Digitisation of VAT Reporting

Thu 5th Apr 2018

European countries are increasingly demanding detailed electronic VAT transactional reporting from businesses to help them efficiently track tax due and reduce significant tax evasion. This includes: EU SAF-T; Making Tax Digital in the UK; live invoice reporting in Spain, Hungary and Italy; and Control Statements.

Many countries have now introduced voluntary and mandatory transaction reporting submissions, on numerous standards. The timing varies from inclusion with monthly/quarterly VAT returns through to real-time reporting to the tax authorities at the time of the invoice creation. One of the more popular formats is Standard Audit File for Tax (‘SAF-T’) developed globally by the OECD. This is a schema for the exchange of information between tax authorities and businesses that can be consistently applied in all countries. However, countries have introduced many variations to make straight comparison difficult.

Below is a summary of the principle invoice reporting requirements by European country.


Country Reporting format Basis Implementation
Austria SAF-T On request 31 Jan 2009
Czech Republic Control Statement Mandatory, with VAT return 1 Jan 2016
France SAF-T On request 1 Jan 2014
Greece Live invoice reporting Mandatory on all invoices 1 Jan 2019
Hungary Real-time invoice reporting Mandatory, live for all invoices above HUF 100k 1 Jul 2018
Italy SdI – Sistema di Interscambio Mandatory, live invoice reporting for all businesses 1 Jan 2019
Lithuania SAF-T On request 1 Jan 2019
Luxembourg SAF-T On request 1 Jan 2011
Norway SAF-T Not yet implemented 1 Jan 2020
Poland SAF-T Mandatory, with VAT return 1 Jan 2016
Portugal SAF-T Mandatory for residents, with VAT return 1 Jan 2008
Spain SII (Immediate Information Supply) Mandatory for large tax payers, every 4 days 1 July 2017
United Kingdom Making Tax Digital (MTD) Mandatory, quarterly VAT return data only – no transaction reporting 1 Apr 2019