Tax deductions for spouses and spouse-equivalent cohabitants

The tax allowance for pension income is calculated individually based on your gross pension income. The allowance is granted in the income tax and National Insurance contributions that are calculated for the individual.

If your annual pension is less than NOK 184,800 and you have no other income, the total income tax and National Insurance contributions will be lower than the maximum tax allowance. Unutilised maximum tax allowance cannot be transferred and used by the other spouse/partner. If you receive capital income (interest, etc.) as a couple, it may be beneficial to enter some of the capital income in the tax return under the person who has the lower pension.

As spouses/spouse-equivalent cohabitants, you can in principle freely allocate capital income and capital expenses between you in the tax return.

The most common capital incomes and expenditures you can allocate between yourselves are:

  • interest income/expenses
  • share dividends
  • gains/losses on sales

See our complete list of the items this applies to.

Within the context of tax law, "spouse-equivalent cohabitant" means:

  • previously married couples/registered partners who have become cohabitants, and where at least one person is entitled to a pension from the National Insurance scheme or an early retirement pension (AFP)
  • cohabitants who have or have had joint children, and where at least one person is entitled to a pension from the National Insurance scheme or an early retirement pension (AFP)

If both cohabitants were granted pensions from the National Insurance scheme as single persons before 1 January 1994, and the cohabitation started before that date, they will not be treated as spouse-equivalent cohabitants.

In connection with the pre-completion of tax returns, it is not practicable for the Tax Administration to allocate income and deductions in the most favourable way. This means that if a different allocation other than the pre-completed one is more favourable for you as a couple, you must correct and submit the tax returns yourself. At skatteetaten.no, you can perform a preliminary calculation of what your tax will be after the tax deduction.

By moving capital income from the one with the higher pension and/or wages to the one with the low pension, allowing the one with the low pension to utilise the tax allowance, you can pay less tax between you.

Example of transfer of interest income between a married couple:

Items

Tove:

Per:

Old-age pension (item 2.2.1)

NOK 120,000

NOK 200,000

Interest income (item 3.1.1)

NOK 15,000

NOK 23,000

Total

NOK 135,000

NOK 223,000

 

 

Calculated tax (tax class 1)

NOK 18,232

NOK 38,690

- maximum tax deduction

NOK18,232

NOK 27,554

= Tax

NOK 0

NOK 11,136

 

If they transfer Per's interest income to Tove, the tax will be: 

Poster

Tove

Per

Old-age pension (item 2.2.1)

NOK 120,000

NOK 200,000

Interest income (item 3.1.1)

NOK 38,000

NOK 0

Total

NOK 158,000

NOK 200,000

  

Calculated tax (tax class 1)

NOK 23,983

NOK 32,940

- maximum tax deduction

NOK 23,983

NOK 27,554

= Tax

NOK 0

NOK 5,386

Tove still has NOK 0 in tax after the tax deduction. Per has his tax reduced by NOK 5,750. In practice, the amendment is made by reducing item 3.1.1 in Per's tax return by NOK 23,000. In Tove's tax return, item 3.1.1 is increased by the same amount

Transfer of capital expenses between spouses

By moving capital expenses between yourselves, the person with the lowest pension can make better use of his or her tax allowance, thereby reducing your combined tax. It may, for example, pay to transfer interest allowances from one of the couple's tax return to the other's.

Example of transfer of interest allowances between a married couple:

Anne and Jon Olsen have the following annual pension income and capital expenses 

Items

Anne

Jon

Old-age pension (item 2.2.1)

NOK 120,000

NOK 240,000

Interest deduction (post 3.3.1)

NOK 10,000

NOK 12,000

Total

NOK 110,000

NOK 228,000

  

Calculated tax (tax class 1)

NOK 11,893

NOK 39,446

- tax deduction

NOK 11,893

NOK 39,446

= tax

NOK 0

NOK 18,012

 

Items

Anne

Jon

Old-age pension (item 2.2.1)

NOK 120 000

NOK 240 000

- interest deduction (item 3.3.1)

NOK 0

NOK 22 000

= Gross income

NOK 120 000

NOK 218 000

 

Calculated tax (tax class 1)

NOK 14,843

NOK 36,946

- tax deduction

NOK 14,843

NOK 21,434

= tax

NOK 0

NOK 15,512


Anne and Jon save NOK 2,500 between them.

In practice, the amendment is made by reducing item 3.3.1 in Anne's tax return by NOK 10,000. In Jon's tax return, item 3.3.1 is increased by the same amount.

Example of transfer of capital expenses when only one of the married couple receives old-age pension:

Ole Jonsen has the following annual pension income and capital expenses and Petra has the following wage earnings:
 

Items

Petra

Ole

Pay (item 2.1.1)

NOK 240,000

 

Old-age pension (item 2.2.1)

 

NOK 150,000

Interest deductions (item 3.3.1)

NOK 2,000

NOK 20,000

Total

NOK 238,000

NOK 130,000

 

Calculated tax (tax class 1)

NOK 43,924

NOK 16,338

- tax deduction

NOK 0

NOK 16,338

= tax

NOK 43,924

NOK 0

 

If they transfer the interest deduction of NOK 20,000 from Ole to Petra, they get: 

Items

Petra

Ole

Pay (item 2.1.1)

NOK 240,000

 

Old-age pension (item 2.2.1)

 

NOK 150,000

Interest deductions (item 3.3.1)

NOK 22,000

NOK 0

Total

NOK 218,000

NOK 150,000

  

Calculated tax (tax class 1)

NOK 38,924

NOK 21,338

- tax deduction

NOK 0

NOK 21,338

= tax

NOK 38,924

NOK 0

Petra and Ole save NOK 5,000.

In practice, the amendment is made by reducing item 3.3.1 in Ole's tax return by NOK 20,000. In Petra's tax return, item 3.3.1 is increased by the same amount.