Poland refuses to apply the VAT directive on vehicles

The Polish tax administration has decided to turn a deaf ear to the application of the European VAT directive on vehicles purchased in the country. Vehicles sold by the major car manufacturers are in fact less expensive in Poland than in other European countries (approximately 10 to 20% on a new vehicle) and can attract European citizens, who intend to benefit from the provisions in force. Only the Polish administration has developed a well-rehearsed system to avoid refunding VAT to intruders.

Illegal request...

First, it requires payment of VAT before taking possession of the vehicle. Which is normally impossible, for lack… of having the invoice. You are then asked to pay the VAT in Poland and to submit a request for reimbursement. This is where things get tricky… the Polish administration recommends having a representative in the country to address the mail… It's true, you shouldn't trust the post offices of other countries!

Then delaying means not to answer

To request the additional documents, it introduced a mandatory 7-day deadline to respond, failing which the request lapses. Smart! Then, with each response, a new request… Just to tire the citizen. And if it persists, the best thing is to ask him for the impossible. For example proof that he left the country within 10 days! As there are no more stamps on passports or circulation instruments, that's it… Need I point out that everything happens in Polish, the Polish administration only knows one language…

As a representative of the Polish Embassy to the European Union said, “You know it's a bit complicated (the VAT directive). And I don't really know the content…”. Of course, a fairly simple European regulation is complicated, especially when it comes to applying it!

By the way, is Poland still a member of the European Union? 🙂

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).