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VAT rates for charitable and benevolent organisations

Charitable and benevolent organisations are generally exempt from VAT if they have a turnover of less than NOK 140,000. There are some exceptions and exemptions from the VAT rules for organisations. Read more about VAT for charitable and benevolent organisations.

Goods and services which are exempt from VAT for organisations

Goods/service VAT rate  Remarks
Sale or letting of real property (with the exception of commercial letting of holiday homes which is vatable) 0% Exempt  
Programmes and catalogues sold by organisations in connection with their events 0% Exempt  
Sale of goods at a significant premium 0% Exempt "Significant premium" means that the price for the product is at least six times the amount it was purchased for. If the organisation has acquired the product free of charge, the organisation must sell the product for at least six times the amount such products are normally sold for. You must calculate the value of the product at the time it was received by the organisation.
Ticket sales, e.g. in connection with sports events and concerts 0% Exempt  
Sale of tickets, annual passes, hourly rental, green fees or similar for entry to swimming pools, exercise studios, tennis courts, golf courses, etc. 0% Exempt  
Membership and starting fees 0% Exempt SMembership and starting fees are generally exempt from VAT. These often cover expenses for the purchase and maintenance of clothing and uniforms, training equipment, musical instruments, members’ newsletters, etc. This means that the organisation will not be vatable as regards fees. If the organisation claims payment for such benefits in addition to the ordinary membership fee, consideration must be given in each individual case as to what is vatable.
State subsidy 0% Exempt  
Lotteries 0% Exempt  
Bingo 0% Exempt  

Sale of sportspersons

Goods or service VAT rate Remarks

Sale of sportspersons

Exempt / 25% In the case of sales of football players and other sportspersons, the parent club will sell the right to use the player and receive payment in return. This will generally be a vatable service. If the service is primarily linked to a sports club’s non-profit activity, you should not calculate VAT on the payment. There is a corresponding exception for the sale/hiring out of football players from organisations other than sports clubs.
Fees for players’ agents 25% The sports exception does not apply to sports agents who receive payment for executing the sale of a player. This is a vatable mediation service.
Coaches 0% Exempt In connection with the exception for teaching services, an exception has been made for leisure-oriented teaching, such as teaching at music, dance, skiing, riding and swimming schools. This exception also covers sports coaches, health studio trainers and personal trainers.
Starting fees Exempt / 25% The organisations of sports events sometimes pay a sportsperson a starting fee for taking part in the sports activity. This is not covered by the sports exception and you must calculate VAT on starting fees, provided that you are running a commercial enterprise.
Prize money 0% Exempt If the sportsperson receives prize money, this will not be considered vatable turnover under the VAT Act.

Kiosks, catering, sale of musical instruments, uniforms, etc.

Some organisations run kiosks or catering businesses, sell musical instruments, uniforms or sports equipment, programmes, periodicals or books, organise occasional sales auctions or carry on other forms of sales activity. Special rules apply to organisations in all these areas.

Goods/service Rate Remarks
General sales of food products 15% The term "food products" includes all food products and beverages and all other goods that are intended for human consumption with the exception of medicines, water from water treatment works, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.
Sales from kiosks with fixed daily opening hours 15% If an organisation sells goods from a kiosk which has fixed daily opening hours, this will be considered to be a business, regardless of whether the kiosk is located at or adjacent to a sports facility, for example.
Sales from a kiosk on a voluntary basis 0% Exempt Kiosk activity by organisations is exempt from any registration or tax obligation if the kiosk is only open during the organisation’s events or training sessions. This applies even if daily, permanent event- and training-related activity takes place and the organisation sells at least 80 percent of its goods to participants and spectators during the events, offers a limited range of typical kiosk goods and is served by unpaid staff. There is no deduction entitlement for input VAT for expenses which are incurred in connection with such VAT-free kiosk activity. If an organisation is in any doubt as to whether or not the kiosk activity is exempt from the registration and tax obligation, the matter should be clarified with the tax office. See also the section on Individual sales campaigns and events of short duration.
Waffles, coffee, etc. 0% Exempt The exemption for VAT also applies when the organisation sells goods prepared by members from VAT-free kiosks in addition to normal kiosk products. This could for example be waffles, buns, cakes and coffee.
Catering activity 25%

Activities involving the sale of services which concern catering is vatable. This applies for example to café activity, catering during regular balls open to the public and bingo events, etc.

The delimitation between catering services (25 percent rate) and the sale of food products (15 percent rate) is pivotal.

"Catering service" means catering from a catering outlet, i.e. a place where food and/or beverages are served and where provision is made to enable customers to eat and drink.

There are some exceptions. Contact the tax office for more information.

Both non-vatable and vatable sales from kiosks

If the organisation runs both a non-vatable kiosk and an ordinary kiosk with normal opening hours, hired help and vatable sales, the ordinary kiosk must be registered in the VAT Register.

The organisation must then recognise

  • all purchases of kiosk goods in the accounts for the vatable kiosk activity,
  • and deduct input VAT in its VAT accounts

This also applies to goods which are to be sold via the non-vatable kiosk. The organisation may set the basis for the tax as equal to the purchase price of the goods. Input VAT and output VAT will therefore be identical for the goods which are purchased for the non-vatable kiosk activity. This means that the organisation will not incur any additional expenses for VAT.

Groups or departments within the organisation can also use this calculation basis when they carry on non-vatable kiosk activity and transfer sale goods from the vatable kiosk. There are some conditions for such an organisation.

Sales by used goods outlets to generate income for benevolent purposes

Goods/service Rate Remarks
Sale of goods by organisations from used goods outlets for benevolent purposes 0% Exempt Strict requirements must be met in order for this exception to apply. For example, the entire profit from the sale must go to the benevolent purpose. The outlet must only sell used goods which it has received free of charge, and it must use voluntary, unpaid labour. Contact the tax office for more information.

