September 18, 2023
Bulgaria planning to introduce SAF-T, affecting most businesses
Bulgaria is planning to introduce the standard electronic format for exchange of accounting and financial data with the local tax authorities (SAF-T).
With the support of the European Commission, Directorate General for Structural Reform Support, the National Revenue Agency and Ernst & Young Bulgaria are jointly implementing the project "Increasing voluntary compliance by implementing SAF-T in Bulgaria," through which the preparatory phase of the reform is carried out.
Brief overview of SAF-T in Europe
Tax administrations and taxpayers in European Union (EU) member states increasingly feel the need to harmonize and digitize processes to optimize communication between them.
In response to these needs, SAF-T was introduced in Portugal in 2008. After successful implementation and positive results, SAF-T continues to spread to other European countries, including Austria, Poland, Lithuania, Norway, France and Romania.
SAF-T in Bulgaria: Where do we stand?
The upcoming introduction of SAF-T in Bulgaria will speed up the overall digitalization process in providing administrative services, specifically improving the interaction between the tax administration and businesses.
Currently, the local tax administration, along with EY Bulgaria, are researching and preparing the implementation of the conditions for data collection and transmission in the unified format of SAF-T. The project foresees timely inclusion of all interested parties in the reform. Good European practices will also contribute to SAF-T's optimal implementation in Bulgaria by assisting in the identification of the most suitable working model that meets the specifics of the Bulgarian tax system, as well as the approach and timing of introduction.
What is coming?
It is planned that SAF-T will be introduced in phases depending on the size of the business. The official date, legal framework, reported data, mechanism for delivery of the files is going to be published by the authorities probably in the beginning of 2024.
Who will be obliged to submit the file?
Clients doing a business in Bulgaria are likely to be impacted by the reform. The tax authorities are planning to require not only resident businesses, but also those carrying out activities in the country through permanent establishments or only having Bulgarian VAT number to utilize SAF-T.
For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:
Ernst and Young Law Partnership Bulgaria, Sofia
Published by NTD's Tax Technical Knowledge Services group; Carolyn Wright, legal editor