Package of measures in connection with the coronavirus situation
The government will introduce a package of measures to handle the economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak. This means changes to rates, duties, rules, penalties and deadlines. The Tax Administration is reducing sanctions (enforcement fine) and moderating the application of the rules.
The information will be updated continuously.
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Has your income changed recently?
Some people are losing income because of the coronavirus situation as they have been laid off or made redundant.
If this applies to you, do not wait too long
- changing your tax deduction card if you are a wage earner or pensioner, or
- changing your advance tax if you’re self-employed.
In doing so, you can ease your financial situation by reducing the amount of tax that is deducted or by paying less advance tax.
Employer and a-melding
Enforcement fines will restart from October
Enforcement fines in the a-ordning scheme were temporarily stopped, starting with the a-melding due for submission on 5 March, 6 April, 5 May, 5 June, 6 July, 5 August,7 September and 5 October 2020.
For the a-melding for October, with a submission deadline 5 November 2020, we may impose an enforcement fine if you fail to submit the a-melding within relevant deadlines or submit it with errors.
The deadline for reporting the a-melding will still be the fifth of each month. If the fifth is a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, the deadline is the next working day.
Remember that it’s important to submit the a-melding – among other things, the information is used to process claims for sickness benefit and unemployment benefits from NAV.
Employer’s national insurance contributions
The second payment period (March-April)
The deadline for the second payment period of employer's national insurance contributions has been postponed from 15 May to 17 August 2020.
The third payment period (May-June)
The employer’s national insurance contributions will be reduced by four percentage points in May and June 2020.
Employers do not have to change the way they report their employer’s national insurance contributions in the a-melding. Continue to report the basis for the employer’s national insurance contributions as usual, and calculate the employer’s national insurance contributions using the normal rates.
The Tax Administration will calculate what the reduced employer’s national insurance contributions amounts to using the basis for the employer’s national insurance contributions as reported by the employer in the a-melding for May and June (third payment period) 2020. The Tax Administration will send out claims to employers before the third payment period falls due. The payment date for the third period has been postponed until 15 October 2020. Read more about reduced employer’s national insurance contributions for the third payment period.(in Norwegian only).
NOTE! Interest on overdue payments will only start accruing if the claim is not paid by 15 October 2020.
The fourth payment period (July and August)
The deadline for paying employer’s national insurance contributions for the fourth payment period (July and August) has not changed and is still 15 September 2020.
Overpaid employer's national insurance contributions for the third payment period 2020 will be refunded as long as a bank account number has been registered.
If you have an amount outstanding for the second payment period 2020, any overpaid employer's national insurance contributions for the third payment period 2020 will be used to cover this outstanding amount. Contact your Tax Collection Office if you do not want this type of arrangement. You should also contact your Tax Collection Office if you would like all of the employer's national insurance contributions for the third payment period to be refunded to you. In this case, the employer's national insurance contributions for the third payment period must be paid by the payment deadline 15 October 2020.
Refunds of employer’s national insurance contributions
The right to sick pay for employees subject to travel restrictions (in Norwegian only) due to the COVID-19 pandemic was introduced on 16 April 2021. The right to sick pay applies from 29 January 2021 and as long as travel restrictions exists for work-related travel to Norway. The employer must pay the sick pay as an advance payment to the employee.
Employers do not have to pay national insurance contributions (in Norwegian only) on sick pay that they have paid to the employees in advance, provided the employers are refunded the sick pay.
On 20 March 2020, the rules for being laid off were changed. Employers are no longer obliged to cover the first 18 days of salary for employees who have been laid off. Instead, NAV grants temporary salary compensation to employees who are laid off. If the employer pays the salary compensation of the laid off employees in advance, and then gets a refund from NAV, they do not have to pay the employer's national insurance contributions.
The employer can get a refund for salary paid in the benefit period for the lay-off periods that started before 20 April 2020. The refund scheme does not apply for lay-off periods that started on 20 April 2020 or later.
