E-invoices – everything you need to know about KSEF

E-invoices – everything you need to know about KSEF
Do you want to know what structured invoices are? Are you wondering if the changes in tax regulations apply to you? Maybe you have not yet prepared your organization for KSeF implementation? In the following article you will find all the information you need to know before July 1, 2024.

What is KSeF (structured invoices)?

The National System of e-Invoices (KSeF) is used by taxpayers to issue, share, receive, and store structured invoices. As of 2024, it will become the only electronic invoicing platform that all taxpayers will be required to use. It is also intended to make it easier for entrepreneurs to archive and retrieve documents; data is to be stored in the system for 10 years.

Structured invoices are a type of electronic invoices issued in KSeF. Their features include:

  • an assigned identification number;
  • xml format consistent with the logical structure of the e-invoice.

During the initial period, structured invoices are a voluntary solution for entrepreneurs. All ordinary VAT invoices, correcting invoices, and consumer invoices can be issued in the form of structured invoices. However, the Act does not cover invoices issued with online cash registers and proforma invoices, which are not considered invoices under the Act on VAT.

Act on KSeF – general information

On December 1, 2022, the Ministry of Finance started working on a VAT bill, thereby attempting to introduce a central intermediary system in the circulation of structured invoices between business entities, giving tax authorities free access to all data and documents.

The legal basis for KSeF are:

  • amendment to the Goods and Services Tax Act of October 29, 2021;
  • decision of the Council of the European Union of June 17, 2022.

What are the penalties for failing to implement the provisions of the Act?

As of July 1, 2024, the head of the tax office will have the right to impose a penalty on a taxpayer for failing to issue a structured invoice or send it on time. Its amount will be:

  • up to 100% of the tax shown on the invoice;
  • up to 18.7% of the total amount due on the invoice.

Each time, however, this amount will not be lower than PLN 1,000 for an invoice inconsistent with the scheme or PLN 500 for exceeding the statutory deadline for its issuance.

How does KSeF work?

The invoice should first be prepared in your accounting system and then authenticated in KSeF, e.g. using a qualified signature. Access to the National System of e-Invoices is obtained by setting up an individual account and authenticating it, e.g. with a trusted signature.

Structured invoices will be issued as follows:

  1. An invoice file in xml format is generated by the seller.
  2. Electronic invoice software communicates with the National System of e-Invoices and sends the file there.
  3. If the file complies with the standard and is positively verified, it is assigned an individual number. At the same time, the structured invoice is delivered to the recipient. In such a case, the date of issue of the invoice is equivalent to its posting date.
  4. Upon approval, the National System of e-Invoices sends an Official Receipt Confirmation to the sender, and the recipient can download the document directly from the system or through the software implemented in their company and integrated with KSeF.

What to do during a KSeF failure?

In the event of a KSeF failure or a crisis situation, it is possible to issue a structured invoice in accordance with the XSD scheme and deliver it to the buyer outside the system. However, within 7 days after the failure, the issuer will be required to send the invoice to KSeF in order for it to receive an identification number.

KSeF – deadlines

From January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2023, the system of e-Invoices is one of the permitted forms of documenting transactions for all entrepreneurs, apart from paper and electronic invoices. However, it is worth taking an early interest in the changes, as in many organizations they will require updates to the invoicing software or financial/accounting systems, including SAP. This may also include the implementation of the logical structure of e-invoices or adaptation to communication with KSeF.

The obligation to use structured invoices comes into force on July 1, 2024. From then on, it will be the only acceptable form of documenting transactions for all VAT payers, and documents issued outside KSeF will not be considered invoices.

FAQ – 7 most important questions about KSeF

Is KSeF mandatory or voluntary?

Until July 1, 2024, the use of the National System of e-Invoices is voluntary for taxpayers. This means that, according to the decision of the Council of the European Union, KSeF remains a voluntary solution until 2024.

After this date, however, it becomes mandatory for all VAT payers, so it is worth getting acquainted with the guidelines in advance and preparing for the implementation of structured invoices in your company.

How to gain access to KSeF?

The KSeF test application has been available since April 7, 2022 to all taxpayers and authorized entities. It is important to use anonymous data when using the trial version.

The following parties will have access to the information stored in KSeF:

  • company owners;
  • persons authorized by an owner after submitting an appropriate notification (e.g. accountants);
  • anonymous users who know the specific features of documents, e.g. invoice number.

How to issue a structured invoice?

Structured invoices can be issued using:

  • the free tool offered by the Ministry of Finance to small taxpayers;
  • commercial solutions, including Hicron’s proprietary module, which enable full automation of the process of issuing structured invoices in SAP systems – in order not to burden the organization’s financial department with additional duties – and guarantee full security of confidential data.

How to receive structured invoices?

As in the case of issuance, it will be possible to receive structured invoices only through the National System of e-Invoices (KSEF) and the accounting/financial software integrated with it. In this case, the recipient’s consent to receive the invoice is also necessary. If they do not accept this form, the invoice should be issued in KSeF, but also sent by traditional means: electronically or in paper form in at least two copies.

A structured invoice is considered received and entered into legal circulation after it has been assigned a number in the system.

Who can use KSeF?

As of July 1, 2024, every VAT payer will be required to issue structured invoices in the National System of e-Invoices (KSeF). This also includes companies exempt from VAT because of their annual turnover not exceeding PLN 200,000 as well as entities with their registered offices in Poland.

The KSeF obligation will not apply to taxpayers using non-EU procedures for certain services, including:

  • international occasional carriage of passengers by road;
  • special procedure for distance sales of imported goods.

Will the National System of e-Invoices replace the JPK?

The implementation of the National System of e-Invoices in a company removes the obligation to send the JPK (SAF-T) file to the tax authorities. All the necessary information for the tax authorities will be contained in structured invoices, as they include more detailed data than the JPK.

This is another step towards simplifying and sealing the tax system in Poland.

What documents should be sent to KSeF?

The following documents should be registered in the National System of e-Invoices:

  • sales invoice;
  • prepayment invoice;
  • final invoice;
  • VAT invoice;
  • invoice corrections.

At Hicron, we continuously monitor changes in the regulations related to KSeF to ensure that our proprietary solution for integrating SAP with KSeF meets both the legal framework and the needs of our Clients. However, it is important to remember that implementing structured invoices in an organization sometimes takes more than just a software update – it may require changes in business processes or contracts with business partners.

Feel free to contact us – our experts will present the solution and answer all your questions.


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