A blog about local and foreign VAT matters, best practices, and tips from practioners.

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.