Compensation scheme for employers in the target zone and on Svalbard
The parliement has decided a compensation scheme for employers in zone V (target zone) and Svalbard, where the rate for calculating the employer’s national insurance contributions is zero. A subsidy of 4 percent of the basis for employer’s national insurance contributions will be granted in the third payment period (May and June) 2020.
The subsidy is calculated using the basis for the employer’s national insurance contributions that is reported in the a-melding. The Tax Administration will manage the scheme. The payments are made provided the Tax Administration has the recipient’s account number. The deadline for paying the subsidy is 1 September 2020. More information (in Norwegian only).
Financial activity tax
The deadline for the second period payment of financial activity tax on salaries is extended from 15 May to 17 August 2020.
The deadline for paying withholding tax for the second payment period is not extended. The deadline is 15 May 2020.
Exemption from information and withholding tax duties for foreign employers with employees with a home office in Norway
Due to the coronavirus situation, many Norwegian employees on a work stay abroad have returned temporarily to Norway or have been temporarily prevented from returning to their work country due to travel restrictions. Many of these employees work from home offices in Norway during the temporary stay in Norway, instead of working from their permanent places of work abroad.
For foreign employers with employees working from home offices in Norway due to Covid-19, there is given an exemption from the duty to
- provide salary information pursuant to the Tax Administration Act
- deduct withholding tax pursuant to the Tax Payment Act
For 2021: temporary provision - Midlertidig forskrift om forlengelse av fritak fra plikten til å foreta lønnsrapportering og forskuddstrekk for utenlandske arbeidsgivere som har ansatte som arbeider fra hjemmekontor i Norge som følge av covid-19-pandemien (Lovdata - in Norwegian only)
The exemption covers employers that are not resident in Norway and, under normal circumstances, do not operate their businesses in Norway.
The exemption is valid from 13 March 2020 to the end of the 2021 income year.
Some employees are members of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme while they're working abroad. When the employee works in a country within the EEA (and Switzerland) or in another country with which Norway has a national insurance agreement, the foreign employer has a duty to pay national insurance contributions to Norway pursuant to section 23-4a.
In the temporary provision, the Ministry of Finance has not given an exemption from the duty to provide information for the assessment of employer's national insurance contributions pursuant to section 23-4a of the National Insurance Act. Enterprises that are subject to this duty still have a duty to provide such information.
Clarifications for businesses and companies
Wealth tax – increased discount for shares, fixed assets, etc.
The valuation discount increases from 25 to 35 percent for 2020 for:
- shares, the share component of securities, equity certificates, shares in businesses assessed as partnerships
- fixed assets, including commercial property
The valuation discount only includes assets owned directly by the taxpayer.
The safety valve (maximum limit) for valuating commercial properties is reduced to 78 percent for the 2020 income year (it was 90 percent for the 2019 income year).
Postponed deadline for tax-exempt conversion of business activities
A tax-exempt conversion to a private limited company or a public limited company may only happen from 1 January in an income year. In order for a conversion to take effect from 1 January, the company must be established and a notification must have been sent to the Register of Business Enterprises by 1 July. The deadline has been postponed to 1 September for 2020. The company must also have deduced tax from employees’ salary payments and calculated national insurance contributions by the same deadline.
Temporary initial depreciations of 10 percent for balance group d (machines, etc.)
A temporary scheme of 10 percent initial depreciations for balance group d (vehicles, machines and inventory, etc.) for the year 2020. This means that the depreciation rate for 2020 increases from 20 percent to 30 percent for fixed assets that are entered under balance group d and that will be acquired from and including 20 July 2020 up until 31 December 2020. The Ministry of Finance will issue regulations outlining more detailed conditions.
Extended tax scheme regarding options for small start-up companies
The Parliament wants to extend the tax scheme regarding options in order to include companies with up to 25 employees and operating revenue of up to 25 million in the scheme. Today the threshold is 12 employees and NOK 16 million in operating revenue. In addition, they have removed the rule stating that only persons employed after 1 January 2018 may take advantage of the scheme. The Parliament wants these changes to be made permanent. See the Government’s press release about the tax scheme regarding options.
