Romania SAF-T: Are you Ready for 1 January 2022?

Kelsey O'Gorman
June 9, 2021

It’s been more than a few years since Romania first toyed with the idea of introducing a SAF-T obligation to combat its ever-growing VAT gap. Year after year, businesses wondered what the status of this new tax mandate was, with the ANAF continuously promising to give details soon. Well, the time is now.

What is SAF-T?

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) introduced the Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T) in 2005. The goal of the SAF-T digital VAT return is to provide auditors access to reliable accounting data in an easily readable format. Companies can export information from their accounting systems (invoices, payments, general ledger journals in addition to master files).

As a result, audits should be more efficient and effective based on the standarized format set by the OECD. As countries can require a different format for capturing data, no two country implementations of SAF-T are exactly the same.

How is Romania implementing their SAF-T?

From 1 January 2022, the new Romania SAF-T mandate comes into effect for large taxpayers. The digital VAT return submissions are via XML with over 800 fields.

It appears Romania is looking to follow the format prescribed by the OECD (SAF-T OECD Scheme version 2.0 – OECD standard format). The technical specifications have been released and can be found on the ANAF portal.

The documents which are available include:

  • SAF-T_Romania_SchemaDefinitionCodes.xlsx – describes in a tabular organization format the structure of the SAF-T scheme for Romania SAF-T tax reporting
  • Romanian_SAF-T_Financial_Schema.xsd – describes the SAF-T scheme to be used in Romania for SAF-T reporting. The description format is XML Scheme Definition (XSD) and is useful for companies that develop applications for automatic generation of SAF-T reports
  • Annex SAF-T – Structura_D.docx – contains the annex of the declaration and describes all validation rules in ANAF’s own format
  • SAF-T OECD Scheme version 2.0 – standard OECD format

Now that the specifications are available, Romania will soon move into the testing phase of implementation; where taxpayers can take advantage of submitting test data to the ANAF. This is in order to become familiar with the process, understand the requirements, and if necessary, adjust their ERP systems. As a result, this should ensure full compliance for January. Details on how to participate in the test phase are forthcoming and will be available on the portal once finalized.

What’s next?

Sources close to the Romania SAF-T implementation project indicated the hope is to eliminate certain declarations. To possibly provide pre-filled returns based on SAF-T information once the project is in full swing. This would align with the pre-population trend that is slowly making its way across the EU; with Italy, Spain, and Hungary paving the way for pre-populated VAT returns.

Take Action

Get in touch to discuss your Romania SAF-T compliance requirements. To find out more about what we believe the future holds, download VAT Trends: Toward Continuous Transaction Controls

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Author

Kelsey O'Gorman

Kelsey O’Gorman is a Regulatory Counsel at Sovos. Within Sovos’ Regulatory Analysis function, Kelsey focuses on global sales tax and VAT issues, supporting both the tax determination and reporting engines. Kelsey received her B.A. in Psychology from University at Buffalo and her J.D. from Roger Williams University School of Law. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.
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