SAF-T is a globally accepted standard for businesses to transmit their accounting data electronically to their countries’ tax authorities. It was initially established by the OECD and uses XML files to relay relevant information. However, the OECD doesn’t mandate a specific file format for SAF-T. Many countries across the globe have implemented their own SAF-T reporting requirements, and Portugal is one of them.
Our clients have raised several questions about the SAF-T Portugal regulation, and we have selected the top-five critical questions and provided answers to them below for the benefit of our clients.
SAF-T in Portugal
The Portuguese tax authority, the General Directorate of Taxation (DGCI), introduced the implementation of SAF-T in the country. SAF-T PT accommodates two types of SAF-T files in Portugal: SAF-T invoicing and SAF-T accounting.
1. Is there a difference between SAF-T invoicing and SAF-T accounting?
Yes. While SAF-T invoicing must be submitted to the tax authority every month, SAF-T accounting must be submitted annually. What’s more, SAF-T accounting should have an accounting record for a specific financial year. This record includes information about customers, suppliers, and partners.
2. Is there a specific date when this regulation will become effective?
Implementation of SAF-T invoicing became mandatory from 2020. As of January 2023, foreign businesses who are not located in Portugal but have a VAT registration number will be obliged to submit the SAF-T invoicing report to the tax authority.
For SAF-T accounting, the Portuguese tax administration has established that the declaration of SAF-T accounting files will become mandatory from 2025.
3. What should the SAF-T report include?
For SAF-T invoicing, there are two mandatory fields that are master files and source documents: customer master data, tax table, sales invoices, and payments. The ATCUD code is also mandatory as of January 2023.
SAF-T accounting must include the following information:
- Accounting codes from the General Ledger
- Customer details
- Supplier’s details
- Tax header
- Payment transactions
- General Ledger transactions
4. Is a digital signature required?
SAF-T invoicing: Electronic signature is mandatory.
SAF-T accounting: This file must be encrypted before delivery.
5. Who is responsible for reporting?
All resident taxpayers who are paying IRC (corporate income tax) or IRS (personal income tax), as well as foreign businesses who are not located Portugal but have VAT numbers, are responsible.
In terms of SAF-T accounting, private and public companies that engage in commercial, industrial, or agricultural activities and have headquarters or registered legal entities in Portugal are responsible for reporting. Accounting SAF-T files are only due from established companies in Portugal.
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