Residence for tax purposes

Independent or dependent dwelling

A dwelling is considered to be independent when it has a living area of at least 30 square metres. If several people live in the dwelling, a further 20 square metres must be added for each occupant over the age of 15 in order for the dwelling to still be considered an independent dwelling. You must also have the dwelling at your disposal for at least 12 months and have access to it every day of the week for it to be considered an independent dwelling. The dwelling must also have running water and drains.

If you rent a dwelling in a housing unit where other people live (bedsit), you can ask for the area that only you use to be taken as the basis. If the housing unit has seven or more occupants over the age of 15, only the area you alone use will be taken into account.'Dependent dwelling' means a dwelling which does not meet the requirements for an independent dwelling described above.

Family commuters

For family commuters, the rules concerning residence for tax purposes are simple. You will be considered to be resident where your spouse or children live. If you live with siblings for whom you are the provider, your place of residence is where your siblings live. Your joint home with your spouse takes precedence over joint homes with others.

If both you and your spouse are commuters, your residence is where you have your joint home with the children. If you do not have any children, your place of residence is the dwelling that is considered to be independent.

If you commute between several independent dwellings, your place of residence is where you and your spouse spend the most nights together (i.e. most of your daily rest time)

Single commuters

For single commuters, determining which dwelling you should be considered to be resident in is more complicated. You must also meet the requirements for commuting. For more information on this, see the section concerning travel. Different rules apply to commuters under the age of 22 at the end of the income year compared with commuters aged 22 or over.

A summary is given below of various circumstances which impact on when residence must be determined. Please note the so-called 'comparison rule', which is explained at the end.

Parental home

The general rule is that a single person who commutes between the parental home and another dwelling is considered to be resident in the parental home. For commuters who reach the age of 22 or over during the income year, this only applies when the dwelling at the place of work is dependent. See the section above concerning independent and dependent dwellings.

Independent dwelling in the home municipality

If you commute between an independent dwelling in your home municipality and a dependent dwelling at your place of work, you will be considered to be resident in your home municipality.

If the dwelling in your municipality of work is also independent, you will be considered to be resident in the municipality in which you stay overnight most often (i.e. spend most of your daily rest time).

If you start commuting from a municipality in which you have been resident for at least three years at the time you start commuting, you will still be entitled to remain registered in this municipality if the applicable conditions are met. See under the comparison rule below for more information on this.

Dependent dwelling in your home municipality

If the dwelling in your home municipality is dependent and the dwelling in your municipality of work is independent, you will be considered to be resident in your municipality of work.

If both the dwelling in your municipality of work and the dwelling in your home municipality are dependent, you will be considered to be resident in the dwelling where you stay overnight most often (the daily rest rule).

The comparison rule

Even if you do not meet the above requirements, you can still be considered a commuter if you have been registered as resident in your home municipality for at least three years when you start commuting. You will then be able to have a dwelling in your municipality of work that is up to half the size of that in your home municipality and still retain your home municipality as your residence for tax purposes. 

The condition for this is that you or your spouse own or have incurred expenses in renting a dwelling in your home municipality. If you have used a property as a dwelling in return for paying the running expenses, you will be considered equivalent to someone who starts commuting from an owned or rented dwelling if you are a close relative of the owner of the property or a beneficiary under a surrendered property agreement. The condition for using the comparison rule is that the dwellings are situated in different municipalities.

Examples:

Independent or dependent dwelling:

Knut (23) works in Mo i Rana. He goes to see his parents in Tromsø as often as possible. His bedsit in Mo has a floor area of less than 30 square metres and is therefore considered to be a dependent dwelling. The parental home takes precedence over an dependent dwelling, and Knut's residence for tax purposes is therefore the parental home.

Knut, who only has eleven months left to work in Mo i Rana, decides to buy a larger apartment. He therefore puts in an offer for a 50-square metre apartment. This apartment is also dependent, as Knut will not have the apartment at his disposal for a full twelve months.

The daily rest time rule:

It became apparent that Knut's job in Mo i Rana was going to last longer than the originally anticipated eleven months. He had to assume he was going to stay in Mo i Rana for at least another two more years. Knut now has the apartment in Mo i Rana at his disposal for more than twelve months, and it is therefore considered to be independent. Because he was going to be living in Mo i Rana for longer, Knut got a big pay rise. He decided he did not want to live with his parents any longer and bought a 110-square metre apartment in Tromsø. Knut now commutes between two independent apartments.Knut will therefore be resident for tax purposes at the place where he usually stays overnight. Although he has spent holidays and weekends in the home municipality, he has spent most nights in Mo i Rana. Knut's residence for tax purposes was therefore in Mo i Rana.

The comparison rule:

Knut no longer wants to live in Mo i Rana and therefore got a job in Tromsø instead. He submitted a change of address notification to Tromsø and lived in his apartment for four years. After four years, Knut was promoted. As a result of the promotion, he had to work in Bodø. He wanted to commute there, so he bought a 52-square metre apartment in Bodø and submitted a change address notification to Bodø. When Knut submitted his change of address notification, the National Registry office in Bodø told him about the comparison rule. As a result, he asked to stay registered as resident in Tromsø municipality. His apartment in Tromsø is twice the size of that in Bodø. As he owns the apartment in Tromsø and had been registered as resident in the municipality for the past four years, Knut was able to keep Tromsø as his residence for tax purposes.