Financial statement is a document that contains information about the annual activities of an enterprise with respect to financial issues. It must meet certain conditions. The obligation to submit it may have both companies and natural persons who run a sole proprietorship. In this article we will discuss all the necessary issues worth to know in order to file a correct financial statement and avoid potential sanctions.
Table of Contents
- What is a financial statement?
- What are the obligatory elements of the financial statement?
- What documents one should enclose to the financial statement?
- Which entities must submit financial statements in Poland?
- Who prepares the financial statement in Poland?
- Who is responsible for submitting the financial statements in Poland?
- How and where to submit financial statements?
- How and when to submit the financial statement?
- What are the consequences of not submitting the financial statements on time?
What is a financial statement?
A financial statement is a structured presentation of a business entity’s financial situation. It concerns the accounting year and is prepared on the balance sheet date. Financial statements must meet the formal conditions set out in the regulations.
The main users of financial statements are, among others:
- investors and advisors who use them for investment decisions,
- creditors when making decisions on granting loans, bank loans or deferred payment sales,
- employees and their organizations, who use the statements to evaluate a company’s ability to fulfil its obligations to employees,
- managers using financial statements for decisions related to the management of the company.
What are the obligatory elements of the financial statement?
Financial statements should be in Polish and include Polish currency. The financial statement may round figures to thousands of zlotys if it does not alter the entity’s representation.
The provisions of the Accounting Act specify that the financial statement must include:
1. the balance sheet showing the state of assets and liabilities at the end of the current and previous financial years,
2. the profit and loss account, which shows separately revenues, expenses, profits and losses, as well as obligatory charges on the financial result. This corresponds to the current and the preceding financial year.
3. additional information, including an introduction to the financial statement and supplementary explanations.
What documents one should enclose to the financial statement?
· a copy of the approving body’s resolution confirming the annual financial statement,
· a management report, in the case of capital companies,
· a copy of the approving body’s resolution on the distribution of profit or coverage of loss,
· the auditor’s opinion on the financial statements, if there was an audit.
Which entities must submit financial statements in Poland?
Submitting financial statements is obligatory for the following entities:
· entities that must keep accounting books in compliance with the Accounting Act,
· entities that have chosen full accounting books as a method of recording.
As you can see, the obligation to submit a financial statement may apply to capital companies, partnerships and natural persons conducting sole proprietorship. The form of conducting business activity is irrelevant in this case. What counts is the method of recording revenues and costs by a given entity.
The exceptions are general partnerships and limited liability partnerships. If their income is lower than the equivalent of 2 million EUR, they do not have to prepare a financial report. To benefit from the exemption, they need to submit a relevant declaration.
Who prepares the financial statement in Poland?
The “entity’s manager” is responsible for preparing the financial statements.
The Accounting Act describes “entity’s manager” as:
· a member of the management board or other management body,
· in the case of a general partnership and civil law partnership – partners managing the company’s affairs,
· in the case of a limited liability partnership – the managing partners or the management board,
· in the case of a limited partnership and a limited joint-stock partnership – general partners managing the company’s affairs,
· in the case of a natural person conducting business activity – this person,
· a liquidator, receiver or administrator appointed in restructuring proceedings,
· succession manager.
Who is responsible for submitting the financial statements in Poland?
Since 2018, one can submit a financial statement to the National Court Register only electronically. It must correspond to the structure and form approved by the Ministry of Finance. The statement must bear an electronic signature, a trusted signature or a personal signature.
A financial statement can be reported and submitted with the use of the e-KRS system by:
· entity’s manager,
· professional proxy – e.g. attorney, legal advisor,
· commercial proxy, receiver, administrator in restructuring proceedings or liquidator.
In turn, the financial statements to the Head of the National Revenue Administration are reported and sent by the taxpayer. Alternatively, by an entity authorized by the taxpayer.
How and where to submit financial statements?
The entity’s manager ensures the creation of an annual financial statement within 3 months from the balance sheet date. If the fiscal year coincides with the calendar year, the statement must be completed by March 31. Then, the entity’s manager submits the statement for the approval of competent authorities.
The Accounting Act states that the annual financial statement must be approved within 6 months from the balance sheet date. If the fiscal year coincides with the calendar year – by the 30th of June.
As indicated above, the financial statement can only have an electronic form. Its structure and form must follow specifications imposed by the Ministry of Finance.
The entity’s manager and the person responsible for keeping the accounting books sign the financial statement. If an entity is led by a multi-member body, it is enough to sign the financial statement by one member of the body.
How and when to submit the financial statement?
· Entities entered in the Polish KRS, which don’t prepare financial statements in accordance with the IAS, must submit financial statement to the KRS. It can be done with the use of the teleinformatic system, within 15 days from the date of its approval.
· PIT taxpayers who keep accounting books and are obliged to prepare financial statements must submit them to the Head of the National Revenue Administration. This can be done with the use of a dedicated application, on the date of filing the tax return for a given year.
· CIT taxpayers not entered in the KRS, who are obliged to prepare financial statements, must submit them to the Head of the National Tax Administration. It can be done using a dedicated application, within 15 days from the date of the approval of the statement.
· Civil law partnerships are not obliged to submit financial statements.
What are the consequences of not submitting the financial statements on time?
Failure to submit a financial statement on time may result in sanctions such as:
· a fine imposed on the entity’s manager in the amount of 10 to 720 daily rates,
· restriction of liberty of the entity’s manager from one month to 2 years,
· enforcement proceedings,
· dissolution of the company and deletion from the National Court Register,
· appointment of a trustee.
If the financial statement is not submitted on time, the registry court calls the entity to submit it within 7 days of receiving the notification.
If, despite being summoned, the annual financial statements for 2 consecutive financial years have not been submitted, the entity is dissolved ex officio. Moreover, there is no liquidation proceeding.
Preparation, approval and submission of financial statements for the previous year to the registry court is an obligation that concerns many business entities. It requires not only knowledge and access to information but also a lot of time. The provisions of the Accounting Act specify the elements that one must include in a financial statement.
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