NOTE: The change must be approved by ESA.
Reversal of dividend decisions due to the coronavirus pandemic
In cases where the coronavirus pandemic leads to the reversal of decisions relating to dividends in the period between the time of the decision made in the general assembly and the payment date, the dividends may be exempt for taxation under certain conditions. Read the full statement (in Norwegian only).
SAF-T accounting file - the temporary postponement no longer applies
The Directorate of Taxes assumes that businesses delayed in the implementation of SAF-T as a result of the coronavirus outbreak in March have had enough time, as of 10 November 2020, to fulfil the requirement relating to the SAF-T accounting file.
The general exemption that was granted in a statement dated 19 March 2020 no longer applies.
Delivery of groceries and similar goods
Sales to customers who get their goods delivered may be registered as cash sales in the register when the goods are scanned based on the submitted order from the customer, even if the payment is received when the goods are delivered.
See the Directorate of Taxes’ statement of 18 March 2020 (in Norwegian only).
Tax incentive scheme for investing in start-up companies
The threshold amount is increased to NOK 1 million per investor. The limit for share contributions to the enterprises is increased to NOK 5 million. As a temporary measure for the 2020 and 2021 income years, the scheme is expanded to include employees and their close relatives. More information.
Temporary exception from limited tax liability for foreign enterprises
Section 2-3-1 of the Ministry of Finance’s regulation to the Taxation Act has been changed with effect for the 2021 income year. A temporary exception from limited tax liability has been implemented for foreign enterprises that under ordinary circumstances would not have established limited tax liability in Norway. The justification for the rule is that foreign enterprises should not obtain limited tax liability in Norway solely because employees work from home in Norway due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Summary: Changes to payment deadlines 2020
- VAT: payment of first period is extended from 14 April until 10 June 2020.
- Advance tax for companies: payment of the second period is extended from 15 April until 1 September 2020.
- Advance tax for self-employed persons and other personal taxpayers: the payment of the first period is extended from 16 March until 4 May 2020 and second period is extended from 15 May until 15 July 2020.
- Employer’s national insurance contributions: the payment of the second period is extended from 15 May to 17 August 2020. The payment of the third period is extended to 15 October 2020.
- Tax on financial activity: the payment of the second period is extended from 15 May to 17 August 2020.
- Excise duties: extended reporting- and payment deadline for some excise duties
There is no need to apply for an extended deadline.
Duties on cars and other vehicles
As a result of the coronavirus situation, temporary relief has been granted for short-term use of foreign-registered vehicles in Norway. Permission has also been granted to privately store foreign-registered vehicles in Norway. The changes apply until further notice.
For private business owners and shareholders: Deferred payment of wealth tax in case of negative net income i 2020
Private owners can take advantage of a temporary scheme of deferred payment of wealth tax on the enterprise’s wealth for the 2020 income year. The scheme applies to personal taxpayers who owns an enterprise with an accounting obligation that has negative net income for the 2020 income year, and that will have assessed wealth tax of at least NOK 30,000 in the 2020 income year related to the enterprise’s wealth.
You must claim the deferred payment of wealth tax for the income year 2020 by the deadline for submitting the tax return. This must be done even if you’ve applied for, and been granted, reduced withholding tax or advance tax in 2020.
Private owners can apply for exemption from paying withholding tax and advance tax in 2020 in connection with the enterprise’s wealth. This will provide immediate liquidity relief for owners of businesses who meet certain criteria.
Deadline for payment of advance tax in 2021
The ordinary payment deadlines apply for 2021.
Extended deadline for payment of advance tax in 2020
All those required to make their first payment of advance tax on 15 March will have their deadline extended until 4 May 2020 and second payment period is extended from 15 May to 15 July 2020. There is no need to apply for an extended deadline. If you’ve already paid the advance tax, but would like to get it repaid, you must contact your local tax collector for repayment.
