Jednolity Plik Kontrolny (JPK) –Analysis of the structures
Detailed analysis of the final version of JPK structures
As previously announced, we have conducted a detailed analysis of final versions of JPK schemas (Polish: finalne wersje struktur JPK), published on March 9th 2016 on the Ministry of Finance Public Information Bulletin website. The Ministry has pointed out that the adopted schemas should be considered as the final version and that no modifications in the schemas are planned before July 1st. In addition to the schemas, the Ministry has also published answers to certain questions asked by the taxpayers during the consultation period. In our analysis we would like to present the issues that the enterprises might find problematic, such as the inability to report data from the standard ERP systems. We hope that the following report will be helpful with respect to the ongoing and planned IT projects aimed at adapting the new JPK reporting requirements.
The scope of files
As a result of taxpayers’ inquiry, the Ministry of Finance has clarified the scope of mandatory data reporting. Reporting of data for closed tax periods should be considered as a rule. The exception to this regulation are the invoices, which might be requested by the tax authorities as soon as an obligation of their issuance arises, thus before being included in an appropriate tax return. The Ministry has also pointed out that the files containing tax books should be generated on a monthly, quarterly or a yearly basis. The only exception from this rule are the accounting documents, which may be prepared for parts of the period (e.g. a day or days). Such a division is acceptable also for the “Accounting books” section, provided that its implementation is properly justified. In case such division is not accessible from the taxpayer’s source system, the tax authorities will not demand the “Accounting books” to be reported for periods shorter than a month. It is also worth remembering that the final structure requires the “VAT registers (sale and purchase)” file to be adjusted to the VAT-7 tax return.
The entities obliged from the July 1st 2016
According to the art. 29 of the amended Tax Ordinance Act and some other acts, SMEs (defined by the Act on Freedom of Economic Activity) may voluntarily report data in the form of JPK files during the transitional period between July 1st 2016 and June 30th 2018. There is a doubt in relation to the active VAT taxpayers with no permanent residence in Poland. According to the Ministry’s statement (question no 18), these taxpayers will also be obliged to report their tax books in the form of a JPK file. Nevertheless, it was not specified which criteria should determine whether a company is SME or not (e.g. if annual employment, turnover and total balance should be calculated solely for the VAT registered taxpayer or jointly with its dominant company), thus if these entities are obliged to prepare reports from July 1st 2016. Furthermore, it is unclear which schemas exactly should be prepared by these entities, apart from the “VAT registers (sales and purchase)” schema.
Gradual adaptation to sub-ledger reporting obligation
With respect to the „Accouting books” file, the Ministry has changed a significant part of the structure of the file itself. In the additional descriptions of the field “Account Code” (“KodKonta”) an identifier of the final bookkeeping account should be added, identifying if an account is a part of sub-ledger or a general ledger in situations when a bookkeeping in sub-ledger is not obligatory. According to the Ministry’s statement, it is obligatory to report records of the general ledger accounts with their detailed information from the subsidiary ledger. At the beginning, in case the taxpayer is not able to provide a detailed information from the general ledger, data from the subsidiary ledgers will be verified outside of the JPK structure. Nevertheless, is the Ministry of Finance states, that changes in companies should be aimed at adopting the sub-ledger accounts to the JPK structure. The “Account record” (“KontoZapis”) section for reporting both the general ledger and sub-ledger accounts will be accurate in this regard.
Bookkeeping according to the Accounting Act
The answer to the question 20 may be essential for many taxpayers. It refers to a situation in which the general ledger is kept in accordance with the international standards (IFRS, US GAAP). The Ministry unambiguously affirmed that the accounting books should be kept in accordance to the Polish Accounting Act, even if the financial statements are adopted to the IFRS at the same time. Due to the lack of the specific regulation in the international standards with respect to the issues of “keeping, cataloguing and securing accounting books”, the taxpayers should keep their accounting books according to the Polish Accounting Act.
