Electronic Invoicing

Key Information About SAF-T Portugal Declarations

SAF-T Portugal

Fiscal control and the fight against fraud is one of the main motivators for the implementation of electronic fiscal document declarations by tax authorities around the world. SAF-T has become a widely adopted standard for fiscal tax declarations and electronic invoices in many countries. Portugal has been a pioneer of the SAF-T standard through a diverse implementation of different kinds of SAF-T files.

What is SAF-T?

SAF-T (Standard Audit File for Tax) is a data file based on the XML standard used international for the electronic interchange of fiscal information. SAF-T is a tool that gathers all fiscal and accounting information of a company during a time period. Its primary function is to facilitate the analysis and organization of accounting entries, fiscal declarations and other accounting documents by auditors and fiscal authorities.

SAF-T is a data file generated through a predefined group of accounting entries that is easily exported in a predefined format independent of the accounting software used by the taxpayer. One of the many advantages of this system is standardization, which allows a quick and efficient detection of fiscal fraud by authorities.

The benefits of working with SAF-T include: security, simplification of reporting procedures, reduction in administrative costs and global legibility of data independent from the source accounting system. Thanks to these benefits brought by standardization taxpayers can achieve better data control and organization.

Because of the benefits afforded by SAF-T Many fiscal authorities in Europe have adopted this system. Use of SAF-T files is widespread in VAT declarations but is also used for other accounting documents. Currently, SAF-T is used in: PortugalHungary, PolandNorway, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Austria.

SAF-T in Portugal

Portugal is one of the European countries that uses SAF-T files for tax reporting and e-invoicing. SAF-T was originally adopted in Portugal in 2008 but was not made mandatory by the Portuguese tax authority until 2013, when all companies were required to communicate invoices and transport documents in the SAF-T format. From that moment every Portuguese company had to adapt their ERPs and accounting software to comply with the SAF-T format and establish an automated communication channel with the tax authority (Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira - AT).

The Portuguese Tax Authority recognizes three distinct SAF-T document in the Portuguese schema called SAFT-PT: Invoicing, Accounting and Transport Documents.

SAF-T Electronic Accounting

The SAF-T PT Accounting File aims to facilitate the declaration of Simplified Commercial Information / Annual Declaration of Accounting and Tax Information electronically. This declaration can be monthly or annual. The SAF-T PT accounting file must include the following control fields: List of items, customers, and suppliers; VAT regimes; Accounting movements, and Chart of accounts.

In Portugal, its electronic declaration is mandatory for private or public companies engaged in commercial, industrial, or agricultural activities, with headquarters or effective management in national territory. Additionally, the SAF-T PT accounting file must contain the following information:

  • Header
  • Accounting codes grid (GeneralLedgerAccounts)
  • Customer grid (Customer)
  • Supplier grid (Supplier)
  • Tax grid (TaxTable)
  • Accounting transactions (GeneralLedgerEntries)
  • Receipt of issued documents, where applicable (Payments)

It is mandatory to encrypt the SAF-T file before transmission and keep it for a legal period of 15 years. Encrypting the document before transmission is necessary to preserve both the integrity and confidentiality of the information contained in this file, including fundamental tax data. Additionally, the electronic storage of the SAF-T file underscores the need to maintain a documented record in the long term, facilitating audit processes and compliance with regulations.

Electronic VAT declaration or SAFT-PT Invoice

The Portuguese authorities has decreed that all invoices and waybills be generated sequentially and must pass through an encryption process where an electronic signature, data from the previous invoice and control data are used to generate the data file. The electronic VAT declaration in SAFT-PT format must be performed before the 25th of each month.

Electronic Transport Documents

In Portugal, VAT taxpayers have an obligation to communicate transport documents to the tax and customs authorities before moving merchandise.

EDICOM, Certified Solution for SAF-T in Portugal

EDICOM's solution for electronic invoicing, electronic accounting, and the declaration of VAT and transport documents has been audited and certified by the Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira (AT) of Portugal in accordance with the requirements established by Ordinance No. 363/2010 and 340/2013, which establish the certification requirements for invoicing software.

Our SAF-T solution incorporates value-added services that make it a comprehensive application for the issuance of any SAF-T file in Portugal capable of supporting the processes of generation, transmission, and storage of electronic documents in accordance with established requirements.

Functionality of the SAF-T solution

Our solution has the ability to simplify, centralize, and automate electronic communications with Portuguese authorities.

  • The solution integrates with a company’s ERP or accounting system and automatically generates the structured format required (UBL 2.1 or SAFT-PT).
  • In Portugal, an internal validation is created that confirms that the document was constructed correctly and then applies a mandatory electronic signature.
  • The document is then sent to the public administration or tax authority through secure communication protocols
  • The reception notifications generated by recipients can be integrated to the ERP or management system to facilitate document management.
  • Additionally, It is possible to store electronic documents for the legally required time thanks to EDICOM’s LTA storage solution which stores files with qualified digital certificates emitted by our eIDAS certified trust authority. These EIDAS digital certificates guarantee the long term integrity of documents as is required in the storage of SAFT-PT documents for 15 years.
  • Edicom’s solution also automates the emission of electronic transport documents to the tax authority through a Webservice call that assigns an authorization code. The solution automatically receives the code and integrates to the transport document. This code authorizes the movement of merchandise.

Need more information about SAF-T?

If your company is affected, consult with one of our advisors. We will accompany you during the implementation process to assist you with everything you need.

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