Foreign companies are required to file SAF-T returns in Portugal


News about SAF-T Portugal: In accordance with the current, effective for non-established businesses with a Portuguese VAT number and producing invoices with Portuguese VAT as of July 1, 2021. In addition to the permitted software duty, the Portuguese SAF-T obligation will be owed by these non-established enterprises.


This obligation would be consistent with the information now accessible on the Frequently Asked Questions on SAF-T, which states that “taxpayers who engage in commercial, industrial, or agricultural activities are obligated to generate the SAF-T.” (PT). This responsibility also applies to taxpayers who employ a certified invoicing program. However, SAF-T for non-established corporations was never validated.


The measure will be discussed and included in the draft of the State Budget for 2022, but it must be kept in mind that, due to political conflicts, the law proposal may not be passed, and it is anticipated that elections will be called. If a new government must be formed, we anticipate that the SAF-T duty will be deferred until further notice.


SAF-T Portugal : What is the Portuguese SAF-T billing requirement?

The SAF-T (which stands for Standard audit file for tax) is a file in XML format that is internationally standardized to enable the exchange and treatment of tax information.

The Portuguese SAF-T submission is a monthly obligation required by the 5th of each month for all invoices issued with Portuguese VAT; the file is generated by the authorized software used to issue invoices – certified billing obligation. Moreover, kindly note that a SAF-T with a value of zero is due and must be submitted.

As previously mentioned, SAF-T Portugal accompanies the, therefore if you are a non-established company registered for VAT in Portugal and you are currently required to issue invoices with Portuguese VAT using an authorized billing software, you will also be required to submit the SAF-T beginning in 2022.

Similarly, the following transactions are exempt from this obligation:

Invoices issued using the mechanism of reverse-charge
Invoices issued for public events, such as tickets to museums or performances, concerts, and the like (bearer documents)

portugal saf-t

Difference between accounting SAF-T and invoicing SAF-T Portugal

Accounting SAF-T responsibilities should not be confused with invoicing SAF-T for unincorporated firms.

An accounting SAF-T obligation mandates the publication of all Portuguese accounting information, including your chart of accounts, so-called “taxonomas”, general ledger, supplier and customer master data, and treasury information. As it is a requirement on demand, it needs only be submitted when requested by the tax authorities. In Portugal, only established businesses must submit accounting SAF-T files. Typically, you are not obligated to submit this obligation if you lack actual presence in the country.

The invoice SAF-T file contains information regarding issued invoices. It must be provided quarterly by all enterprises registered for VAT in Portugal (including foreign, non-established, companies once the new requirement enters into force). Using software that allows you to generate this file automatically makes it simpler to comply with the SAF-T for invoices.

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