If, because of your work, you have to stay somewhere other than your home and you visit this home regularly, we refer to you as a ‘commuter’. In such case, you may be entitled to a deduction for the extra expenses this entails for you, i.e. extra subsistence, accommodation and travel expenses in connection with visiting your home abroad. These are called ‘commuting expenses’.
Employees who commute from abroad
Your home must be abroad if you are claiming a deduction for commuters.
You are regarded as a commuter for tax purposes when you have a joint home with children and/or a spouse who live in your home country. You must be able to present a marriage or birth certificate confirming the family relationship. In addition, you must be able to document the joint residential address in your home country. You are also normally required to have three or four home visits with overnight stays per year.
Single (unmarried) commuters
If you are not a family commuter, you are classified as a single commuter. Cohabitants are treated as single in this context. However, if you also live with your own children, you are classified as a family commuter.
If you are single, other requirements apply for you to be regarded as a commuter for tax purposes. Single people are deemed to be resident where they have ‘independent housing’. If you have independent housing in Norway, you will be regarded as resident in Norway and will not be entitled to a deduction for visits to your home country.
The housing in Norway is regarded as independent when:
- it is at your disposal for at least 12 months and you have access to it every day of the week
- the living area is at least 30 square metres. If there are several people living in the house/apartment, the area requirement increases by 20 square metres for each additional occupant over the age of 15.
- it has running water and drains
When you are single, you can claim a deduction for commuting expenses if you commute to a home abroad and the following requirements are met:
- you do not have independent housing in Norway
- you have independent housing in your home country, or you are under 22 years old at the end of the income year and commute to your parents’ home
- you go home once every three weeks. Less frequent home visits can be accepted if there are special reasons for this, for example in cases of illness or poor finances.
You must also document your residential address abroad.
If you are under 22 years old at the end of the income year and commute to your parents’ home, you must be able to document the family relationship with a birth certificate. In addition, you must be able to present documentation of a joint residential address abroad and be able to substantiate the number of journeys between your home abroad and your place of residence in Norway. It will normally be sufficient that you go home once every six week.
You may also be regarded as a commuter even though your housing in Norway is deemed to be independent. The requirements are that:
- you have been registered as resident in the same place (municipality) in your home country for three years
- you do not let your home in your home country
- the housing in Norway is not more than half the size of your home in your home country (living area).