Distributing income, expenses and capital

Spouses, registered partners and spouse-equivalent cohabiting partners can decide how they wish to distribute certain income and deductions in their tax returns between themselves.

It is primarily capital incomes and capital expenses, such as interest, which spouses and partners can distribute freely, in addition to capital and debt. Other cohabiting partners who are not spouse-equivalent partners are assessed individually as regards their income and capital and cannot distribute income and deductions in the manner described here.

The distribution that is chosen will not normally affect the total tax payable by the couple, but it will affect which of them will be taxed on capital and income or receive a deduction for the expense concerned.

In cases where one partner has a low income, it may be advantageous for spouses etc. as a couple to distribute and transfer income and deductions so that neither of them has a lower net income than the personal allowance.

In the case of people who receive old-age pension or early retirement pension (AFP) where one of the spouses/spouse-equivalent partners has a low pension/income, the distribution of income, deductions and capital between them may affect their overall tax. Read more about the Tax rules for pensioners.

Spouses/spouse-equivalent partners wishing to distribute bank deposits, interest income, debt and interest on debt must remember to correct both their tax returns.

Example of the distribution of interest on debt
Kari and Per are married and have bought a house together. Kari is the main lender for the mortgage from the bank and the interest on debt of NOK 80,000 has been entered in her tax return. However, the spouses want to distribute the deduction for the interest in the ratio of 70 percent for Per and 30 percent for Kari. To distribute the interest on debt between the two of them, Kari must go to her tax return and correct it to NOK 24,000. Per must enter the interest on debt amount of NOK 56,000 in his tax return.

Incomes and expenses which cannot be distributed

Incomes and expenses linked to work, pension and commercial enterprise cannot be distributed freely and must be declared in the tax return of the spouse/spouse-equivalent partner who performed the work, is entitled to the pension or carried out the commercial enterprise.

The summary below shows the incomes and expenses in the tax return which it may be advantageous to distribute. It also refers to the incomes and expenses which cannot be distributed.

Pay to children aged 12 years or under

Non employment-related annuities to children aged 16 or under
Benefits from surrendered property outside agriculture and forestry

Children's pension
Owner's share of income from share in a housing cooperative/jointly-owned housing property
Net income from the letting of real property etc. outside the context of a business
Taxable rental income from a holiday home which you have used
Taxable profit on the sale etc. of housing, land and other real property
Income from real property abroad
Interest income on bank deposits etc. (including children's deposits)
Other interest income
Interest on loans to companies subject to extra tax (RF-1070)
Taxable share dividends, etc. (RF-1088)
Taxable return on shares in unit trusts (including children's unit trusts)
Other taxable dividends 
Taxable gains on the sale of shares etc. (RF-1088)
Taxable gains on the sale of units in securities funds
Taxable gains on the sale of shares etc. (RF-1059)

Income from abroad
Free distribution does not apply to endowment insurance with or without a guaranteed yield with a foreign company/financial institution

Other income

Profit from other financial products

Taxable returns or customer dividends

Child-care deduction (child-care expenses)

Interest on debt

Interest on debt – abroad

Benefits derived from surrendered property outside agriculture and forestry

Share of costs in housing cooperatives (housing associations or limited liability housing companies) and in jointly owned housing properties

Deductible losses on sale, etc. of real property

Other deductions

Loss on sale of shares, etc. (RF-1088)

Losses on sale of shares in securities

Losses on sale of shares, etc. (RF-1059)

Deficit on letting of real property outside the context of a business

Special allowance for major sickness expenses

All capital, including capital belonging to children who are assessed with their parents, can be distributed freely.

Pay and equivalent benefits
Pensions, employment-related annuities etc.
Maintenance payments from former spouse/separated spouse
Non-employment related disability annuities and life annuities
Taxable payments from employment-related and non employment-related annuities
Taxable severance pay and pension
Income from business or sickness benefit for self-employed persons
Return from capital insurance agreement
Payment of endowment insurance without a guaranteed yield
Endowment insurance with or without a guaranteed yield with a foreign company/financial institution

Other income

  • Income from profit and loss accounts
  • Income recognition from negative balances
  • Return of premium (IPS)
  • Continuation insurance
  • Payments you receive according to your individual pension scheme (new IPS)

Minimum standard deduction from own income
Deficit, accounts-based assessed car Actual expenses
Premiums for sickness and accident insurance
Minimum standard deduction from supplementary benefit for spouses
Minimum standard deduction from children's income
Minimum standard deduction from children's pension
Extra expenses for board and lodging etc. in connection with stays away from the home
Petty expenses, seafarers
Deduction for travel to/from work – travel between the home and permanent workplace (travel to/from work)
Deduction for travel expenses for home visits
Trade union fees
Premiums for job-related pension schemes
Special allowance for seafarers
Special allowance for fishermen and hunters at sea
Special allowance for agriculture (RF-1177)
Special allowance for agriculture
Share of joint allowance for agriculture
Special allowance for reindeer husbandry (RF-1177)
Share of joint allowance for reindeer husbandry
Special allowance for slate production
Share of joint allowance linked to slate production
Premium for own supplementary national insurance for self-employed persons
Deficit other business (RF-1167, RF-1175, RF-1242)
Deficit from agriculture, horticulture, fur farming
Deficit from forestry
Deficit from primary industry
Deficit from fishing and hunting at sea
Deficit from slate production
Deficit from family day care centre in own home
Deficit from KS, ANS etc. which runs a family day care centre in own home
Maintenance payments 
Deductible payments to individual pension schemes (IPS)

Other deductions

  • Income deductions from profit and loss accounts
  • Deduction of positive balance
  • Donations to voluntary organisations and religious and belief-based communities in Norway
  • Donations to voluntary organisations and religious and belief-based communities abroad
  • Donations to scientific research and vocational training
  • Standard deduction for foreign employees
  • Special income deduction for young people
  • Losses on life insurance - Unit Link
  • Payments you make according to your individual pension scheme (new IPS)
Carryforward losses from previous years
Share of deficits from previous years in connection with running of farmhouse
Special allowance for disability
Special allowance for slightly impaired earning capacity
Special allowance for single providers