Special allowance for sickness expenses

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If you incur major expenses due to sickness or debility, you may be entitled to a special allowance. You must be able to document the sickness or debility by presenting a medical certificate when asked to do so.

NB: The provision concerning the special allowance for major sickness allowance has been abolished with effect from the 2012 income year, but transitional rules have been introduced which phase out the special allowance. These transitional rules will apply until the new scheme has been adopted. 

The special allowance is being phased out

The Norwegian Parliament has introduced a transitional rule to phase out the special allowance for major sickness expenses, which will apply until the new scheme has been adopted. This means that the transitional rules will also apply to the 2016 income year. The rules concerning the transition mean that if you received the special allowance for major sickness expenses for the 2010 and 2011 income years, you will also be entitled to the special allowance for the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 income years, provided the conditions for the special allowance are met. 
For the 2013-2016 income years, the special allowance for major sickness expenses will be granted for up to 67 percent of your eligible expenses. This reduction will be performed automatically during the assessment. This means that in your tax return you can enter 100 percent of your eligible expenses under item 3.5.4.

Read more about the transition

Who is entitled to the deduction?

The following conditions must be met:

  1. It must concern a sickness/debility which has lasted or is expected to last at least two years
  2. The sickness/debility must concern you or someone you provide for
  3. There must be a causal link between the sickness/debility and the expenses you have incurred
  4. The expenses you incur in connection with the sickness must amount to at least NOK 9,180 per year. (You will still be entitled to the special allowance for added supervision expenses due to the sickness/debility of a child you provide for if the expenses amount to less than NOK 9,180 per year.)
  5. You must have received the special allowance for major sickness expenses in both the 2010 and 2011 income years. (Only these taxpayers can continue to claim the special allowance for major sickness expenses incurred from 2012 onwards).

Deductions from public subsidies

If you have received a subsidy from the public sector in order to cover the added expenses attributable to your sickness, and the subsidy is tax-free (e.g. basic or supplementary benefits), you must deduct the subsidy when calculating whether your expenses have been sufficient to enable you to claim an allowance. This also applies if you receive compensation following an accident.

What can you obtain a deduction for?

You will not be entitled to a deduction for expenses which you would have incurred had you been healthy. If the sickness has resulted in your expenses being greater than they would otherwise have been, you can still claim an allowance for the added expenses. Consideration is therefore only given to the added expenses that are due to your sickness, etc. However, the Norwegian Tax Administration requires a sufficiently close link between the sickness/debility and the expense.

Among other things, you can receive a deduction for:

  • medical expenses (personal contributions in the public health service)
  • medicines
  • expenses for suitable medical aids
  • added expenses for special dietary requirements
  • extra wear and tear on clothing and bed linen
  • physiotherapy
  • higher insurance premiums
  • costs for supervision, care and essential help around the home 

Expenses for treatment outside the Norwegian public health service

As regards the right to deduct expenses attributable to treatment, care or stays in an institution or private health practice outside the Norwegian public health service, you will only receive the special allowance for your expenses if the public health service does not provide a corresponding service. The treatment must also be considered to be medically justifiable.

Read more about this and other issues in the Assessment ABC under the topic “Special allowance – sickness or debility”.

How to enter the deduction

  • Enter the special allowance under item 3.5.4 of the tax return
  • If we ask you to, you must be able to document the sickness or debility by sending us a medical certificate. 
  • You must not submit other documentation, such as receipts for medical expenses, with your tax return, but you must be able to present this documentation or otherwise substantiate your expenses if the Norwegian Tax Administration asks you to.

Why haven't I got a preliminary tax calculation on my tax return?

There could be a number of reasons why you haven't received a preliminary tax calculation on your tax return.

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