Contrary to popular belief, fuel cards are a convenient solution not only for large transport companies, but also a convenient tool for optimizing accounting costs for small entrepreneurs, even those with one car.
Basically, fuel cards can be divided into general cards and those issued by a specific fuel distribution network (e.g. European Shell or domestic Orlen, etc.).
General fuel cards - from external suppliers - are usually an efficient tool in a situation where the entrepreneur uses different fuel stations and there is no possibility of refueling at one or two brand stations. The issuers of these cards, however, usually add commission, which makes the tool less profitable. On the other hand, these publishers themselves provide the VAT REFUND procedure (VAT refund for fuel tanked abroad).
Fuel cards of a given network (Shell, BP, Statoil, Lukoil) usually allow refueling at all stations throughout Europe, or, as in the case of the Orlen card, only in part of Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Germany). Some fuel cards also offer the option of refueling at other partner stations, usually in countries where a given brand does not have its distribution network (eg BP does not have stations in the Czech Republic). Unlike general cards, they usually do not charge a commission, but also do not offer the automatic VAT REFUND principle. Card issuers may require direct debit approval from an account (eg Shell).
Formally, nothing prevents concluding an agreement with two or three network card providers in order to ensure greater station coverage on the transport routes served by the company. In the final settlement, the number of invoices will still be lower than the receipts.
Regardless of the chosen card type, both variants offer fundamental optimization in accounting. Instead of collecting and storing a large number of receipts that may fade or disappear, the entrepreneur receives one clear and detailed document every month. Invoices are usually also paid once a month. As a result, instead of countless transactions, accounting settles one invoice and one payment. If you wish to recover VAT paid with fuel in other countries, the refund application is simplified to a maximum of twelve invoices per year. This solution simplifies the submission of the application and facilitates and accelerates its correctness control by a foreign tax authority. As a result, you can expect a tax refund faster.
|Pros and Cons||Single Station Tab||"general" tab|
|Fewer accounting operations||X||X|
|Automatic Foreign VAT Refund||-||X|
|Clean refueling image||X||X|
|Automatic Direct Debit||??||??|
|Possibility to issue a duplicate invoice in case of loss||X||X|