Second advance payment of tax for companies, including the part of tax on financial activity related to surpluses, due 15 April: The deadline has been extended to 1 September 2020. The extension does not apply to ordinary income, natural resource tax and ground rent tax for natural resource and ground rent taxpayers. If you have paid the advance tax and you wish to have it refunded, you must contact us.
The Business Compensation Scheme
The Business Compensation Scheme provides enterprises that face a large loss in income as a result of the virus outbreak, a financial compensation to cover fixed, unavoidable costs.
The original compensation scheme ran from March to the end of August, and the last deadline for applying was 31 October 2020.
- You’ll find more information about the scheme at kompensasjonsordning.no.
- See a list of enterprises that have received subsidies.
- Act: Act relating to the temporary subsidy scheme for enterprises with a large drop in revenue (in Norwegian only)
- Regulation: Regulation to the Act relating to the temporary subsidy scheme for enterprises with a large drop in revenue (in Norwegian only)
The new Compensation Scheme is administered by the Brønnøysund Register Centre and is valid from September 2020.
- Information concerning The Compensation Scheme
- Act: Act relating to the temporary subsidy scheme for enterprises with a large drop in revenue after August 2020 (in Norwegian only)
- Regulation: Regulation concerning the supplementation and implementation of the Act relating to the temporary subsidy scheme after August 2020 (in Norwegian only)
Other compensation schemes:
- NAV provides its own compensation scheme for self-employed persons and freelancers
- You’ll find more information about the various business compensation schemes at regjeringen.no (in Norwegian only).
Salary subsidy to bring back laid off employees
There are two schemes for salary subsidies for employers who bring back laid off employees.
1. Scheme for salary subsidies for the period 15 March to 31 August 2021
The salary subsidy scheme applies to employers that are bringing back laid off employees in these periods:
- 15 March to 30 April
- 1 May to 30 June
- 1 July to 31 August
Information, requirements and application form is available at lonnsstotte.no.
2. Scheme for salary subsidies for July, August, October, November and December 2020
The application deadline was 1 March. This application deadline is final, and you cannot apply for a subsidy for these months now. You will find information about the scheme and the conditions at lonnstilskudd.no.
Value added tax (VAT)
Submission deadlines for tax returns for VAT are not changed
The deadline for submitting the tax return for VAT, to pay value added tax for period 1 and the deadline for submitting the annual tax return for VAT for primary industry is 12 April 2021. For period 2 it is 10 June 2021. Please note that interest on overdue payments will accrue if payments are made after the deadline. Read more about deadlines
No changes have been made to the deadlines for tax returns for VAT. Read more about deadlines.
Enforcement fines are temporarily stopped
The Tax Administration will not be issuing enforcement fines for late delivery of the following tax returns for VAT for:
- Period 1 (deadline 12 April 2021)
- Period 2 (deadline 10 June 2021)
- Annual tax return for VAT for primary industry (12 April 2021)
If the tax return for VAT is not submitted for period 1 and annual period for primary industry, the tax authorities may make a discretionary assessment of the value added tax and any imposition of supplementary tax with effect from May 2021. If the VAT return is not submitted for period 2, the tax authorities may make a discretionary assessment of the value added tax and any imposition of supplementary tax with effect from July 2021.
Remember! It's important to submit the tax return for VAT.
The Tax Administration will not impose enforcement fines for late submission of the tax return for the following tax returns for VAT:
- Period 1 (deadline 14 April 2020), period 2 (deadline 10 June 2020), period 3 (deadline 31 August 2020) and period 4 (deadline 12 October 2020).
- Tax returns for VAT that are submitted with an annual deadline (due 10 March 2020) and the annual statement for the primary industry (due 14 April 2020).
Regarding the tax return for VAT for the fifth period, due for submission on 10 December 2020, you may be charged with an enforcement fine if you do not submit by the deadline.
Extended payment deadlines for tax liable entities with a general taxation period (every second month)
The deadline for payment of value added tax for period 1, due 12 April 2021, has not been changed.
