Norway – new dynamic “eVAT return” from January 1, 2022

Norway is undertaking a major digitisation project to create a more effective administration of the VAT system. One of the major changes is a new dynamic electronic VAT return based on standard SAF-T VAT codes. While the level of summary aggregation will remain the same, the main difference is that the VAT return will move away from the current numbered fields / boxes and instead there will be replaced by a dynamic list of granular line specifications with specific associated tax codes.  

The current Norwegian VAT return has 19  fields for completion whereas the new VAT return will be based on 25 standard SAF-T VAT codes together with additional specific details such as bad debt, VAT adjustment scheme adjustments, reversals and withdrawals.

Tagging data with the relevant tax code

Transactions should be tagged with the relevant tax code in the ERP system, so that relevant data report can then be submitted digitally to produce the new VAT return. Businesses are encouraged to deliver the VAT return directly from their ERP systems i.e. system to system. The tax authority (Skatteetaten) has been working with ERP vendors to encourage them to develop the relevant functionality. Where a business does not have an ERP system enabled to submit the new VAT return, a web portal has been created for submitting the new VAT returns in the XML format. 

Format of file

The submission of the VAT return requires an XML file containing metadata and meeting the required structure. Skatteetaten has published details of the relevant XSDs (XML Schema Definitions) including specific details on: 

  • SAF-T VAT codes (“mvaKodeSAFT”) 
  • VAT specification code  
  • VAT rate codes 
  • validation service 
  • payment information  

It will also be possible to provide comments both for the entire report and on a line-by-line basis, using either pre-defined remarks or free text. In addition, it will be possible to attach up to 50 supporting files in various different file formats including PDFs. 

Businesses will need to review the internal tax codes used in their ERP/ accounting systems and ensure these are mapped to the relevant new SAFT VAT codes. It is important to note that the SAF-T VAT return specification also contains specific codes to tag transactions that are not reported in the VAT return.

Correcting VAT returns

Supplementary returns will no longer be submitted and instead where a VAT return requires correction, this can be done by correcting the amounts in the ERP system (and relevant coding) and submitting a replacement VAT return.

Sales and Purchase Report

Norway will also be launching a new sales and purchase report too and this will likely be from 2024. This will require the reporting of individual transactions and include information such as invoice number, document date, the counterparty’s name and VAT registration number.  

There will be no transitional period and all VAT registered businesses will need to be able to submit VAT returns from periods starting January 1, 2022 in the new format and either via the web portal or direct from the ERP system.  Only in the event of emergencies and technical difficulties will it be possible to file the VAT return via Skatteetaten’s legacy online portal.

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