Special rules for the taxation of commuters

Deduction for added costs (expenses) due to commuting

If you are a commuter, you are entitled to special deductions from your income. In connection with work-related stays away from the home, you can deduct your added expenses for board and lodging. You are also entitled to a deduction for home visits you make.

In the case of payments of NOK 10,000 or more, it is a condition for deduction that the payment is made via a bank. If you pay in cash, there will therefore be no right of deduction if the payment amounts to NOK 10,000 or more. 

Deduction for added expenses for board

Added expenses in connection with work-related stays away from home are deductible when you have paid the expenses yourself. If you claim a deduction for your actual expenses, you must retain vouchers and receipts so that you can document your expenses to the tax office if necessary. Instead of a deduction for your actual expenses, you can claim an allowance according to standard rates which the Directorate of Taxes sets every year.The rates are intended to cover expenses relating to board and other added expenses (petty expenses). The rates take into account cost savings in the home. These rates vary according to the type of accommodation concerned.

The rules regarding deductions for added expenses for board are the same as those for single commuters and family commuters.

If you have stayed overnight in a Portacabin/bedsit or other similar accommodation with cooking facilities, you will be entitled to a deduction in accordance with the Portacabin rate.

If you have stayed overnight at a guesthouse where you cannot prepare your own food, you will be entitled to a deduction at the guesthouse rate.

If you stayed overnight at a hotel, you will be entitled to a deduction according to the hotel rate. In order to be entitled to a deduction at the guesthouse or hotel rate, you must be able to substantiate that you have stayed at a guesthouse or hotel.

If your employer or client subsidises the cost or provides subsidised board, you will only be entitled to a deduction for your documented added expenses. In such cases, you cannot choose a deduction at the standard rates.

Your employer covers your expenses

You cannot claim a deduction if your employer has covered your expenses on account or in some other way (subsistence expenses covered directly by the employer). You will then be taxed for cost savings in your home.

Added expenses for lodging

A deduction for lodging expenses is given for actual expenses (Portacabin rent, rent). You must therefore pay via bank and keep pyur bank statements as documentation.

Single persons will only be entitled to a deduction for added expenses for lodging at their place of work when, at their home address, they:

  • are covered by the rules concerning tax exemption for the benefit of living in your own home, or
  • live in someone else's property where the taxpayer is accorded a benefit through free use or pays all expenses relating to the property so that it is subject to tax-exempt assessment, or
  • incurs expenses for his own rented independent dwelling, or
  • incurs expenses for rented dependent accommodation away from the parental home and absence from this accommodation is due to temporary absence from work.

Deduction for home visits

All commuters are entitled to a deduction for home visits. The deduction is calculated according to a rate per kilometre. If you travel home by air, you can request a deduction for your actual expenses instead. You will then be entitled to a deduction according to a distance-based rate for the rest of the trip. The condition for receiving a deduction for your air travel expenses is that you can document the cost.

For more information, see the article Deduction for travel to/from work - travel between home and permanent place of work. The difference between travel to/from work (travel between your home and your permanent place of work) and work-related travel (business travel) is explained in the guidance for the items in the tax return.