The deadline for paying VAT for the first payment period, due 14 April 2020, is now 10 June 2020. There is no need to apply for an extended deadline.
The deadline for tax liable entities with a monthly payment period, an annual payment period or the primary industries’ annual statement is not extended.
Value added tax – payment deferment or reduced rent
The Ministry of Finance has issued guidelines for how to manage VAT in cases when a landlord allows rent to be paid late or not at all, or reduces the amount of rent to be paid.
Renting out buildings or facilities - the rules relating to retrospective value added tax refunds will be changed
Lessors of real property who have voluntarily registered in the Value Added Tax Register may claim deductions for input VAT on purchases made up to three years before registering (retrospective VAT refund). To claim deductions for new builds, extensions to or alterations of real property, it is required that the property be rented out within six months after completion of the building work. The requirement has been extended temporarily, from six to twelve months for building work that will be completed between 1 September 2019 and 30 June 2021. For building work that will be completed between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021, the deadline for renting out the building or facility has been set to 30 June 2022. See the press release from the Ministry of Finance (in Norwegian only)
Changes to reduced rate for VAT
The low VAT rate for passenger transportation, accommodation, public broadcasting and entry to cinemas, sports events, amusement parks and adventure centres, is reduced from 12 percent to 6 percent for the payment period 1 April 2020 to and including 30 September 2021.
The tax return for self-employed persons and businesses
Extended submission deadline
Tax return for 2020
The deadline for submitting the 2020 tax return is 31 May 2021. As a self-employed person and businesses you can apply for extended deadline until 20 August 2021. See press release on regjeringen.no (in Norwegian)
If your spouse has been granted an extension to the deadline, you will automatically be given the same extended deadline. The same applies to partners in businesses assessed as a partnership.
Tax return for 2019
The deadline for submitting the 2019 tax return has been extended from 31 May to 31 August 2020. You cannot apply for further extensions to this deadline.
If your spouse has been granted an extension to the deadline, you will automatically be given the same extended deadline. The same applies to partners in businesses assessed as a partnership.
The deadline for paying additional advance tax is still 31 May 2020.
For petroleum companies (pursuant to section 5 of the Petroleum Tax Act), the deadline is 30 April 2020. Such companies must apply for an extension for submitting the tax return to the Oil Taxation Office.
Enforcement fines for delayed submission of the tax return for self-employed persons and businesses
2021 - The tax return for 2020
Businesses that are granted a deferred deadline to submit the tax return, and that submit after the deferred deadline of 20 August, will be charged with an enforcement fine. The same will apply to businesses who do not apply for a deferred deadline, and that submit the tax return after the deadline of 31 May, see regjeringen.no (in Norwegian only).
2020 - The tax return for 2019
For the time being, enforcement fines will not be issued for late submission of the tax return for self-employed persons and businesses.
If you recently received an e-mail from the Tax Administration stating that you may receive an enforcement fine if your submission is late, you can disregard the e-mail. At the moment, we’re not imposing enforcement fines for late submission of the 2019 tax return.
Simplification of the reporting obligation – interest limitation
Certain simplifications will be accepted in relation to the submission of the interest limitation forms RF-1315 and RF-1509 for the 2019 income year. See the statement for more information (in Norwegian only).
Taxation of employees
The Tax Administration has clarified the tax-related handling of circumstances that arise because of the coronavirus crisis:
Tax exemption for necessary payments in kind received as a result of the coronavirus situation
Home office equipment, telephone and internet services and healthcare financed by the employer are tax-free and should not be reported. The tax exemption is granted provided the benefit is temporary, proportional and based on the need to maintain operations and prevent spreading the virus. You should not deduct tax on these benefits, you do not have to report them nor pay employer’s national insurance contributions for them. See statement of 31 March 2020 and 10 November 2020.(in Norwegian)
Use of company cars while laid off – tax liability, withholding tax and duty to report
A company car may, due to the coronavirus situation, be parked at the employee’s home while the employee is laid off without the employee being taxed for the benefit of using the car. If the laid off employee uses the car for private purposes, regardless of the extent, the benefit must be calculated and reported as normal. The employer must notify the Tax Administration if there are no cash funds from which withholding tax can be deducted. More information (in Norwegian only).
