Coronavirus - important information from the Tax Administration

Persons resident in an EU/EEA country

From the 2019 income year, a new rule has been adopted on limiting withholding tax on pensions and disability benefits, etc. for certain groups of withholding tax pensioners. This applies to persons residing in certain EU/EEA countries, who have earned their right to a pension in Norway through the free movement of labor in the EU/EEA, and who have too low income in the country of residence that they can benefit from the right to personal deductions.

In addition to the new rules it applies as before if you are resident in another EU/EEA country and liable to pay tax in Norway on at least 90 percent of your total income, you can request that your tax be assessed pursuant to the same provisions as apply to persons resident in Norway. 

The information below applies to you who require taxation as a resident according to the 90 percent rule.

Low pensions/disability benefits, which are exempt from tax for persons resident in Norway, will then also be exempt from tax for persons resident in another EU/EEA country. Different conditions apply to the right to general deductions, deductions for interest on debt, tax deduction for pension income for old-age pensioners and a reduction in tax pursuant to the Norwegian tax limitation provisions. Disability benefits from the National Insurance Scheme and disability benefits from other schemes are taxed in the same way as employment income and you will not be granted a reduction in tax pursuant to the Norwegian provisions concerning tax limitation on low general income.

When at least 90 percent of your gross income from pensions, disability benefits, employment and business activity is liable to tax in Norway, you can request that your tax be calculated at the normal tax rates instead of as 15 per cent of your gross pension. If you are married, your spouse's income will also be taken into consideration when calculating the percentage of the income that is liable to tax in Norway. Among other things, you will then be entitled to the minimum deduction and personal allowance as if you were resident in Norway.

When at least 90 percent of your total income (including interest and other capital income) is liable to tax in Norway, you can claim a deduction for interest on debt. This also applies to interest on loans abroad.

If you receive an old-age pension or AFP early-retirement pension, you may also be entitled to a tax deduction for pension income. The following conditions must be met:

  • At least 90 per cent of your gross income from pensions, disability benefits, employment and business activity must be liable to tax in Norway.
  • At least 90 per cent of your general income (income after deductions) must be liable to tax in Norway.
  • Norway must be able to obtain information about your income and capital from your country of residence pursuant to a tax treaty or similar treaty.

If you receive a surviving spouse's pension from the National Insurance Scheme, you may also be entitled to a reduction in tax pursuant to the Norwegian provisions concerning tax limitation on low general income. In order to be entitled to a tax limitation, the following conditions must be met:

  • At least 90 per cent of your gross income from pensions, disability benefits, employment and business activity must be liable to tax in Norway.
  • At least 90 per cent of your general income (income after deductions) must be liable to tax in Norway.
  • Norway must be able to obtain information about your income and capital from your country of residence pursuant to a tax treaty or similar treaty.

If you live in another EU/EEA country and fall under the scope of these provisions, you can:

  • apply for a tax exemption card or a tax deduction card with a withholding rate of less than 15 per cent
  • declare in an enclosure to the tax return that you request your tax to be calculated pursuant to the same provisions as apply to persons resident in Norway.

Documentation requirements (resident in another EU/EEA country)

Application for a tax deduction card

When you apply for a tax exemption card or a tax deduction card with a lower tax rate lower than 15 per cent in 2020 pursuant to the provisions for persons resident in another EU/EEA country, you must:

  • state who pays your pension/disability benefit. 
  • enclose a Certificate of Residence from the tax authorities in your country of residence
  • enclose a statement showing your expected income from pension/disability benefit, employment and business activity in 2020. If you are married, you must also include your spouse’s income
  • enclose a copy of your own and, if relevant, your spouse’s tax return or similar to your country of residence for 2018.

The Certificate of Residence must be issued by the tax authorities in your country of residence and it must explicitly confirm that you are resident there for tax purposes pursuant to the tax treaty with Norway. The certificate must be the original document and it must not be more than three months old.

If you are claiming a deduction for interest on debt, you must also enclose:

  • a statement showing your expected interest income and other capital income in 2020

If you are claiming a tax deduction for pension income for old-age pensioners or you receive a surviving spouse's pension and claim a reduction in tax pursuant to the Norwegian provisions concerning tax limitation on low general income, you must also enclose:

  • a statement showing all expected income, capital, deductions and debt in Norway and abroad in 2020.

Information about income etc. can be provided using the form 'Tax deduction card withholding tax on pensions/disability benefits – information about income' (RF-1290E).

The tax return

When you have declared in an enclosure to the tax return for 2019 that you request your tax to be calculated pursuant to the same provisions as apply to persons resident in Norway, the Norwegian Tax Administration may request you to submit documentation stating that you are entitled to such a tax calculation. For more information, see Guidelines for the tax return for persons resident abroad who receive pension from Norway.