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Intra-Community invoice – everything you need to know

02.11.2023
Intra-Community invoice – everything you need to know

Today’s intra-Community trade market could not function without the appropriate accounting tools and regulations. One of the key documents in this respect is the intra-Community invoice. What is it, when and how to issue it, what deadlines does it have, what should it contain and what is its purpose? You will find out all this in the article below. We invite you to read it!

What exactly is an intra-Community invoice?

An intra-Community invoice is a special type of accounting document used in transactions between entrepreneurs from different countries of the European Union. It is a tool that allows the recording of economic operations, such as the sale of goods or the provision of services, between entities from different EU countries, but without the need to charge VAT.

What is the export of goods and intra-Community supply of goods?

The export of goods involves the transfer of products by an entity from Poland to a recipient located in a country outside the borders of the European Union. In order for such a transaction to be deemed an export, it is necessary to carry out appropriate customs procedures confirming that the products go to a specific destination. The entire export process is often supported by qualified customs specialists. Their job is to oversee the correctness of the shipping process and ensure that all formal requirements are met.

Intra-Community supply of goods refers to the process by which Polish companies sell products to companies located in other EU member states. For the operation to be considered an intra-Community supply, it is crucial that the objects of the transaction have been physically transported to another EU country, regardless of the mode of transport.

When making an intra-Community supply of goods, in order to benefit from the VAT exemption, it is necessary to indicate the active VIES number of the purchaser on the invoice and to include the proof of transport of the intra-Community goods. For VAT exemption to be possible, the purchaser must be registered in VIES. If this is not confirmed, the VAT exemption will not apply and the appropriate amount of VAT must be paid for the intra-Community supplies and the corresponding summary declaration must be provided.

When can an intra-Community invoice be issued?

The issue of an intra-Community invoice is not arbitrary. Here are the key situations in which it is possible

  • the sale of goods between traders from different EU countries, where the goods physically move between those countries,
  • the supply of services where the place of supply is the buyer’s country and where the supplier and the buyer are entrepreneurs.

It is important that both parties to the transaction have active EU VAT numbers. If either party does not have such a number, an intra-Community invoice cannot be issued.

What are the deadlines and what should an intra-Community invoice contain?

An intra-Community invoice should be issued by the taxpayer no later than on the 15th day of the month following the month in which the supply or movement of goods will take place. This provision becomes particularly important when it is pointed out that in the intra-Community supply of goods, the tax obligation arises when the taxable person issues the invoice, but no later than on the 15th day of the month following the month in which the supply took place.

An invoice relating to an intra-Community supply of goods, referred to as an invoice for an intra-Community supply of goods, must present the key information relating to the transaction in question. This includes elements such as the date on which the sale took place, the date of issue of the invoice, details of the seller and the buyer, a description of the goods or service provided, the quantity, the net value of the transaction and the applicable tax rates. It is also important to include the EU VAT number of the taxable person making the sale and the VIES number of the buyer. If you want to find out how easy it is to issue a WDT invoice using our tool, we will be happy to show you.

As far as the content of such a document is concerned, it must comply with the requirements set out in the tax law of the country concerned. Nevertheless, there are some general elements that must be included on it:

  • details of the seller and the buyer (name, address, TIN/VAT EU),
  • a precise description of the goods or services,
  • the date of sale or supply of services,
  • the net amount, the VAT rate (usually 0%) and the gross amount,
  • a clause indicating the nature of the intra-Community transaction, e.g. “intra-Community transaction”.

Why issue an intra-Community invoice?

The main purpose of issuing an intra-Community invoice is to document a commercial transaction between two entities from different EU countries that are subject to a special tax treatment. This treatment consists in the fact that these transactions are exempt from VAT in the seller’s country, but may be subject to tax in the buyer’s country.

Issuing an intra-Community invoice allows such transactions to be properly recorded in the accounts of both parties. It also allows for correct tax accounting and is the basis for an audit by the tax authorities.

Intra-Community sales – invoice in practice

An intra-Community invoice is an indispensable element in trade between entrepreneurs from different countries of the European Union. Issuing it correctly and understanding the rules associated with it is the key to functioning smoothly in the single European market. This is why it is so important that every entrepreneur is familiar with the rules for issuing it and is aware of the information it should contain. Taxon, the invoicing application that makes life easier, will help you with all the complicated processes. Download our programme and see for yourself!