Tax-free benefit when buying shares, etc. in the employer company
The amount is increased from NOK 3,000 to NOK 5,000. More information.
Commuter status: The requirement for number of visits for single commuters during the coronavirus situation
Usually, single commuters are required to travel home every third week to maintain their commuter status. If, as an effort to prevent spreading the virus, a home visit is not carried out every third week, the commuter will still be considered a commuter. He or she will then potentially be eligible for deductions or expense allowances pursuant to the ordinary rules. More information.(in Norwegian)
Permitted stay in Norway under the one-year rule as a result of the coronavirus situation
When applying the one-year rule for work stays in another country, you cannot stay in Norway for more than 6 days on average per every 12-month period. During the coronavirus situation, specific guidelines offer possibilities to extend the stays in Norway. More information.(in Norwegian)
Temporary relaxation of the requirements to destroy goods
The duty to send a report to the Tax Administration 48 hours in advance of the destruction of goods is abolished until further notice. This applies to all excise duties. Furthermore, the requirement to obtain approval from the Tax Administration before destroying goods is abolished. This applies in cases where the destruction occurs within the registered enterprise’s own approved premises, and in cases requiring special approval to perform the destruction somewhere else.
The air passenger tax is temporarily abolished throughout 2021
Air passenger tax will be abolished throughout 2020 and 2021.
Extended reporting- and payment deadline for some excise duties
Reporting- and payment deadlines for April and May is postponed to 18 June 2020 for the following excise duties:
- Road use duty on fuels
- The basic fee on mineral oil etc
- Lubricating oil tax
- CO2 excise duty on mineral products
- The excise duty on alcohol
- Excise duty on non-alcoholic beverages
- Beverage packaging tax
If you are registered for other excise duties, these must be reported within the normal deadlines. See more information
Temporary exemption from the CO2 duty on natural gas and LPG
The exemption from CO2 duty on natural gas and LPG used for chemical reduction or electrolysis, metallurgical and mineralogical processes, has been reinstated with effect from 1 April 2020.
The exemption effectively sets a CO2 duty rate of NOK 0 per Sm3 of natural gas and NOK 0 per kg LPG from 1 April 2020. The exemption applies to quota-regulated and non-quota regulated enterprises alike. More information (in Norwegian only).
Carry forward of deficit
For companies: Reversal of deficit against taxed surpluses in 2018/2019
Companies will temporarily be able to reverse up to NOK 30 million of company deficit in 2020 against taxed surpluses from the previous two years. The tax value of a deficit in 2020 will be paid to the companies upon the tax assessment in 2021.
This will be implemented so that the tax value of an eligible deficit in 2020 will be paid to the companies upon the tax assessment in 2021. The calculation and payment will be automatic. Companies who do not wish to be included in the scheme, must request to be excluded when they submit the tax return for 2020. More information will be provided.
New rules concerning deferred payment and reduced interest rate
New rules concerning deferred payment, instalment schemes, etc.
The new rules concerning deferred payment apply from 12 June 2020 until 30 June 2021.
If you’ve been granted deferred payment, you’ll be allowed to pay what you owe in instalments.
Reduced interest rate on overdue payments
The interest rate on overdue payments has been reduced to 6 percent for most tax and duty claims in the period from 10 June to 31 December 2020. The exceptions are: withholding tax, tax deductions and compensation claims. Ordinary interest rates on overdue payments still apply to these claims. The reduced interest rate will also apply to claims where interest is calculated by the Norwegian National Collection Agency pursuant to the Act relating to the Norwegian National Collection Agency, as well as claims relating to stamp duty. You do not have to apply for a reduced interest rate.
The Tax Administration’s other services will also be affected by the coronavirus.