulative statement within 4 months to the customs office.

The conditions for the application of the VAT exemption to the import of goods are strict and connected with additional time expenditure. Nevertheless, the additional time expenditure may be beneficial, since in this case the entrepreneur may be free from any tax-payment obligations in Poland, while in the standard procedure the import tax is paid already in the customs procedure and may be refunded only 60 days after the submission of the tax return.

How can we help you?

We are supporting the entrepreneurs to fulfill their VAT duties. Together with our clients we develop tax optimal solutions with the aim to ensure the maximal tax safety for our clients. If you are interested in our services, please contact us via the contact form

My name ist Magda Olszewska. I’m Polish Tax Advisor and leader of the Olszewska Tax Consulting. I write posts regularly for our blog on the tax issues which we deal with in our praxis.

If you have any questions or would like to inquire about our advisory services, please feel free to contact me.

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