Taxation of salary for work on Svalbard

When you start working on Svalbard, you must contact the Svalbard tax office. This applies regardless if you intend to stay there for a short or long while.

Salary or other remuneration for work on Svalbard is taxable when the stay lasts at least 30 consecutive days.

If the stay lasts at least 12 months, the person will be considered a tax resident from the beginning of the stay.

Temporary stay on Svalbard

Salary or other remuneration for work on Svalbard is taxable when the stay lasts at least 30 consecutive days, see the Svalbard Taxation Act section 2-2, subsection 1. If the stay lasts less than 30 days, the salary income will be taxable on the mainland or in any other country where the employee is a resident.

However, there are no requirements to the number of days the person works during the stay. The rule concerning 30 days continuous residence on Svalbard must be applied so that any break in the residence on Svalbard interrupts the period. For example, if a person is first resident on Svalbard for a period of 14 days, then spends a weekend off Svalbard, followed by 20 days on Svalbard, there will be two periods of residence – each lasting less than 30 days.

When calculating the 30-day period, days spent travelling to or from Svalbard should not be counted as residence on Svalbard.

Who is considered a tax resident on Svalbard?

If the stay lasts at least 12 months, the person will be considered a resident for tax purposes from the beginning of the stay.

Short periods of absence from Svalbard, such as a holiday, will not interrupt the period of residence. 

For persons that have not been tax residents in Norway (including Svalbard) during the last 10 years before their stay on Svalbard, the liability to pay tax based on residency will cease to apply from and including the income year the person has stayed outside Svalbard for more than 183 days during a twelve-month period.

Tax deductions and reporting

Employers must deduct tax and employer's national insurance contributions from salary, etc. that are taxed under the Act on tax to Svalbard (the Svalbard Taxation Act). This applies to salary or other remuneration for work for residents on Svalbard, as well as for work-related stays lasting at least 30 consecutive days.

For a more detailed description of the scheme relating to deductions that is taxed under the Act on tax to Svalbard (the Svalbard Taxation Act), see the Svalbard White Paper 2023 (in Norwegian only).

Salary, etc. that are taxed under the Act on tax to Svalbard (the Svalbard Taxation Act) must be reported via the a-melding. Income that is taxed in accordance with the Svalbard Taxation Act is reported in the same way as on the mainland. Information concerning deductions from salaries must be reported monthly no later than the fifth of the following month.

There are no months on Svalbard which are not subject to withholding tax, and no tax deduction cards/tax exemption cards are issued.

See also the a-melding guide.

Exemption from employer’s national insurance contributions

For employers domiciled on Svalbard, the rate for employer’s national insurance contributions is 0 percent when the work is performed on Svalbard. This will apply even if an employee is not resident on Svalbard long enough for the income earned there to be taxable under the Svalbard Taxation Act.

Even if the employer is not domiciled on Svalbard, the rate for employer's national insurance contributions will be 0 percent on salary and other remunerations that will be taxed under the Svalbard Taxation Act.

See also the Svalbard White Paper 2023 (in Norwegian only) and employer’s national insurance contributions to the National Insurance Scheme for 2023 (in Norwegian only).