VAT rates for purchases of services from abroad, Svalbard and Jan Mayen

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Business and public sector institutions must report and pay Norwegian VAT when they purchase vatable services from abroad, Svalbard and Jan Mayen.

The rate applies for the income year 2017

By "income year", we mean the year in which the income or expense arises. The rates for the income year are used in the tax return and tax calculation.


By "assessment year", we mean the year after the income year and in which the tax return for the income year must be submitted/checked and the tax calculated.

The buyer is obliged to pay VAT on services purchased from abroad

When Norwegian companies purchase services from abroad, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, they will themselves be responsible for calculating and paying VAT in Norway. The prerequisites for this are as follows:

  • The buyer must be a public sector enterprise or business which operates in or is affiliated to Norway. This also applies to foreign enterprises or businesses which have a VAT representative in Norway.
  • The service is vatable if it had been sold in Norway.
  • The service can be provided anywhere.

The purchase must concern a service which can be provided anywhere

To be able to say that you have purchased a service from abroad, it must be a type of service which can in principle be provided anywhere. In other words, it can be provided remotely.

Examples of remotely deliverable services:

  • Advisory/consultancy services 
  • Accounting services 
  • Services which are provided electronically, including digital products supplied via the internet
  • Hiring out of labour

If the nature of the work is such that it must be carried out in Norway, for example when a foreign supplier works on a property in Norway, the supplier will be obliged to register the activity in Norway. There are some exceptions.

Transactions within a company

When departments within a company which has offices both in Norway and abroad provide services for each other, we do not consider this to be a sale or a purchase. When a service is provided from an external supplier to a foreign branch or foreign head office and is subsequently transferred for use by a branch/head office in Norway, the Norwegian recipient of the service must treat this as the purchase of a service and report and pay Norwegian VAT. This applies for as long as the conditions for the tax liability are met. It will not apply if VAT is calculated on the service abroad and the enterprise is able to document this.

For businesses or public sector institutions only

The scheme applies to businesses or public sector institutions which have a head office, a branch or other fixed place of business in Norway.

The scheme does not apply to private individuals and non-profit organisations and associations which do not carry on commercial activity. If the service is purchased for use in the organisation's commercial activity, the organisation must report and pay VAT.

The purchase must concern a service which can be provided from a distance

In order for a service to be said to have been purchased from abroad, the service must be such that it is suitable for provision in one place and delivery in another (remotely deliverable service). Examples of such services are:

  • Advisory/consultancy services 
  • Accounting services 
  • Services which are provided electronically, including digital products supplied via the internet

If the work has to be carried out in Norway, for example when a foreign supplier works on a property in Norway, the supplier will be obliged to register the activity in Norway.

Reporting and payment

The buyer must convert the purchase sum to Norwegian kroner using Norwegian Custom's exchange rate at the time of delivery. See the import calculator at toll.no

Buyers who are registered in the VAT Register must report VAT in connection with purchases of services from abroad as output VAT in the tax return for VAT. There is no lower threshold amount for such buyers.

Buyers who are not registered in the VAT Register must report via the tax return for VAT for reverse tax liability (RF-0005). The reporting and payment obligation only applies if the VAT amount for the quarter amounts to at least NOK 500, i.e. if the basis is at least NOK 2,000.

See deadlines for submission

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