Questions and answers - SAF-T Financial

SAF-T is a standard format for the exchange of accounting data. The standard is the result of a joint development collaboration between the business communicty, the accounting sector and the Norwegian Tax Administration, based on a recommendation by the OECD. The standard specifies what accounting data is to be exchanged, and also the structure of the data.

For businesses with bookkeeping obligations, it will be easier to submit accounting records to public authorities. It will also be easier to perform internal audits in companies, analyse data in specialised systems and share data with others. In addition, it will be easy to change accounting system and to integrate different systems. For the Norwegian Tax Administration, the new way of collecting accounting data means more efficient audits and shorter case-handling times as a consequence of automation and fewer manual processes

The requirement will be applicable to any enterprise with bookkeeping obligations who use electronical accounting systems. Enterprises with less than NOK 5 million in turnover are exempt from the requirement. However, if these enterprises have bookkeping information that are electronically available, the requirement will apply to them. It is the system suppliers who must adapt their accounting systems so that the systems can provide the new standard on demand. Enterprises with a bookkeeping obligation who have fewer than 600 vouchers a year, and hold their accounts in a text editor or spreadsheet programs are not included in the requirement, because these systems are counted as manual solutions and not an electronical accounting system, ref. NBS 6 section 4.

Nei, regnskapsopplysninger i dette formatet erstatter ikke rapportering av ligningsdata, men skal kunne oversendes til skattekontoret i forbindelse med bokettersyn etter forespørsel fra skatterevisor.

No, accounting information in this format does not replace tax return reporting, but must be made available to the tax office in connection with a tax audit on request by a tax auditor.

The regulation comes into force the first period with financial reporting starting 1. januar 2020 or later. Until then the use of the SAF-T scheme will be voluntary.

There is no requirement to show transactions retrospectively. The accounting systems will most likely be able to generate SAF-T files for earlier periods if these are in the same database and in the same format as transactions after 1 January 2020.

If the accounting system is supposed to be used to produce SAF-T files, this is something the system developers have to manage in the development of their accounting systems. Norwegian suppliers of accounting systems have been involved in a dialogue since autumn 2015, and some of them were also involved in developing the standard itself. 
However, there may occur divergent use of accounts or vat codes, which results is an obligation for the accountant or the enterprise with a bookkeeping obligation to ensure that the mapping is complete.

The first version of the standard was ready in March 2016 and it is published on The first version is limited to account specification (general ledger), and supplier and customer specification (subsidiary ledger). Required fixed data is also included. 

As long as a business has bookkeeping information in an electronic format, it will be required to show recorded information in SAF-T format. This means that banks are required to use the format in the same way as other businesses that are required to keep accounts. Public sector companies are also subject to this requirement if they have bookkeeping obligations.

Uploading via Altinn will be the main method for sending in SAF-T files. If you have large files over 200 MB (up to 2 GB in zip-files) you may contact the relevant case handler in the Norwegian Tax Administration.

Yes, as of September 2016, system suppliers were given the opportunity to test their solutions. The Norwegian Tax Administration recommends that all system suppliers perform testing.

Opplastningen via Altinn vil være hovedmåten for bokføringspliktige å levere SAF-T-filen på. For de som har store filer på over 200 MB (opp til 2 GB i zip-filer) kan du ta kontakt med ansvarlig saksbehandler.