Key Information About SAFT-PT Portugal Declarations
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: Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Norway, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Austria.
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 (Direcção Geral de Contribuições e Impostos (DGCI)).
The Portuguese Tax Authority recognizes three distinct SAF-T document in the Portuguese schema called SAFT-PT: Invoicing, Accounting and Transport Documents.
SAFT-PT Electronic Accounting
The SAFT-PT accounting document will become mandatory in 2025.
The accounting SAFT-PT will be mandatory as of 2022. Its declaration is mandatory for foreign companies as of July 2021.
The accounting file reconciles all of the necessary information to facilitate the declaration of commercial transactions, annual declarations of accounting and tax data through electronic methods.
This declaration can be made on a monthly or annual basis. The SAFT-PT accounting file must include the following control fields: article catalogue, client and supplier list, VAT regimes, accounting movements and the chart of accounts.
Private and public companies with a Portuguese entity that conduct business transactions must both emit and declare accounting SAFT-PT files.
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.
Certified Solutions for SAFT-PT
Working with SAFT documents brings many benefits but the implementation of the system also requires certified software and internal development to automate the capture and compilation of data fields that will make up the SAFT-PT document. The software must also be able to comply with verification mechanisms like the electronic signature and secure storage.
EDICOM is an authorized partner in Portugal and offers a DGCI certified solution.
Global VAT Platform is a B2B2G electronic communication platform with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), e-invoicing and VAT capabilities created with multinational companies in mind to provide compliance worldwide.
EDICOM’s global e-invoicing platform has the capability to simplify, centralize and automate electronic communications with the Portuguese tax authority.
How Does the Global VAT Platform Manage SAFT-PT Files and B2G Invoicing?
- 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.