VAT Rates for Freelancers in Poland

Poland follows the "destination principle" of the European Union's VAT directives, which means that VAT is payable to the country's government where the product or services are consumed, regardless of where you're supplying them from. The VAT is charged to the final consumers of the goods.

The standard VAT rate in Poland is 23%, with reduced VAT rates levied based on the type of products you supply. The registration threshold is set at PLN 200,000, so if your annual turnover exceeds this amount, you must register for VAT. The National Revenue Administration is accountable for the VAT system in Poland. You can check their website for VAT information and updates. 

Trying to understand Poland's VAT system all by yourself can be taxing. So, we created this guide is designed to help you freelancers and solopreneurs to navigate through VAT duties in Poland. Let's get started!

VAT rates in Poland

The Polish government levies four different VAT rates, and you must charge the amount that applies to your freelance products and services.

  • The Standard Rate of 23% - Applied to all goods and services, unless they fall under the reduced rate or zero-rate categories.
  • The Reduced Rate of 8% - Applied on some foodstuffs, medical products, restaurant and hotel services, supplies covered by social housing policy, etc
  • The Reduced Rate of 5% - Applied on some foodstuffs like bread, dairy products and meats, certain kinds of printed books, etc.
  • Zero Rate (0%) - supplies of certain aircraft and vessels, air and sea transport services, intra-community and international transport, import and export of goods, etc., are subject to a zero VAT rate. You should still record zero-rate transactions and create reports based on your returns.

When should you register for VAT in Poland as a freelancer

Self-employed individuals conducting taxable economic activities in Poland are liable to register for VAT when their annual turnover reaches or exceeds PLN 200,000. In contrast, there is no registration threshold if you are an expat freelancer operating in Poland, so you must register for VAT before commencing your taxable economic activities. If you sell goods digitally from another country to Polish consumers, the distance sales VAT registration threshold is PLN 160,000 per annum.

You can also click here for more information on when you must register for VAT in Poland. 

Related read: How to register to work as a freelancer in Poland.

the freelancer's favorite pay-as-you-go invoicing tool

How to register for VAT as a freelancer in Poland

Freelancers In Poland must pay VAT on their income. You first need a tax identification number (NIP) to register for VAT, which can be obtained by submitting an application. Once you have your NIP, you must submit an application for VAT registration to the Polish Revenue Office on a VAT-R form. You can submit this:

  1. In-person at the revenue office,
  2. By post, or
  3. By electronic means.

While the VAT registration itself is free, you need to pay PLN 170 if you wish to receive registration confirmation.

Your VAT registration form must include the following information and supporting documents:

  1. Tax identification number
  2. The location of your business and an original copy of the agreement letter from the Polish bank where the business' account is held
  3. Articles of Association
  4. Description of activities to be carried out in Poland
  5. If you are registered for VAT anywhere else in the EU, a VAT certificate is needed as proof
  6. A power of attorney for the fiscal representative (If you are from a non-EU country sending a fiscal representative on your behalf)

The effective registration date is the day you submit the form; you are liable to report and pay VAT starting from this day.

Freelancers based outside the EU are required to appoint a tax representative for all tax and VAT related affairs. After registration, you must pay VAT to the Polish Revenue office annually.

Freelancers who conduct business in multiple EU countries have access to an easier method of registration for VAT. The Mini One-Stop Shop (MOSS) is an online portal that allows you to simplify your VAT payments by consolidating all your transactions across several EU countries in one place. You can submit all your VAT returns here without having to register in every country individually.

Report VAT as a Freelancer in Poland

If your annual turnover is less than EUR 1,200,000, you can file VAT returns every quarter. Otherwise, you must file VAT returns monthly. 

VAT Obligations for Freelancers in Poland

After registering for VAT, you must:

  1. Charge the correct VAT rate from anyone you provide your services to. 
  2. File VAT returns and pay the correct VAT amount owed to the Polish Revenue office every year. 
  3. Maintain detailed VAT records and a VAT account.
  4. Keep records of all your purchase and sales activity and financial transactions.
  5. Ensure that all your VAT invoices include: 
    1. yours and your client’s VAT identification number
    2. sequential invoice number
    3. customer’s data
    4. clear description of the goods or services exchanged
    5. exact amount subjected to VAT
    6. the appropriate VAT rate charged for that amount, and 
    7. the total amount with VAT included
  6. Keep self-billing invoices for purchases from non-resident entities.

These financial records need to be maintained in a clear, complete and legible format for at least ten years, especially if you use the VAT MOSS service. They can be stored electronically or in their physical form. The specific financial records you should maintain are:

  • Printed copies of the invoices you send out,
  • Received invoices
  • Agreements on self-billing
  • The self-billing vendors' names, addresses, and VAT numbers
  • Notes (debit/credit)
  • Records of imports and exports
  • Records of bank statements, check stubs, cash books, till rolls, and paying-in slips in addition to your VAT account

Create VAT-compliant invoices in a click with Xolo as a freelancer

Learning and keeping all daily admin and legal duties as a freelancer can be overwhelming and challenging, especially if you're an expat person who is building a solo career in a foreign country. That's why Xolo Go is extremely useful for freelancers like you. In a single click, you can invoice VAT-compliantly to clients in Poland or ones abroad easily with VAT being added automatically. You'll have your own dashboard and business account to keep everything in check and organizing your invoices painlessly. 

For aspiring freelancers who see yourself running a business, Xolo Leap will help you set up a fully remote EU business which you can run from Poland or anywhere in the world, providing with all professional and legal help to manage it like a breeze!

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