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Taxes in Norway

07/12/2004 :: In Norway income tax ("inntektsskatt") and wealth tax ("formuesskatt") are direct taxes ("direkte skatter"). Income tax is paid directly as a percentage of income, whereas wealth tax is a tax on things you own, such as a house, bank deposits etc. Taxes are paid both to the state and the local municipality. In addition, a premium is paid to the social security system to finance public hospitals, medical treatment and various social benefits.

The most important indirect tax ("indirekte skatt") is value added tax, VAT, which is a general tax levied on sales within the country and on import. VAT is levied on most goods and some services, and applies to all stages in the chain of production and distribution. Any person engaged in trade or business is required to register and to charge and pay VAT on goods he/she supplies. VAT on inputs purchased by the registrants is deductible in the VAT accounts. VAT is thus not a tax on the registrants but a tax on final consumption.

VAT is presently calculated at a rate of 12 to 24 per cent of net price.

All self-employed persons are obliged to add this tax to sales of goods and services; it is a punishable offence not paying this tax in Norway. Further information on value added tax is available from the Chief County Tax Inspector ("Fylkesskattesjefen").

Your employer in Norway is obliged to deduct tax from you wages before you are paid. Once you have found employment in Norway you must obtain a tax card from you local taxation office as soon as possible. Your employer and the taxation office will provide all necessary information on how to apply and what you must enclose with your application. The tax card states what percentage of your income your employer must deduct in tax. If you start work without a tax card, your employer is obliged to deduce 50 % tax. This is generally more than would be deducted from you wages if you had a tax card, but if you have paid too much tax, you will receive a refund in the spring or autumn of the following year when the tax assessments are completed.

If you live in Norway for a period less than six months, special tax regulations apply. Your local taxation office ("ligningskontor") in Norway will provide more information.

A detailed overview of the Taxes in Norway is offered on the web pages of the Ministry of Finance. A guide to the Norwegian tax system is available here.

The bilateral treaty between the Government of the Kingdom of Norway and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and capital was amended on the 12 October 2000.

For companies and persons not resident in Norway but engaged in tax activities in Norway the tax affairs will be dealt with by:

Central Office - Foreign Tax Affairs 

(Sentralskattekontoret for utenlandssaker)

Prinsens vei 1
4300 Sandnes
Telephone: +47 51 67 80 88
Fax: +47 51 67 85 59

See also the Central Office's Guide for foreign employers and employees.

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