Distributing income, expenses and capital

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Spouses, registered partners and spouse-equivalent cohabiting partners can decide how they wish to distribute certain income and deduction items in their tax returns between themselves.

It is primarily capital incomes and capital expenses, such as interest, which spouses and partners can distribute freely, in addition to capital and debt. Other cohabiting partners who are not spouse-equivalent partners are assessed individually as regards their income and capital and cannot distribute income and deductions in the manner described here.

The distribution that is chosen will not normally affect the total tax payable by the couple, but it will affect which of them will be taxed on capital and income or receive a deduction for the expense concerned.

In cases where one partner has a low income, it may be advantageous for spouses etc. as a couple to distribute and transfer income and deductions so that neither of them has a lower net income than the personal allowance. 

In the case of people who receive old-age pension, early retirement pension (AFP) or disability pension where one of the spouses/spouse-equivalent partners has a low pension/income, the distribution of income, deductions and capital between them may affect their overall tax. Read more about the Tax rules for pensioners.

Spouses/spouse-equivalent partners wishing to distribute bank deposits, interest income, debt and interest on debt must remember to correct both their tax returns.

Example of the distribution of interest on debt

Kari and Per are married and have bought a house together. Kari is the main lender for the mortgage from the bank and the interest on debt of NOK 80,000 has been entered in her tax return. However, the spouses want to distribute the deduction for the interest in the ratio of 70 percent for Per and 30 percent for Kari. 

To distribute the interest on debt between the two of them, Kari must go to item 3.3.1/item 4.8.1 (Interest and debt) in the tax return and cross out the amount which has been pre-filled for interest on debt and correct it to NOK 24,000. Per must enter the interest on debt amount of NOK 56,000 which is to be allocated to him in his tax return under "Any amounts that have not been pre-filled must be entered here" and refer to the correct item.

Incomes and expenses which cannot be distributed

Incomes and expenses linked to work, pension and commercial enterprise cannot be distributed freely and must be declared in the tax return of the spouse/spouse-equivalent partner who performed the work, is entitled to the pension or carried out the commercial enterprise.

The summary below shows the incomes and expenses in the tax return which it may be advantageous to distribute with reference to the item number in the tax return. It also refers to the incomes and expenses which cannot be distributed.

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