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What constitutes the need to register for VAT in Poland as a foreign company?

Companies operating both inside and outside the EU may need to register for VAT in Poland for different purposes. As your company grows and the business flow between the company and Poland increases, then it becomes increasingly important to consider registering for VAT. Some activities that could require VAT registration include: Importing goods into the country for sale or distribution (distance selling), buying and selling local goods, selling goods to individuals on the internet and storing goods in a warehouse, either as consigned stock or in a fulfilment centre. 


Distance Selling to Poland

The most common of these activities is ‘Distance Selling’ to Poland. As a foreign entity you can trade goods to Poland without VAT registration, as long as you don’t cross the Polish distance selling threshold of 160,000 PLN. When you are close to this threshold it is strongly advised that you apply for VAT registration in Poland, otherwise your company may be subject to penalties depending on how much VAT you owe. This also means that you will have to account for the VAT rate in Poland, which is standardized at 23% but can be 8% or 5% for certain goods and services. Goods sold over the internet are also subject to the same threshold and registering for VAT will be required when crossing it. 


Exporting goods to Poland with the intent to sell

A foreign company wishing to export goods to a company owned warehouse in Poland will be obliged to register for VAT before they trade. If the company is EU based, then the activity is classed as ‘Intra-Community Transport’. This type of business doesn’t fall under the distance sales category, as a warehouse is being used to further distribute and sell the goods to Polish consumers. 


Voluntary VAT registration

If the company is going to be trading in large volumes or frequently with Poland, then it may be necessary to voluntarily register for VAT before such transactions are completed.


What do you need to get VAT registered in Poland?


  • NIP-2 Form (Tax registration form) (Tax identification number). This is the form relevant to register you for tax purposes and receive a tax identification number.
  • VAT-R form (VAT registration form). Both of the aforementioned forms can be retrieved from the Polish government tax websites.
  • Company deed of association. Must be translated into Polish by sworn translator. Note this will incur costs for the translator, usually per document.
  • Excerpts from the commercial register of your company (not older than 3 months). Must be translated into Polish by a sworn translator.
  • An agreement with a bank in Poland to open an account. This is optional but advised as you will likely be dealing with VAT returns.
  • Description of business activity within Poland. 
  • Agreement or contact with an accounting provider.
  • Payment of state registration fees (170 PLN), can be completed by the accounting office. Online registration is free, but will be difficult for someone who doesn’t speak or have sufficient knowledge of the Polish language.



Can you register for VAT in Poland independently?

Yes you can, providing you have gathered all the relevant paperwork and forms. It is however unwise not to consult a reliable legal/accounting office that can process the registration for you. Difficulties tend to arise when certain documents need to legally be translated into Polish by a sworn translator. Registering for VAT independently would also mean that the company is responsible for documenting VAT charges, collections and payments in the form of a VAT return. VAT return services will typically be offered alongside the VAT registration for a monthly fee, when consulting with an accounting service provider.

Does your company need to register for VAT in Poland? If you’re still trying to find an answer to this question or are looking for a professional to guide you through the process, good thing you’ve found us! Message us with any questions or queries, we’ll do our best to help.


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