SAF-T testing program

We suggest carrying out all four tests described below for the most complete review of the SAF-T XML file. We propose a stepwise approach, starting with Technical Testing 1 – XSD schema, where any testing errors and findings should be corrected and the test re-run until we have a SAF-T file that has no errors against the SAF-T XSD schema. We then propose a similar approach for Technical Testing 2 – Identifiers, the Qualitative Testing and finally perform the VAT Analysis.

We are currently performing tests for several customers. Typical errors are:

  • Omitted SAF-T elements (technical optional vs. legislation).
  • Missing SupplierID and CustomerID in the GeneralLedgerEntries structure.
  • Incorrect use of tax (VAT) information at transactional level.
  • Mandatory elements included but without any content.
  • Errors relating to the use of standard tax codes.
  • Exchange rate errors.
  • Transactions not relevant for statutory reporting included in the SAF-T file by mistake
  • Incorrect master data / Poor quality.
  • Incorrect use of date errors.
  • Incorrect use of VAT codes for reverse charge transactions / imports
  • Poor descriptions of transactions and lines

Overview of our four separate testing options:

Technical Testing 1
– XSD schema


A technical test of the SAF-T XML against the SAF-T XSD schema. The test checks if the file format is correct and if the file is readable, meaning it will be able to be sent and read by the tax authorities. It also checks the naming of elements, the order of elements, checks the file for missing elements, and for formatting errors. The tax authorities perform an identical test of the SAF-T files. 


The output is an Excel summary report with testing errors and a detailed explanation of the errors and how it can be fixed with reference to the TA guidance.


Technical Testing 2
– Identifiers


A technical test of the uniqueness of keys (unique identifiers) in the SAF-T file and that keys that are not defined in the MasterFiles section are used elsewhere in the file. The keys are important to connect the data included in different parts of the SAF-T XML structure. For example the CustomerIDs in the GeneralLedgerEntries structure should match the Customer IDs of the MasterFile element for Customers. The test will identify mismatching keys between the SAF-T structures. 


The output is a report highlighting the mismatches of keys defined in the SAF-T XSD schema and a detailed explanation of the errors and how it can be fixed with reference to the TA guidance.


Qualitative Testing


This includes a qualitative review of file structure against the detailed SAF-T requirements documentation. Certain errors will not be identified through the technical validation and qualitative validation is required to identify such errors. E.g. If the RegistrationNumber element in the Customer and Supplier Master data contains text, the technical test will not fail although a number is required. It also includes sense-checking the information provided in the various XML elements.

The test consists of a review of each element in the entire SAF-T file starting in the Header structure and ending with the GeneralLedgerEntries structure. Each structure’s element is checked against the technical description by the Tax Authorities to confirm that mandatory elements contains actual data (i.e. no blank fields) and that the format and data is in line with the TA documentation.

This includes amongst others checking the use of accounts throughout the file, all opening and closing balances, address structures for consistency, the use of tax codes, correlation between dates and periods, the use of credit and debit amounts in transactions and the correlation with accounts, transactions with currencies, tax treatment for transactions and more. 


A summary report highlighting errors with a detailed explanation of the errors viewed against the TA guidance. In addition, all findings are highlighted in the XML file for ease of review. 

This test includes a combination of system and manual activities. 

The test should be performed on a sample size file. By this we refer to a file with actual data but limited number of transactions and master data.


VAT Analysis


Deloitte is developing an analysis tool that tests the SAF-T file from a VAT perspective using predetermined controls. These controls are developed by specialists within the field and checks the file for information that likely also will be checked by the TA. The client will have access to an interactive dashboard with “red flags” and statistics.

The tool contributes to ensure information control in the SAF-T file before it is shared with the tax authorities, auditors, or other external interested parties. The tool can also be used to improve internal work processes and data quality. The next version of the tool will test the SAF-T file from a tax and accounting perspective in addition to VAT.


The output is a summary report highlighting the findings and some statistics.

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