It is a major challenge, but also an opportunity for organisations that will accelerate their digitization and contribute to further reducing the VAT gap: these are the conclusions of the CRIDO Forum on the National e-Invoicing System (KSeF). Starting next year, it will change the processes involved in issuing and sending invoices, as well as tax reporting.
Over 200 entrepreneurs, lawyers, tax advisors, and representatives of the Ministry of Finance gathered at the Warsaw Hilton Hotel to attend a full-day CRIDO KSeF Forum under the patronage of the Business Centre Club. The main goal of the conference was to build awareness of the challenges and opportunities that the introduction of the KSeF entails for organisations. Representatives of the Ministry of Finance and CRIDO took the floor, while entrepreneurs who are already facing implementation projects shared their experience during the discussion panel.
Once the mandatory KSeF goes into effect, around 2.5 billion documents will be sent through the system each year as per the MF assumptions. Until now, organisations have had the option to issue invoices in either paper, electronic or the so-called structured form using the KSeF system, which for the time being is still optional.
Anna Mytyk, deputy director of the VAT Department at the Ministry of Finance, said at the conference that the aim of the system was to further reduce the so-called VAT gap. While it has been limited to 4,3 percent of potential revenue in 2021, according to MF estimates, introducing the system may result in its further restriction. “It is not our intention to create problems for organisations. We are committed to introducing a solution that will facilitate the digitization of businesses," argued Anna Mytyk. “Digitization is a very welcome trend in the activities of both businesses and the government. In order to facilitate the implementation of the solution for entrepreneurs, especially in the SME sector, we are offering free KSeF invoicing tools, including the KSeF Taxpayer Application that is already available as well as the new KSeF functionality in the e-micro-enterprise software. Going forward, we will release a mobile app for KSeF invoicing," she explained. “I find it noteworthy that the KSeF is an important part of digitising fiscal administration,” she added.
The optional version of the system has been in operation since January 2022. When KSeF invoicing is ultimately implemented, it will be based on tested and fully functioning IT tools. “The KSeF is a good solution as it contributes to further reducing the VAT gap and will make things easier for thousands of organisations. It is clear that the opinions of the business circles have been taken into account in devising the system as it is being simplified and made more user-friendly," noted Maciej Dybaś, partner at CRIDO's indirect tax team. He mentioned, however, that the introduction of the system would require entrepreneurs to analyse their business operations carefully. “The KSeF is not just an IT system, it is a tool that will change a great many processes within the organisation. Entrepreneurs should identify the aspects that will be affected by the new solution. It is best to run an audit to verify the organisation’s readiness for the KSeF implementation in order to make sure how the system will impact its operations,” Dybaś added.
When asked during the panel discussion about the practical aspects of implementing the KSeF, organisation representatives agreed that the project could not be restricted to finance and IT divisions. As noted by Tomasz Bleks, Business Systems Manager at the Gemini Poland pharmacy chain, the KSeF naturally influences the areas of operation of these structures. “Let's also keep in mind, however, that system implementation goes well beyond finance and IT, or even beyond corporate headquarters. At Gemini, its implementation involves consulting with a range of departments, such as logistics or brick-and-mortar pharmacies," Bleks said.
Maciej Magnuszewski, CFO at Stock Polska, spoke in a similar vein: “The KSeF is not an IT system. It is a project linked to many departments of the organisation, ranging from purchasing and customer service to finance, but also contracting parties. Along with financial documents, many of our customers expect to receive information on e.g. the excise tax paid or the so-called small format fee. At Stock, we have identified as many as 16 purchasing and sales processes that must be integrated in this project.”
According to the panellists, it is recommended to plan the system implementation process with precision. Rafał Opyrchał, Consulting Services Director at CGI ISMC Poland, mentioned a close relationship between the quality of the initial analysis and the duration of the implementation project. “Still, it is best to realise that the total work can take up to 12 months," he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Agata Reszkowska, tax expert at Networks, said that many corporate procedures had been reviewed and improved with the KSeF implementation. “I was surprised by how eagerly our customers, especially foreign entities, use the documents from our system," Reszkowska said.
The regulations prepared by the Ministry of Finance are ahead of EU regulations. The Commission is only now working on community solutions in this respect. Interest in the optional KSeF system has not been high so far, but this will have to change as it becomes mandatory. According to MF data cited last December, more than 25 million e-invoices had been issued in the so-called test environment, out of the projected 2.5 billion to be covered by the system. Experts note that the introduction of structured invoices for VAT taxpayers (of whom there are about 1.9 million) translates into (online) fiscal control over them on the one hand and faster VAT refunds as well as significant potential for automation and improved process efficiency on the other, among other things.