We would also like to draw your attention to the language of the accounting books. According to the art. 9 of the Accounting Act, ledgers should be kept in Polish. The Accounting Standards Committee in its statement from April 13th 2010 indicated that the software used for keeping the accounting books does not have to work on a Polish language version. However, names of the accounts, transaction types, economic operations and currencies should be entered in Polish.
Bank account statements
The file for this structure has not been changed significantly comparing to the structures published formerly. As we have indicated previously, the goal of this file is to present transactions from a taxpayer’s account. It means that an entity what owns a bank account is obliged to provide the authorities with the data from this account. For the reason of including in the file’s headers such data as the three-letter local currency code or the reported account’s IBAN number, it should be underlined that one JPK file will be able to report data dedicated only to one specific currency and one specific account.
The Ministry of Finance has decided that filling in the fields for number and date of the invoice (specification) of the received goods and materials (goods/materials received notes – PZ) or issued goods and materials (goods/materials issued notes – RW) is not obligatory.
There is a new section, called “MM”, added to the file. It enables reporting inter-warehouse transfers. While it is not possible to generate a file for more than one warehouse, different files can be generated for the same period of time for one warehouse; for example, separate files may be created for external goods acceptance and internal inventory reclassifications.
VAT registers (sales and purchase)
Adjustment to the declaration
As we have indicated earlier, the main objective of changing the reporting templates in the schema was to enable the comparison of data they contain with the data from VAT-7 declarations and their corrections (for the time being, adjusting the files to VAT-UE or VAT-27 declarations is not necessary). The structure was expanded – fields that concern wide scope of transactions have been added in order to enable reporting the transactions in accordance to VAT-7 declaration. This conclusion can be drawn from the analysis of field numbering (corresponding to the records from VAT-7 declaration) and the descriptions of respective schema’s fields (also corresponding with VAT-7 characterizations).
Furthermore, reporting the evidence of operations that are subject to the VAT tax (according to the Polish VAT Act) is obligatory in this section. It means that the file will contain not only VAT invoices, but also, in case of using a cash register, aggregated evidence of receipts from cash register and accounting notes (if transactions are documented using accounting notes). In case of the receipts aggregation (on a daily or weekly basis), the modified schema will allow not to report (in certain cases) buyers’ personal details. Bearing in mind the technical issues of the valid schema, the actions that are not subject to the reporting obligation in view of VAT-7 declaration, are not included in the JPK VAT registers section as well (the trial version of this schema published in December 2015 imposed such obligation). In case of settling an invoice partially, in different periods, the register should be complemented with information to what extent a given invoice was included in a respective accounting period.
The fact of omitting (both in the trial and final schema) the information about buyer’s NIP in sales register section (even though such information normally appears in VAT registers prepared by the taxpayers, and is also included in the purchase section of VAT registers) might be surprising. The NIP seems to be a crucial information in the context of using the VAT related JPK files in order to identify and quantify issues connected with the so-called “VAT tax gap”. In the context of the turnover of so-called sensitive goods and services (that are included in the VAT settlement in accordance to the reverse charge mechanism), it would enable the tax inspection authorities to conduct a rapid verification of the VAT status of the purchaser of goods and services provided by the taxpayer (i.e. checking if the purchaser is an active VAT taxable person).
It should be underlined that the „VAT registers (sales and purchase)” schema’s recent version is intended to reflect (at the transactional level) the submitted VAT-27 declaration for corresponding periods (including possible corrections). The role of the tax inspection authorities is to check the final data contained in the submitted declarations. In this context, taking into account undermentioned factors, i.e.:
- VAT registers are subsidiary books, secondary to the settlement of the general ledger accounts in the ERP systems, and the specific VAT settlements and data complementation often does not reflect the transactions in the general ledger,
- The fact that there is a difference in the data from the ERP systems (financial and accounting part) and the amounts presented in VAT declarations. Such disparities are caused by the necessity of completing a number of manual operations, which are mostly conducted outside of the ERP system (and not reflected in it)
the taxable persons may encounter significant difficulties in reporting the data in the JPK file for VAT registers (sales and purchase) in the same form as it was disclosed in the final declaration in case the data is downloaded straight from the source systems’ extracts (and omitting the following manual data adjusting for VAT purposes).
