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Skattemeldingen: What do I need to know about my Norwegian tax return?

The deadline for tax returns in Norway is Friday April 30th. We've spoken to the tax authorities in Norway and have covered everything you need to know before you submit your tax return.

Skattemeldingen: What do I need to know about my Norwegian tax return?
Two people brainstorming their finances.Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Editor’s note: article originally published March 16th 2021.

Who has to submit a tax return in Norway?

Residents of Norway are taxed on the income they have earned in a calendar year, including the income that you have earned from interest, property and shares. This also includes money earned outside of Norway if you are a resident of Norway. However, you may get a tax credit if you have already paid tax on any income earned outside of Norway.

READ ALSO: Five things foreigners need to know about income tax in Norway

When will I receive my tax return?

This year people will receive their tax statement for 2020 on different days. They will be sent out in batches between March 16th and April 7th.

Once your tax return is ready you will be notified by either email or text message by Skatteetaten.

Those who are on PAYE (pay as you earn) schemes pay a flat rate of 25 percent and do not receive a tax return.

What do I do once I receive my tax return?

You can then log in to view your tax return and fill it out electronically on the Skatteetaten website.

“(Taxpayers) must log into our online service and there they will get the information we have received from employers, banks, financial institutions etc. and they must compare it with their own annual statements and check if the numbers are correct,” senior tax advisor with Skattetaten Lars Settemsdal told The Local.

The website is available in English, Bokmål or Nynorsk.

To log in you will need a form of electronic identification.

How do I complete my online tax return?

Once you log on to Skatteetaten you will be able to see a pre-completed form from the tax authorities. Settemsdal stressed it is essential to check that all the information is correct.

“The most important thing, we recommend is to always check it (the tax return) because a lot of information is already filled in, usually information about income and savings are pre-filled, but it’s not always correct. So, we always recommend that people go in and check,” he said.

If everything is correct then you can return the tax form, if not then you must update the information before returning it.

The form will be broken down into the following categories:

  • Work, social security and pension
  • Banking, loans and insurance
  • Housing and assets
  • Family and health
  • Finance
  • Gift and inheritance
  • Other relationships

Once the form is complete you will find out whether you are due a rebate, or whether you paid too little tax. If you are due a rebate it should arrive in your account two weeks after you return the form. If you owe money, then a payment claim will be issued in August.

The form should be completed by April 30th for employed people and May 31st for self-employed people. 

How long will it take?

“Most people will just spend a few minutes checking it, but it depends on how complicated their situation is,” Settemsdal said.

The senior tax advisor recommends spending a little bit longer on your tax return.

“You should spend 15-20 minutes at least, the same time it takes to drink a cup of coffee, but you must keep your cup away from your computer of course,” he told The Local.

If you are self-employed this make take longer.

“For self-employed people there is typically no reported income from employers so they must fill in the numbers for themselves, especially for salary,” Settemsdal explained.

Has the coronavirus affected tax returns for 2020?

The section for business travel will not be pre-filled this year. This means people who make long journeys to and from work may be due tax deductions. On the tax return you will be asked for information on how many days you travelled for business.

More in-depth detail on how these deductions and declarations work can be found on the tax authority’s English language website.

Here you can also find more information about the tax rules that apply to people who have income, debt or capital outside of Norway 

Furthermore you can also contact the tax authority with any further enquiries on 800 80 000 from Norwegian numbers, or +47 22 07 70 00 from other numbers. 

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For members


Tax returns in Norway: Five things you need to know

Norway’s tax season is upon us. We’ve put together some essential tips and information to help you understand the Norwegian tax system better. 

Tax returns in Norway: Five things you need to know

Keeping track of the key dates

Taxes can be tricky for some, but it can pay to be prepared. Keeping track of this year’s key dates when it comes to tax season can be a huge helping hand. 

Tax returns are already being sent out and will continue to be posted until April 4th. Then, April 30th will see the deadline to submit your tax return. 

If you feel like you need more time to assess the previous year’s finances, the end of April also sees the deadline for applications for a postponed deadline. 

READ MORE: The key Norwegian tax season dates you need to know about

You are able (and meant) to add any student loans from abroad to your tax return

You can add your student loan to your debts and claim the interest as tax-deductible. In fact, you are supposed to declare all overseas assets, received and earned interest, in addition to any debts and loans.  

However, this means the debt is visible to Norwegian lenders, which can impact your lending ability.

You can get a rough idea of whether you can expect a rebate or repay tax

After submitting your tax return, you will receive a tax assessment notice. In addition, you’ll receive a notice with information regarding how much money you’ll receive as a rebate or how much you’ll need to repay if you’ve overpaid. 

When you receive this will give you a fair idea of whether you can expect money back or if you’ll need to dig into your pockets to pay back any money you owe. 

If you receive your tax assessment notice in May, you will likely be due a refund, whereas if you receive it from June onwards, you’ll probably owe the tax man money. 

Tax return versus a tax receipt

Most people working in Norway will receive a tax return, which is an outline of your income, deductions, wealth and debt. However, not all people will receive a tax return, and some will receive a tax receipt. 

If you participate in the PAYE (Pay as You Earn) scheme, you will not receive a tax return. Instead, you will receive a tax receipt, which shows the amount of tax that you’ve paid in Norway. Those in the PAYE scheme play a flat rate of 25 percent. 

One of the key differences is that you cannot claim deductions with a tax receipt. Also, some lenders only accept tax returns rather than receipts when it comes to giving credit. This means those on the PAYE scheme may find it challenging to build a credit history in Norway as their income and earnings are not taken into account. 

You are expected to pay tax on your worldwide income 

Once you are considered a tax resident of Norway, you generally are required to pay tax on your worldwide income. Tax residency is slightly different to legal residence. 

The rules can be a bit complex, and if you are earning an income in two countries, several factors will come into play, such as whether Norway has a tax treaty with those countries and how much you are taxed on that income in other countries. 

If you have any questions or queries regarding your tax, it is best to contact The Norwegian Tax Administration or a qualified accountant.