Inheritance tax is abolished

Inheritance tax is abolished with effect from 1 January 2014. This means that you should NOT submit inheritance or gift notification for any inheritance or gifts you received during or after 2014.

However, you must declare any inheritance that you inherited from a deceased person in 2013 or earlier. You must also declare any gifts that you received in 2013.

The inheritance tax was abolished by the Norwegian Parliament. The decision also entails the official estate administrators and joint heirs lose their right to information.

See also the information on the regulations applying to inheritance at regjeringen.no.

The inheritance tax is abolished for inheritance from persons who die 1 January 2014 or later. This also applies to gifts donated 1 January 2014 or later. This affects the right to information into previous cases concerning inheritance tax.

The Inheritance Act section 23, subsection 2 imposes the inheritance tax authority with a very strict duty of confidentiality. In practise, only the direct beneficiaries in an inheritance tax case have insight into the case documents. In addition, official state administrators who need information in order to calculate the correct inheritance tax or joint heirs who may become responsible for other persons inheritance tax (joint and several liability) can get access to certain information.

Since the inheritance tax is abolished, the basis for the right to information that some possessed is no longer present. This means:

  • The administrator of an estate in public division, where the deceased person died 1 January 2014 or later, can no longer receive information regarding previous gifts from the deceased person. The reason given for this is that the district court no longer is the inheritance tax authority in these cases.
  • Joint heirs in private divisions where the deceased person died 1 January 2014 or later, can no longer receive information regarding previous gifts to other beneficiaries. The reason given for this is that joint and several liability is no longer relevant in these cases.

The Norwegian Parliament decided to abolish inheritance tax from 1 January 2014. This change affects gifts given after 31 December 2013 and inheritance where the death occurred after 31 December 2013. 

You should not submit an inheritance or gift notification to the Tax Administration for gifts and inheritance received during 2014 or later.

Inheritance/gifts received in 2013

Inheritance tax on gifts given before the turn of the year should be paid according to the rules and rates that applied in 2013. The same applies to inheritance after deaths that occurred in 2013. This applies even if the beneficiary first gets access to the inheritance in 2014 or later.

You do not avoid inheritance tax by demanding a public division

The decision means that all deaths in 2013 or earlier are subject to tax. A transitional rule has been introduced. This entails that one cannot avoid tax by demanding a public division, even if the public administration of the deceased’s estate closes in 2014 or later. This also applies if it's demanded that the estate is returned to private division in 2014 or later. The Norwegian Parliament has therefore made a tax decision for 2014 with applicable tax-free amounts and rates. 

You cannot revoke gifts

The tax obligation arises when the gift is considered to have been given. For the majority of gift objects, this happens when a gift declaration has been sent to the Tax Administration. If a gift has been given before 1 January 2014, a declaration must be sent to the Tax Administration. Gifts given before the turn of the year are subject to tax even if the inheritance tax decision is not received before 2014. 

This means that when a gift has been given, it cannot be revoked in a way that affects the tax calculation. A revocation of a gift may entail a new tax liable transaction and you risk double taxation.

Tax consequences

The principle of continuity as a general rule for the transfer of inheritance and gifts came into force on 1 January 2014. Tax continuity means that the heir or the gift recipient takes over the deceased person or giver's input value on transferred items in the determination of later future gains and other tax positions related to the transferences.

The introduction of an exception from the principle of continuity (discontinuity) has been approved for residential properties, holiday homes, farms and forestry that could have been sold tax-free by the deceased person or donor at the time the gift was given or the time of death. This entails that the input value for residential properties and holiday homes should be set to the market value at the time of acquisition. For farms and forestry, this means that the maximum input value for recipients is ¾ of the property's estimated sales value.

Read more about the tax consequences.  

Can I revoke a gift that has already been given?                                          No, if the gift has been given, it cannot be revoked in a way that affects the tax calculation. A revocation of a gift entails a risk of double taxation.

I've donated a gift before 1 January 2014, but not submitted a declaration. What do I do?
You must submit a gift declaration. Even if you submit the declaration in 2014 or later, the gift is subject to tax.

Can I turn the gift into a loan?
No, the gift has been given and this cannot be changed.

Mother/father retains undivided possession of the estate. Will a gift given from the undivided estate in 2013 be subject to inheritance tax?
Yes.

Mother/father retains undivided possession of the estate. Will a gift given from the undivided estate in 2014 or later be subject to inheritance tax?
No.

I've received a decision regarding delayed possession. Do I have to pay inheritance tax if I get possession in 2014 or later?
No.

The death occurred in 2013. Will I avoid tax inheritance if I submit the inheritance notification in 2014? 
No, the time of death is the decisive factor. 

Can I avoid tax inheritance by asking for public division? 
No, this does not affect the tax calculation as long as the time of death was in 2013 or earlier.  

What happens when the time of death is in 2014 or later? 
Then you do not have to pay inheritance tax. This also applies if the deceased person retained undivided possession of the estate. 

Mother/father retains undivided possession of the estate. Do I have to pay inheritance tax on the inheritance from the first deceased? 
No, not if the surviving spouse is alive on 1 January 2014.

What does tax continuity mean? 
The heir and recipient take over the deceased person or donor's input value.  

What does tax discontinuity mean? 
The property market value will be the heir and recipient's input value.

What does input value mean? 
It's the price that the deceased person or donor paid for the property (continuity), or the value at the time the recipient became the owner (discontinuity). The input value will be used with any profit calculation if you sell the property.

I'm going to inherit/have inherited/have received a holiday home from my parents. They've owned and used it more than five of the last eight years. What is my input value? 
Your input value is the market value at the time of transferal, because the deceased person/giver could have sold it tax-free.

I'm going to inherit/have inherited/have received a residential property from my parents. They've owned and lived in it more than one of the last two years. What is my input value? 
Your input value is the market value at the time of transferal, because the deceased person/giver could have sold it tax-free.

I'm going to receive/have received a rental property that the deceased person/giver could not sell tax-free. How much tax/inheritance tax do I have to pay? 
If you inherit/receive this property before 1 January 2014, your input value is set to the market value at the transferal and inheritance tax will be calculated. If you receive the property after 31 December 2013, you take over the deceased person /giver's input value and inheritance tax is not calculated.

I'm going to receive/have received a holiday home that the deceased person/giver has not used themselves five of the last eight years and hence could not sell tax-free. How much tax/inheritance tax do I have to pay? 
If you inherit/receive this holiday home before 1 January 2014, your input value is set to the market value at the transferal and inheritance tax will be calculated. If you receive the holiday home after 31 December 2013, you take over the deceased person/giver's input value and inheritance tax is not calculated.

Does a transference of a property have to be registered? 
No, but it must be possible to document at what time the property was given to the recipient.

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