Norway SAF-T Reporting - Phase one

Norway SAF-T

The Norweigen tax authority first introduced SAF-T reporting in 2017 on a voluntary basis and made it compulsory from 1 January 2020.

At present, the Norwegian SAF-T must only be submitted on demand in connection with an audit. However, it is expected to be extended to areas such as corporation tax.

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Mandate Quick Facts

  • Norway’s SAF-T requirements apply to businesses with bookkeeping obligations who use electronic accounting systems. This includes non-resident entities registered for Norwegian VAT.
  • Businesses with a turnover of less than NOK 5 million who aren’t subjected to mandatory bookkeeping are exempt from the requirement.
  • In phase one, SAF-T will be required after notification of an audit and will only be relevant for VAT controls due to the limited information being requested(on-demand file).
  • SAF-T is a standardised XML format containing exported accounting information.
  • Norwegian SAF-T files will be submitted primarily by upload via the Altinn internet portal.
  • Testing is available and recommended by the tax authority.

Mandate Rollout Dates

  • 1 October 2016: The first version of the SAF-T Financial was published on the Norwegian tax authority website.

  • 9 June 2017: The administrative body on Norwegian SAF-T standards met for the first time to manage standards to suit both public and private sectors. The body meets at least once a year.

  • 1 January 2017: Voluntary adoption of SAF-T began.

  • 1 January 2020: Norway introduced mandatory SAF-T reporting.

  • 1 January 2022: Norway is to to introduce SAF-T VAT reporting, including direct digital submission from accounting systems, to replace the current manual VAT filing from.

SAF-T Reporting Challenges

Although the OECD intended SAF-T to be an international standard, there are significant differences across countries in how SAF-T has been interpreted, structured and adopted.

Penalties

As SAF-T requirements are part of Norway’s bookkeeping regulations, failure to comply can result in significant enforcement fines for late or incorrect VAT returns.

The rate that is applied in the fine is calculated based on the court fee. For issues with the VAT tax return, the rate is half a court fee per day: the maximum limit is 50 court fees, and the maximum fee NOK 59,95.

However, errors corrected before an audit will normally not lead to penalties in Norway.

Need help to ensure your business is compliant and ready for phase two in Norway?

Although SAF-T is said to benefit taxpayers by facilitating submissions of data in a pre-audit scenario, SAF-T compliance is difficult in practice.

Our experts continually monitor, interpret, and codify legal changes and requirements into our software, reducing the compliance burden on your tax and IT teams.

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