Norway l Green Light on Mandatory SAF-T Reporting From 2020

Norwegian tax authorities have confirmed plans for the SAF-T launch from the start of 2020.

In 2017 we reported on Norway’s announcement to delay the 2018 roll out of its mandatory Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T). The Norwegian tax authorities have recently issued information confirming plans for its launch from the start of 2020.

SAF-T is a standardised XML format providing for the electronic transmission of companies’ accounting data, for instance VAT returns, to international tax authorities.  Ostensibly, it eases the compliance burden for businesses as well as allowing tax authorities accomplish speedier processing through automation.

As of 1st January 2020, all companies that keep electronic accounts in Norway will be required to use the SAF-T to report their tax transactional data to the tax authorities. This means that non-residents will also be impacted.

Only companies with an annual turnover of less than NOK 5 million, that do not store their bookkeeping information electronically, will be exempt from this obligation.  Word processing and spread spreadsheet programs are not classified as electronic accounting systems.

Norwegian companies have had the option to use a simplified SAF-T since 2017. Current reporting requirements relate to the general and to sales and purchases ledgers.

Designed by the OECD, tax authorities eager to obtain additional data to aid them perform more efficient audits have warmly embraced the SAF-T. To date, EU countries that have adopted it include Portugal, Austria, France, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Poland.