UCFs also required of foreign entities registered in Poland for VAT purposes
In April we informed about the obligation to send uniform control files (UCF) starting as of 1 July 2016. In the answers to frequently asked questions regarding the structure of UCF available on the website of the Ministry of Finance as well as in a letter of 20 June 2016 (ref. no. PK4.8012.55.2016), the Minister of Finance clarified how the new regulations should be interpreted, also as regards the catalogue of entities subject to the new obligation. It turns out that also foreign entities which do not have a fixed place of business in Poland but are registered in Poland only for VAT purposes may be obligated to send UCFs, and the assessment whether the foreign entity exceeds the statutory thresholds should be made on the basis of the global performance figures, not restricted only to the activity carried on by the entity concerned in Poland.
The explanations on the website indicate that the provisions of the Act on Freedom of Economic Activity, laying down the criteria for division into micro-entrepreneurs, small and medium entrepreneurs are applicable also to foreign entities which satisfy the conditions set out in the definition of an entrepreneur included in the Act. At the same time, the thresholds laid down in Articles 104 to 106 of the Act on Freedom of Economic Activity refer to the entire economic activity of the entrepreneur, not to a specific area in Poland or abroad where a part of the activity is carried on by the entrepreneur. The provisions do not contain any limitation that would satisfy the assertion to the contrary. So in practice it means that in order to determine whether a given threshold has been exceeded, the entire activity of the taxable person should be taken into account, meaning also that carried on in other countries. So even a scarce activity on the Polish market may be connected with the obligation to send UCFs, provided that the thresholds are exceeded in connection with the activity carried on in other countries. The obligation to send UCFs will also apply to branches of foreign entrepreneurs.
To sum up, the obligation to send UCFs starting as of 1 July 2016 applies to entities satisfying the definition of a large entrepreneur, meaning those which in the last two financial years:
- employed in a year on the average no less than 250 employees (globally), or
- satisfied jointly both of the following conditions:
- achieved the annual net turnover from the sales of goods, products and services and financial operations in excess of the PLN equivalent of EUR 50 million (globally),
- their total assets in the balance sheet drawn up as at the end of one of those financial years were in excess of the PLN equivalent of EUR 43 million (globally).
Other entities – meaning those that satisfy the definition of a small or medium entrepreneur, or a micro-entrepreneur, will be covered by the new reporting obligation at a later time.
We should also add that in an official letter addressed to Directors of Fiscal Chambers, Customs Chambers and Fiscal Control Offices, the Minister of Finance has also explained that the interim provisions, deferring the obligation to send UCFs to the following years, are also applicable to VAT taxable persons that are not required to keep the records referred to in Article 109.3 of the VAT Act (VAT records) and do not have the status of an entrepreneur within the meaning of the Act on Freedom of Economic Activity (e.g. foundations), if the relevant entity satisfies the definition of a micro-entrepreneur, small or medium entrepreneur. The fact that such entity does not formally have the status of an entrepreneur is of no significance in such case.