Norway is on track to become the latest country to impose mandatory Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T) for businesses from 1st January 2019. Norwegian SAF-T will only be required on demand from the tax authorities, typically immediately before a tax audit. It has already been in place voluntarily.
The first version of SAF-T Standard format financial data (SAF-T Financial) contains account specifications (general ledger) and supplier and customer specifications (subsidiary ledger). Cash register data (SAF-T Cash Register) is also required.
Norway has adopted the OECD-developed framework for SAF-T, originally published in 2005. This provides standard schemas for reporting transaction-level details to tax authorities.
What does this mean for you?
The mandatory SAF-T submission will apply to businesses with an annual turnover of at least NOK 5 million (around €521.000), whereas businesses below NOK5 million and not storing their data electronically, will be exempted from the requirement.
Businesses which have electronically available book-keeping information will also be required to comply with the SAF-T standard, regardless of their annual turnover. The SAF-T files have to be submitted to the Norwegian tax authorities only upon request in case of a tax audit.
Although the SAF-T was planned as a standardized XML-based format, National tax authorities require different information in diverse formats. Hence, companies will have to implement a different approach in each country where SAF-T files are required. Until now Portugal, Luxembourg, France, Lithuania and Austria have implemented this format.