SAF-T will most likely be mandatory from 1 January 2020 in Norway. According to the SAF-T rules, the Tax Authorities may ask for the general ledger and the customer and supplier specifications (sub ledgers) to be provided in a specific xml format.
The required documentation shall be delivered through www.altinn.no (public portal for exchange of information).
According to the information acknowledged by PwC, the SAF-T reporting requirement is likely to be expanded in the future. See the illustration of the timeline below:
Main considerations – what is important to keep in mind?
The Tax Administration in Norway has assumed that ERP providers need to ensure that accounting systems of businesses are able to deliver information in an xml format (i.e., the system vendors have to ensure that their accounting systems complies with SAF-T).
Companies in Norway that are subsidiaries of international businesses or have systems developed in-house, cannot rely on the system provider to ensure their SAF-T compliance in Norway.
From 2020, the requirement to provide financial information in the SAF-T-format applies upon request by the Tax Authorities. The Company is compliant if it is able to produce financial information in SAF-T format within reasonable time after being requested to do so by the Tax Authorities.
SAF-T structures in Norway
Please find more information on the website of the Norwegian Tax authorities:
The ERP system providers must update their systems in order to be SAF-T compliant. It is therefore important to have a dialogue with system providers about their roadmap to ensure that accounting systems will be SAF-T compliant before 1 January 2020. I also recommend that you challenge your system provider on how future extensions of SAF-T in Norway will be handled.
In case you have developed self-improvement systems, or other systems where one can not expect that system supplier ensures compliance with the SAF-T, it is now time to plan for how to be compliant within 1 January 2020. It is not a requirement that SAF-T reporting must be an integrated part of the existing system solutions. It is possible to prepare reports on SAF-T-format with your own SAF-T-converters.
Even though the deadline to comply with SAF-T is 1 January 2020, you should as soon as possible after the SAF-T functionality is in place in accounting systems perform checks of the VAT-reports.
You should perform automatic control of your data material to ensure the quality. Based on our experience, it will be possible to uncover:
- differences between VAT-reporting and accounting,
- double bookkeeping of invoices,
- the appropriate VAT treatment of purchase of services from abroad,
- the use of appropriate VAT rates and
- errors in deductions
Please be informed that errors that are corrected before an audit will normally not lead to penalties in Norway.