All you need to know about the SAF-T file in 2021 


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SAF-T (Standard Audit for Tax Purposes) is a file that, in a standard XML format, contains all the tax-relevant documentation of a company for a given period.

This file integrates the invoicing processes of any company. But do you know everything about this document and the obligations associated with it?

Find out in this article the main aspects concerning communication with the Tax Authority through the SAF-T electronic file.

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What is SAF-T?

Any company that conducts business transactions must report its monthly invoicing to the Tax Authority. In the Portuguese version, the SAFT-PT (Standard Audit File for Tax Purposes – Portugal Version) is defined as a predefined file in XML language, intended to allow easy export, at any time, of a predefined set of tax and accounting records, in a readable format, regardless of the program used.

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Is there only one type of SAF-T file?

There are two types of SAF-T files, the SAF-T for Invoicing and the SAF-T for Accounting. To avoid confusing these two types of files, we will explain the differences between them.

SAFT Accounting

A complete file that can be exported by invoicing software and that must be sent whenever required by the Tax and Customs Inspection services and that also serves to perform audits.

SAFT of Invoicing

It can also be exported by invoicing software. However, it is considered a simpler file. It must be sent every month to the Tax and Customs Authority and its purpose is to analyze the monthly invoicing of companies and must be added to the tax file of each company.

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What does a SAF-T file contain?

The SAF-T file is made up of several data elements:

Company Data: Name, address, city, country, taxpayer, email, and website.

Customer Data: Name, address, city, country, and the taxpayer (of all customers, even if no invoices have been issued).

Product/Service Data: Name and type of all products and/or services.

Invoicing Data: All invoices, receipts, notes, guides, and other documents issued during the period in question, even if they have been canceled.

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Know the answer to the 3 most common questions about the SAF-T files

Who is required to send the SAF-T invoicing file to the Tax and Customs Authority?

According to the information on the Finance Portal, all taxpayers whose main activity is commercial, industrial, or agricultural are required to send the SAF-T (PT) invoicing file. This obligation also extends to taxpayers who use a certified invoicing program.

What is the deadline for sending the SAF-T invoicing file?

If your company communicates invoicing through SAF-T (PT), the deadline for sending the file to the Tax Authority is the 12th day of the month following the reference period. This means that if you want to report your company’s invoicing for March 2021, you have until April 12 to do so.

My company always sends the SAF-T (PT) Invoice file every month to the AT. But we missed the deadline this month. Will we be penalized?

Most likely, yes. If there are delays in tax obligations, fines will be applied, and your company will likely be penalized in this regard. To avoid this situation happening again, it is best to pass on this responsibility to an accounting firm or an accountant.