Registered persons are obliged to submit VAT returns and to pay VAT with reference to prescribed accounting periods.
Registered persons will receive the VAT return form in plenty of time prior to the end of the period in question. The VAT return form will already be partly completed with the person’s name, address and organisation number. VAT return forms intended for other periods must not be used.
Non-registered taxable persons and public institutions that purchase services from abroad, and who become liable to pay VAT on the service, must apply to the Tax Office for a VAT return form.
The VAT return comprises a section which summarises the VAT calculation and a payment section. The former section must be completed and submitted to a central office in Mo i Rana by the stipulated deadline. Business accounts form the basis for the completion of the VAT return.
It is possible for taxable persons throughout Norway to submit VAT returns at the internet portal www.altinn.no
In order to gain access to the Internet service at www.altinn.no you have to log in with your own birth registration number or D-number and a PIN code. The PIN code may be obtained by filling in your birth registration number or D-number at www.altinn.no. A letter with several PIN codes will be sent to the address indicated in the national register. A PIN code can only be used one time. Next time you log on to www.altinn.no you have to use the next PIN code in the PIN code letter.
First time access to submit VAT returns at www.altinn.no is given to specified persons in a company. For limited liability companies the managing director and the chairman of the board is given the first time access. For companies with unlimited liability the first time access is given to the owner or partners.
11.2 Bi-monthly returns
Returns shall be submitted for the following periods:
- 1st period – January/February
- 2nd period – March/April
- 3rd period – May/June
- 4th period – July/August
- 5th period – September/October
- 6th period – November/December
A VAT return must be submitted even if supply for the period is zero.
The Tax Office must be in receipt of the VAT return within one month and ten days of the end of each period. The deadline for the 3rd period is however August 31. If the VAT return is submitted by post, the date stamp must not exceed this deadline.
The Tax Office may grant permission for the use of alternative periods if particular circumstances make this necessary. If input tax regularly exceeds output tax by 25 per cent or more, the year may be divided into 12 periods.
If input tax regularly exceeds output tax by 50 per cent or more, permission may be granted for even shorter periods.
11.3 Small businesses – annual VAT returns
Registered persons with supplies of under NOK 1 million per year may apply to submit VAT returns annually (annual year-end returns). The application shall be sent to the Tax Office.
The VAT return must reach the Tax Office within one month and ten days after the end of the calendar year. If the VAT return is submitted by post, the date stamp must not exceed this deadline.
11.4 Agriculture, forestry and fisheries – annual VAT returns
Registered persons within agriculture, forestry and fisheries shall submit annual VAT returns. The deadline for the submission of annual VAT returns is three months and ten days after the end of the calendar year, i.e. by April 10. Annual VAT returns must be submitted even if the supply for the period is zero.
Registered persons within agriculture, forestry and fisheries submitting annual VAT returns may also be allowed to submit returns for shorter periods. Permission for alternative periods is normally granted for a period of two years.
11.5 Quarterly returns
Taxable persons and public institutions that are not registered for VAT, and that purchase services from abroad, shall submit quarterly VAT returns (every three months). See sub-section 5.5.2 above relating to the importation of services. VAT returns are not submitted for periods in which the VAT amount is less than NOK 500.
The deadline for the submission of quarterly VAT returns is one month and ten days after the end of the three-month period.
11.6 Payment and refund of VAT
VAT falls due at the end of the VAT return deadline – i.e. one month and ten days after the end of the period, or three months and ten days for registered persons within agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
Non-registered taxable persons and public institutions that purchase services from abroad (see sub-section 4.5.2 above) shall not calculate or pay VAT if the taxable amount for the period is less than NOK 500.
If the registered person is entitled to a VAT refund (credit return), the amount shall be repaid within three weeks of receipt of the VAT return.
11.7 VAT return is incomplete or arrives too late
If a VAT return contains formal errors or is not submitted within the deadline, the tax authorities will normally impose a surcharge. The penalty charged will be at least NOK 250 and up to a maximum of NOK 5000. It is not possible to impose a surcharge greater than three per cent of output tax.
11.8 Unsent VAT returns
If a return does not arrive, the Tax Office will determine the amount of VAT by discretion. This discretion is based on information that the Tax Office has or obtains. Discretion shall be as close to the factual situation as possible.
In cases of particularly serious or repeated negligence with respect to the obligation to submit VAT returns, the tax authorities may report the taxable person to the police.
11.9 Incorrect returns
A discretionary determination of VAT may also be made if the Tax Office finds that a VAT return is incorrect, incomplete, or based on accounts which do not conform with applicable regulations on the keeping of accounts.
All VAT returns are checked. If errors are found, the Tax Office will determine the amount of VAT by discretion.
In addition to checking VAT returns, the Tax Office also carries out on-site audits of accounts. Such audits may investigate accounts for up to and including the previous ten years.
Interest will be charged if VAT is paid after the due date. This also applies when VAT is determined as a result of an audit, because the VAT return was incorrect, or because it did not arrive.
Those liable to pay VAT are entitled to receive interest if the excess input tax (credit) is not refunded before the three-week deadline. However, the taxable person will not be entitled to interest if the VAT return contains errors.
Rules on the calculation of interest are stipulated in the regulations.
In the event of contravention of the VAT Act, surtax may be imposed. In serious cases the surtax may be up to 100 per cent.
11.13 Provisions for penalties
Contravention of the VAT Act may be penalised with fines or a prison sentence.