Are you selling goods on the Internet?

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Trading over the internet is increasing sharply and taking on new forms. There is an increasing need for information and clarification concerning the tax and duty rules applying to trade conducted over the internet.

If you have a profitable blog, run an online store or otherwise generate income from activity on the internet, the same tax and duty rules apply as those which apply to other income-generating activity.

Income-generating activity via the internet includes, for example, ordinary purchases and sales via the internet, online gaming, advertising, affiliate and marketing revenues and domain sales.

Any benefits derived through work, capital or activity will be considered taxable income, which must be declared via your tax return or income statement.
 
As a general rule, the regulations distinguish between commercial activity and non-commercial activity (referred to below as ‘hobbies’).

Hobbies

We often define non-economic activities as a hobby, e.g. leisure activities, community work, etc. Commercial activity which is not likely to generate a profit or give financial benefits can also be considered a hobby.

Income from hobbies will generally not be taxable, but you will also not be entitled to deductions for costs attributable to such activity.

Read more about examples of how to manage the transition between hobby and business.

Commercial activity

In order for an activity to be considered commercial activity, it must be likely to generate financial benefits for the taxpayer. The decisive consideration is whether the activity is likely to generate a profit when the activity is considered objectively over an appropriate period of time.

If the activity does generate financial benefits over time, the income from the activity via the internet will be considered to be an enterprise from a tax and duty perspective, and the income will therefore be subject to tax and duty.

The tax obligation will apply to income received from payers in both Norway and abroad. 

The overall conditions for an income-generating activity to be considered as being commercial activity are that the activity:

  • is aimed at having a particular duration,
  • has a particular scope,
  • is likely to generate a profit
  • is being carried out at the taxpayer's expense and risk.

In the event of doubt, it is the tax office that will decide whether an activity should be considered a commercial enterprise or a hobby. Contact your local tax office for an assessment of your particular activity.

If your activity is considered to be commercial in nature, you will among other things be able to deduct costs incurred during your start-up phase.

 

Rettsavgjørelser (krever innlogging):

  • Ifi OY – saken (Rt-2006-364)
  • E-Handelsexport – saken (Utv-2015-1243)

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