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What is SAF-T (Standard Audit File for Tax)?
- Last update: 19.09.2023
- Published: 18.04.2023
- Read in: 4 min
SAF-T is a global standard used for documenting transactions related to the trade of goods and services. In Poland, an equivalent system known as JPK, (Jednolity Plik Kontrolny – Polish for Single Control File) is in place. However, it’s important to delve into the origins and true purpose of this international format, which we will explore in the article below.
What is SAF-T?
SAF-T, also recognised as the Standard Audit File for Tax, is a worldwide standard presented as an XML-formatted electronic file. VAT taxpayers utilise it to document their transactions involving the trade of goods and services. In Poland, this equivalent is referred to as the Single Control File, which functions as an alternative to the traditional VAT return.
SAF-T vs. the Single Control File (JPK)
In Poland, individuals and businesses subject to VAT must provide JPK_VAT returns. For monthly reporting, the necessary file is designated as JPK_V7M, while for quarterly reporting, entrepreneurs are obligated to submit JPK_V7K.
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What was the purpose behind the introduction of SAF-T?
The integration of SAF-T into national tax accounting systems has a dual purpose. Firstly, it’s intended to enhance tax transparency and fortify the tax system’s integrity.
Secondly, SAF-T’s introduction also seeks to reduce operational costs and simplify the sharing of tax-related information among both domestic and international agencies. This has the dual effect of making it more challenging to engage in tax evasion and streamlining the audit process.
In which countries has SAF-T been introduced?
SAF-T is applicable not only in Poland but also in various other countries that are part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). These countries include Norway, Portugal, Lithuania, and Hungary.
It’s important to highlight that, depending on the specific country, there may be additional data fields required in SAF-T files as mandated by that country’s legislation. However, what sets SAF-T apart is its standardised file format, which adheres to the OECD SAF-T SCHEMA VERSION 2.0.
SAF-T - Summary
SAF-T represents an international standard file used for reporting transactions linked to the exchange of goods and services, and it’s applied across OECD countries. In Poland, its counterpart is known as the Single Control File.
This Audit File standard streamlines the exchange of tax data among OECD countries, simplifying tax audits and increasing the complexity of tax-related offences.
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