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Key Updates in Portugal’s 2024 Budget Law

Portugal’s 2024 Budget Law, approved on November 29, 2023, marks a significant milestone in the country’s financial landscape, ushering in a period of transition and adaptation for businesses. Originally scheduled to become mandatory on January 1, 2024, a key adjustment has been implemented, providing businesses with an additional year before the compulsory adoption of qualified electronic signatures. This digital authentication method, developed by certified private entities, offers companies the flexibility to decide whether to integrate it into their operations during the extended grace period.

The decision to postpone the mandatory implementation of qualified electronic signatures underscores the government’s commitment to easing the transition for businesses as they navigate the evolving digital landscape. This adjustment recognizes the diverse operational contexts of companies and allows them the necessary time to evaluate, plan, and seamlessly incorporate this technological requirement into their workflows.

SAF-T Reporting Timeline

In parallel, the 2024 Budget Law introduces a delay in the obligation for the submission of the Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T), shifting its applicability to 2025. The SAF-T requirement imposes meticulous recording obligations on accounting systems to generate an electronic accounting file in SAFT-PT format. This comprehensive file, accessible on demand, encompasses crucial details such as lists of articles, clients and suppliers, VAT regimes, accounting movements, and the accounting plan. While this detailed accounting SAF-T submission will only become mandatory in 2026, businesses are afforded additional time to align their accounting systems with these digital reporting requirements.

The extension of the SAF-T reporting deadline recognizes the intricate nature of transitioning to a more digitally driven accounting system. This delay provides businesses with a grace period to enhance their technological infrastructure, ensuring a smoother and more effective adoption of the SAF-T framework. By doing so, the government aims to facilitate a seamless integration of digital tools into the financial sector, promoting efficiency, accuracy, and transparency in accounting practices.

In summary, the 2024 Budget Law’s decision to extend the timeline for both qualified electronic signatures and SAF-T reporting requirements demonstrates a balanced approach. It reflects a commitment to embracing technological advancements while supporting businesses in their gradual transition to a more digitally-focused future. This strategic alignment with the needs of businesses emphasizes the government’s dedication to fostering a conducive environment for innovation and sustainable growth in Portugal’s financial landscape.


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