Sale of musical instruments, uniforms, sports equipment, etc. for organisations

Organisations often sell goods to members without the aim of generating a profit for the organisation. This is a form of shared purchase. This could for example concern sales of musical instruments, uniforms, sports equipment and so on.

Goods/service Rate Remarks
Musical instruments 0% Exempt If the sales do not generate a profit for the organisation, but only cover the organisation’s costs in connection with purchases and re-sale, we will not consider the activity to be commercial in nature. The organisation will have no tax liability, nor any entitlement to deduct input VAT.
Uniforms 0% Exempt If the sales do not generate a profit for the organisation, but only cover the organisation’s costs in connection with the sale, we will not consider the sale to be commercial activity. The organisation will have no tax liability, nor any entitlement to deduct input VAT.
Sports equipment 0% Exempt If the sales do not generate a profit for the organisation, but only cover the organisation’s costs in connection with the ‘sales activity’, we will not consider the sale to be commercial activity. The organisation will have no tax liability, nor any entitlement to deduct input VAT.
Ordinary sales of goods 25% If an organisation also carries on the vatable sale of similar goods, it must recognise all its purchases of such merchandise in its accounts - for both its ordinary commercial activity and what is sold internally within the organisation. VAT must then be calculated on the ordinary sales value in the regular commercial activity for both types of sales, even if sales to members are made on a non-profit basis.
Members’ newsletters and other periodicals 0% Exempt

Sales of periodicals to consumers are non-vatable when at least 80 percent of the print run is sold to paying subscribers or distributed to association members.

The association members must pay a membership fee to the association, and the association must be the publisher of the periodical.

VAT must generally be imposed on the periodicals by the printing company. Organisations that are not obliged to register for sales of periodicals may receive non-vatable periodicals without VAT from the printing company. The exemption regarding periodicals is regulated in more detail in Section 6-3 of the VAT Act.

Annual reports, annuals and other books 0% Exempt Sales of books and the like to consumers are non-vatable. Read more about the exemption in Section 6-4 of the VAT Regulation.

Individual sales campaigns or events of short duration

Organisers of individual sales campaigns or events of short duration which do not last more than three days are not vatable for sales which take place during the campaign or event. It is a condition that the activity is not professional in nature, e.g. it does not use paid labour.

Examples of this type of activity are:

  • Flea markets
  • Christmas fairs
  • "17th May sales" (booth sales)
  • “Swapmeets”
  • Dance events
  • Door-to-door sales of flowers, coconut balls, toilet rolls

If the campaign or event lasts longer than three days, the activity must be assessed in relation to the concept of ordinary business.

Permanent activity is vatable

Permanent activity involving the sale of used objects, Christmas trees or music recordings are generally vatable. There are exceptions for sales of goods of insignificant value and for used goods outlets. Contact the Norwegian Tax Administration for more information on the tax liability.

Sale of objects

Goods/service Rate Remarks
Occasional sales, e.g. of postcards, calendars, mugs and T-shirts. 0% Exempt The VAT Act contains a special rule which applies when organisations sell objects of low value on an occasional basis. These sales fall outside the scope of the VAT Act. The organisation will then also not be entitled to deduct VAT which was incurred when purchasing the goods.
Goods under NOK 100 - no three-day limit 0% Exempt Organisations can sell goods for less than NOK 100 without calculating VAT. There are a number of conditions for this. For example, the sale must take place on certain occasions, during a limited period of time and as part of the organisation's activity. In special cases, the sales activity may be permitted to last up to a month.
Sales that are not of short duration - badges, pennants, etc. 0% Exempt

Badges, pennants and other similar goods with the organisation's logo, intended for sale internally within the organisation, may also be sold without VAT, even if the sale does not take place during a limited period of time. This also applies in connection with the sale of other goods with the logo of an overarching organisational link, such as skills badges, participant badges, etc.

The value of the individual object must not exceed NOK 100. There is no deduction entitlement for input VAT relating to expenses which are incurred in connection with such sales.

Sales of objects at a significant premium 0% Exempt

The VAT Act also contains a number of tax exceptions concerning sales of goods by charitable organisations at a significant premium. This also covers such sales from commissioners It should be noted that the exception only applies to goods and not sales of services at a significant premium.

"Significant premium" means that the price for the product is at least six times the amount it was purchased for. If the product was received free of charge, the sales price must be at least six times the ordinary sales value of the product at the time it was received by the organisation.

Catalogues, programmes, souvenirs, etc. in connection with events 0% Exempt

Organisers of exhibitions, concerts and meetings are exempt from the tax obligation when they sell catalogues, programmes, picture postcards and souvenirs. This applies even if the event extends over more than three days and the value exceeds NOK 100. The sales must take place in connection with the events. The organiser is not exempt from VAT (input VAT) in connection with the purchase of the goods and also has no right to deduct the VAT.

Vatable advertising If printed matter contains advertisements and the organisation is vatable for the sale of such advertising services, the organisation will have a deduction entitlement in respect of the part of the input VAT that concerns the advertisements in the printed matter. Advertisements in programmes are exempt from VAT in some cases.

Items which are not souvenirs 0% Exempt

We do not define ordinary items such as T-shirts, pens and mugs as souvenirs. Nevertheless, organisations can still sell such items without adding VAT if they are covered by one of the exemption schemes described in this chapter. This applies even if the objects are decorated in such a way that they remind the buyer and others of their participation in the event.

However, items such as posters from the event and other objects which are primarily of value as a reminder of the event could be sold without calculating VAT. 

Sponsorship revenues and advertising activity 25% When an organisation receives sponsorship income and carries on advertising activity of a certain scope, this will generally be vatable.