Donations to certain voluntary organisations and religious and beliefs-based communities

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Donations to certain voluntary organisations and religious and beliefs-based communities are deductible. Pursuant to the Taxation Act it is a condition for deduction that the recipient of the donation is approved by the Norwegian tax authorities.

Recipients of donations

Application for approval of an organisation

With effect from the income year 2010, organisations based in the EEA area can also be approved under the deduction scheme provided for in the Taxation Act section 6-50. The conditions for donations to foreign organisations being deductible are the same as those that apply to donations to Norwegian organisations. Applications and other documentation must be sent to the Norwegian Tax Administration.

Norwegian organisations must apply to the tax office in their region for advance approval. Foreign organisations shall apply in English or, alternatively, Danish or Swedish, to the Norwegian Directorate of Taxes, which will forward the application to a tax office for advance approval.

Applications must contain:

  • A statement explaining that the organisation’s object is non-commercial
  • A statement describing the type of activity and that it falls under the approved purposes set out in the Taxation Act section 6-50 alternatives a) to f).
  • A statement and documentation that the organisation is national in scope as of 1 January in the year the donation is received, for example an overview of the scope of its activity and where the activity is engaged in, the number of members/donors and their geographical distribution etc.
  • Documentation that the foundation receives public support in the year the donation is received.
  • Statutes, including an objects clause and a dissolution clause stating that any residual assets upon dissolution shall go to an equivalent approved cause.
  • Annual accounts and annual report.

The requirement relating to national scope means that the activity must be run on a more than purely local basis. Activity in all counties is not required. The number of members and their geographical distribution will provide an indication of the organisation’s activity and geographical extent. Local organisations affiliated to a central federation that meets the requirements of the Taxation Act section 6-50 may be deemed to be national in scope. It is a condition that the local organisations are bound by the central federation’s statutes and its objects clause. It is also a condition that it is the central federation that keeps accounts of donations received and that provides the required information in machine-readable form to the Norwegian Directorate of Taxes.

If the application concerns approval of a foundation, documentation must be submitted that it receives public support.

With effect from the income year 2011, religious and beliefs-based communities must meet the requirement for national scope to be eligible for the deduction scheme for donations. The tax office sends the advance approval to the Directorate of Taxes, which, if there are no objections, enters the organisation on the list of approved organisations. If the conditions for approval are not met, the organisation will receive a letter from the tax office stating that it has not been approved. It will be clear from the letter which requirement or requirements are not deemed to be met. The decision may be brought before the Directorate of Taxes for reconsideration.

The organisation must by 1 February in the year after receiving the donation, issue a receipt to the donor that includes the donor’s name, address, Norwegian personal ID number/organisation number and the amount of the donation in Norwegian kroner.

It must be stated in the receipt that the information has not been sent to the Norwegian tax authorites and that the donor must enter the amount under item 3.3.7 in the tax return.

For more information about the conditions for the approval of organisations, see the Guidebook to tax assessment under Donations and Grants unrelated to employment

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