Commercial activity on the internet is growing substantially and taking on new forms. There’s an increasing need for information and clarification concerning the tax and duty rules applying to internet trade.
If you have a profitable blog, run an online store or otherwise generate income from activities on the internet, the tax and duty rules are the same as for other income-generating activity.
Income-generating activity via the internet includes, for example, ordinary purchases and sales via the internet, online gaming, advertising, affiliate and marketing revenues and domain sales.
Any benefits derived through work, capital or activity will be considered taxable income and must be declared via your tax return or income statement.
Hobby or commercial activity?
As a rule, the regulations distinguish between commercial activity and non-commercial activity (hobby). Whether your activity should be considered a hobby or commercial activity will be a matter of judgement according to set criteria. If you’re in doubt how to judge your activity, you can contact the Norwegian Tax Administration and get a specific assessment.
We often define non-commercial activities as a hobby, e.g. leisure activities and community work. Commercial activity that’s not likely to generate a profit or provide financial benefits can also be considered a hobby.
Income from hobbies will generally not be taxable, but you'll also not be entitled to deductions for costs attributable to such activity.
In order for an activity to be considered commercial activity, it must be likely to generate financial benefits for the taxpayer. The decisive factor is whether the activity is likely to generate a profit when considered objectively over an appropriate period.
If the activity generates financial benefits over time, the income from the activity via the internet will be considered an enterprise from a tax and duty perspective, and the income will therefore be subject to tax and duty.
The tax obligation will apply to income received from payers in both Norway and abroad.
The overall conditions for an income-generating activity to be considered commercial activity are when it:
- aims at having a certain duration,
- has a certain scope,
- is likely to generate a profit, and
- is carried on at the taxpayer's own expense and risk.
If your activity is considered commercial, you’ll be, among other things, entitled to deduct costs incurred during your start-up phase.
Get help to find out whether you are self-employed
Using our wizard, you can answer up to five questions and get an indicative answer as to whether or not you are self-employed.
The wizard is intended for people who sell goods or services, blog or carry on small-scale letting.