This situation may lead to differences between the data submitted in the declarations and in the JPK system, which implies the necessity to send a detailed justification and additional reconciling statements in every single case. A solution to this problem may be the so called VAT engine tools, which would link VAT reporting with generating (based on the same final data) files for the VAT records (sales and purchase), including the possible modifications and corrections.
Expanding the scope of reported invoices
There are significant changes introduced in the VAT Invoices file. The invoices have been divided into subcategories: basic (understood by the Ministry as sales and purchase invoices), corrective, advance payment and other (e.g. invoices documenting finance brokerage services exempted from VAT). Regarding the corrective and advance payment invoices, two dedicated sections for optional information have been prepared. The new fields in the corrective invoice are: the reason for the correction, the number of the corrected invoice and the period of reference. The section in advance payment invoices requires indicating the payment received and also the amount of tax according to the art. 106f par. 1 pt. 3 of the Polish VAT Act.
Purchase invoices reporting
In the context of the abovementioned extension, we would like to draw your attention to the possible difficulties in preparing single fields (rows) of purchase invoices register. This approach is related to the Ministry’s answer to the question 39. “(…) the structure for the invoices subject to opinion already included both sales and purchase invoices” and the answer to the question 47, where it is indicated that “every position from the invoice should be reflected” with no possibility to present data aggregated per VAT rate.
While this type of data will be accessible for sales invoices in most of the systems, purchase invoices are usually not stored in such a detailed way. We would like to draw your attention to the potential risks associated with this issue.
Executory provisions – the project of the ordinance
We would also like to draw your attention to the project of the ordinance published on March 17th 2016 on the website of theGovernment Legislation Centre. The new regulation concerns data transmission via electronic means and technical requirements for the data storage devices used for saving and submitting the accounting books and documents.
Unfortunately, this ordinance does not contain any new information on submitting JPK files to the tax authorities. It is worth to compare the new project with its prototype- attachment to the act introducing JPK, from June 2015 (pages 596-605).
The currently proceeded data security project defines the means of communication in fewer details (initially it was planned to adopt the Simple Object Access Protocol known form the eDeklaracje form). The project does not define the web services’ programming language (originally WSDL) nor even a general security protocol (at first it was SSL).
The changes also concern natural persons obliged to submit JPK files. The initial project enabled signing the files with an electronic signature to ensure their authenticity (a set of data including PESEL or NIP number, first and last name and date of birth). The currently proceeded ordinance allows only the usage of a certified electronic signature (according to the Digital Signatures Act). Each taxable person willing to send the JPK files via Internet will have to sign them using a certified electronic signature.
This requirement does not concern taxable persons that pass the data using storage devices, such as CDs and DVDs. Unfortunately, the Ministry has not introduced any guidelines regarding encrypting and securing the transferred data. Surprisingly, according to the legislative intent to the order there is a possibility to send the storage media via traditional post, which seems to be risky.
The ordinance also does not define the catalogue of admissible data storage devices (even an exemplary one). It is only indicated that “a storage device should provide the possibility of an accurate data read in devices produced by different manufacturers, adequate for a given type of storage medium”. Thus, there are no restrictions on choosing the storage device, as long as it functions.
JPK structures – summary
In conclusion, all of the doubts still have not been clarified in the presented JPK files structures and the explanations of the Ministry of Finance. Moreover, a further extension of the JPK files is planned. The Ministry, in its answer to the question no 22, indicated that another separated schema for cash register receipts will be prepared. Having in mind that the obligation to report data enters into force in less than 3 months’ time, it is advisable not to postpone the preparatory process that aims in accurate and correct preparation of the data for the JPK files.