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A good social welfare system doesn’t come without cost, and in Denmark, that cost is a high tax. Taxation also applies to the unemployed receiving state benefits, elderly receiving pensions, and students on SU. The tax system is progressive, which means that the higher your income, the more tax you pay. The Danish tax administration is known as SKAT.

Tax rates and benefits

The current (2017) personal income tax ceiling is 51.95%. Labor market contribution is 8%. See the SKAT website for more tax rates and limits.

If you’re worried about paying such high taxes, keep in mind that it means reduced spending in other areas. For example, Danish taxes pay for healthcare, schooling (lower and higher education), libraries, childcare (subsidized), Danish language learning, and more.

Types of taxes in Denmark

There are two types of taxes in Denmark: direct and indirect.

Direct taxes include but are not limited to state and municipal taxes, labour market contributions, income tax, and property tax.

Indirect taxes include a 25% value added tax (VAT), customs duties, and green taxes (oil, electricity, water, waste, etc.).

Tax card: Register with SKAT

If you plan to work in Denmark, you need a tax card. You can apply for a tax card three different ways:

The online form will let you proceed without a CPR number, but you should register for one as soon as possible (read more about CPR in the article “Healthcare in Denmark”).

Tax year and tax return

The tax year runs from January 1st to December 31st. You will receive your tax assessment notice between March and April. If you need to make any adjustments to the statement, you can do so before the beginning of May. Read below about e-filing.

If you have not paid enough tax, you have to settle your account by July. If you have paid too much, you will be refunded.

TastSelv (e-filing)

E-filing services are available via TastSelv. This will require your NemID (find more information in the article "Opening a Bank Account in Denmark"). TastSelv is only available in Danish, so read the SKAT Guide to E-Tax” for some help.

The SKAT website is an excellent resource for tax information. It is comprehensively laid out and available in both English and German.

 Good to know:

Calling SKAT on the phone is also a great way to get answers to your tax questions. Operators are efficient and knowledgeable. Phone numbers and waiting times can be seen on their website.

 Useful links:

Tax Guide for Non-Danish speakers

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.