The taxation system in Norway

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Updated 2018-05-14 14:30

Provided that you now have found a job, have been registered and now have a Norwegian ID and a bank account, the next step is to deal with the tax system. The good news: the process is really streamlined, and the Tax Administration’s website very helpful. As for taxation, it is steep (this is Norway, after all) but the process is seamless as the allotted amount is deducted automatically from your salary each month.

How the Norwegian system works

To be able to work in Norway, whether short-term or long-term, you need a tax deduction card: an electronic card that tells you the amount of tax that must be deducted from your salary by your employer each month. To acquire it, you must go to a tax office in person, bringing a valid ID document (like your passport), your employment contract (or a written offer of employment) and your residence permit (if you're a non EU-EEA citizen). You will also need to fill out an application form (RF-1209) to get a tax deduction card as a foreign citizen ' you can do this online and bring it with you, or fill it out at the tax office. Once your application has been processed, you will get a tax notice in the post, that will state your Norwegian ID number and confirm that you have received a tax deduction card.

Good to know:

You won't actually get the card yourself. It's for your employer to obtain it electronically from the Tax Administration after you have ordered it, and use is to deduct the appropriate tax from your salary.

So how much tax do you actually pay per month? The base is usually around 24% of your gross salary (but remember that another amount will also be deducted for healthcare). You can get an estimate using the Tax Calculation tool on the Tax Administration website, although the final amount (mentioned in your tax deduction card), may of course vary. In any case, the recommended thing to do is sign up as a registered user with the Tax Administration website, where you will be able to receive information about your taxes in real time.

The unusual case of making tax returns public

Norway's tax system has a peculiarity that may take you by surprise at first: it is completely, 100% transparent. That has been the case ever since income tax was first introduced in 1882, but nowadays it has become much easier to access any information you need. Every October, anyone can go into the Tax Administration website and see the annual tax returns of any Norwegian citizen ' a measure that helps to battle tax evasion and keep employers in check, in terms of offering equal salaries for equal positions. If the idea that anyone can find out exactly how much you're making and how much tax you paid sounds disconcerting, don't worry: the minute someone searches for your tax returns and income information, their search will be logged into the system and you will be able to see it.

Useful link:

Norwegian Tax Administration

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