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Our SAF-T SAP add-on runs over SAP ECC, is compatible with OECD standard and covers the steps of creation of necessary structures in XML format including E-submission with signature and encryption.

What is SAF-T?

The SAF-T standard, originally created by the OECD, is intended to give tax authorities easy access to the relevant data in an easily readable format. This leads to much more efficient and effective tax inspections. Electronic audits (e-audit) that will be performed based on data submitted electronically by taxpayers.

Tax authorities collect and analyze already indirect tax data (e.g. SAF-T for VAT). The focus is not only about timely and accurate VAT reporting but as well whether on high risk areas an effective tax control framework is in place. A taxpayer's Tax Risk Management methods are assessed.

Tax authority approaches are changing

Besides Poland similar obligations exist already in Austria, Canada, France, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal and Singapore. In Belgium, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Malta, Spain, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, and UK discussions on SAF-T are already taking place. Countries like Sweden and Netherlands have their own e-audit file standard.

Tax authorities, due to technological innovations, have become increasingly better in executing their tax audit. The probability that the tax authorities will issue additional assessments and penalties in the near future because errors in indirect tax are detected, increases by the day.

Technology will result in effective tax data collection and efficient and effective tax audits. The OECD has issued in May 2005 a guidance note on the development of Standard Audit File –Tax (SAF-T) and recommends the use of SAF-T as a means of exporting accurate tax accounting data to tax authorities in such way that can it can be analyzed easily. Mandatory data filing gives food for thought.

The exchange of data among tax administrations will increase as well, essential to combat VAT fraud.

Written by Richard Cornelisse
 Richard LinkedIn

Richard advises multinational businesses in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their Indirect Tax Function and Tax Control Framework.

He started his career as a manager at Arthur Andersen and then became an EY partner where he led the indirect tax performance team for Netherlands and Belgium. Currently, he is a managing director of SAP Tax Consultancy Firm.

Richard has over 20 years of experience advising clients on international VAT issues. He is specialized in the tax aspects of financial transformations, shared service center migration, and post-merger integration work.