All taxable persons with taxable supplies that exceed a given threshold are obliged to complete a registration form and submit it to the County Tax Office. The standard lower threshold for registration is NOK 50,000. The lower threshold relates to combined supplies and withdrawals pertaining to the taxable person within a 12-month period. This 12-month period is independent of the calendar year.
Foreign businesses with taxable supplies in Norway must also be registered for VAT, through a representative in certain cases. For more information please refer to Section 9 “Foreign non-established businesses”.
For charitable and non-profit institutions and organisations there is a special threshold set at NOK 140,000.
The Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities (CCR) is a central register of economic entities in Norway. It has six associated registers:
- the Register of Employers
- the Register of Business Enterprises
- the County Governors' Register of Foundations
- the Value Added Tax Registration List
- the Business Register of Statistics Norway
- the Corporate Taxation Data Register
All businesses that are registered in an associated register shall also be registered in the CCR, and shall receive an organisation number. A form is available, the “co-ordinated registration notification” form, which is a general registration form for registering with the CCR and associated registers. The form comprises the following parts:
- Part 1 – Main form
- Part 2 – Supplement for the Value Added Tax Registration List.
Part 2 of the coordinated registration notification form shall be completed when business activities commence or are taken over which engage in supply that comes under the provisions of the VAT Act. It shall also be used in the event of the cessation, closing down or transfer of taxable business activities. It shall be sent to the County Tax Office in the county of residence, to the CCR, or to one of the other associated registers. Part 2 may be submitted alone if the application is for registration in the VAT registration list for businesses that are already registered in the CCR. It is a precondition, however, that all the necessary information on the main form was provided upon registering with the CCR.
It is also possible to submit the coordinated registration notification at The Brønnøysund Register Centre’s website www.brreg.no.
The Tax Office shall determine whether or not the conditions for registration for VAT are fulfilled. If the conditions for registration are met, the business will be issued with a registration number (organisation number + the letters MVA). If the conditions are not met, registration will be refused. The decision to refuse can be appealed to the Directorate of Taxes. The appeal shall be made to the Tax Office, that will forward the matter to the Directorate of Taxes.
In special cases, consent may be given for registration before supply commences, or prior to the lower threshold being reached. On application, pre-registration may be granted if the business has invested in assets, stocks and/or services to the value of at least NOK 250,000 inclusive of VAT prior to the business commencing supply. Further requirements are stipulated in relation to an evaluation of the probability that the business, when normal operation is reached, will have a supply that is well above the registration threshold, and that it will conduct its business activities as previously defined.
Pre-registration may also be granted if it is likely that taxable sales from the business will exceed NOK 50,000 within three weeks from the time the taxable sales start.
Businesses that are pre-registered are liable for VAT for their entire supply from the date of registration. The application for pre-registration shall be sent to the Tax Office.
10.3 Retrospective VAT returns
After a taxable person has been registered for VAT he may, on application, receive a retrospective VAT return. This means that input tax that has accrued in the period prior to registration can be deducted after registration. It is a condition that the purchases in question have direct relevance for the business activities that are being conducted, and that the investment period has been continuous and not excessively long.
Deductions for input tax may be claimed on purchases that are directly connected with sales from the registered business on condition that they have not been sold before registration.
The application for a retrospective VAT return shall be sent to the Tax Office.
10.4 Voluntary registration
Certain services fall outside the scope of VAT. For some of these it is possible to apply for voluntary registration in the VAT register.
The purpose of voluntary registration is to give the person providing these services the opportunity to deduct input tax on purchases used in his business.
Businesses which pursuant to the regulations may register voluntarily are:
- those that rent out agricultural property
- those that construct water and sewage works
- those that let buildings or plants for use in businesses that are registered pursuant to the VAT Act, and
- those that make railway installations available, against consideration, for an enterprise that is registered pursuant to this Act.