Corporate tax return in Norway

All businesses that operated in Norway in 2020 must file the corporate tax return by 31 May 2021. An extended deadline may be granted upon application.

Obligation to file a corporate tax return

The corporate tax return for 2020 is now available online at www.altinn.no for all businesses that are registered in Norway.

The basic rule is that all Norwegian companies and foreign enterprises conducting business activities in Norway are subject to Norwegian corporate tax and are obliged to file a corporate tax return.

The deadline for filing the 2020 corporate tax return is 31 May 2021. Upon application, an extension may be granted until 20 August 2021.

Note that the obligation to file a tax return also includes the obligation to provide mandatory attachments to the tax return.

The corporate tax return can only be filed electronically via www.altinn.no. This applies to the attachments as well. Paper filing is not accepted.

Non-Norwegian enterprises

Any foreign enterprise will, as a starting point, become subject to Norwegian corporate tax if it conducts business activities within Norway – including at the continental shelf - or if it hires out employees to work in Norway.

A foreign company that is subject to corporate tax according to domestic Norwegian tax law, is obliged to file the corporate tax return. This applies even though the company may be exempted from corporate tax liability pursuant to provisions of a tax treaty. The reason for this is that reporting obligations are not covered by the tax treaties.

Non-Norwegian companies operating via a branch in Norway are obliged to submit the form “Extract of accounts” as an attachment to the tax return. All income and costs related to the activity in Norway must be included in the form. Enterprises obliged to keep accounts are however required to submit the same forms as resident taxpayers in addition to the “Extract of accounts” form.

Also read: Remember to file the extracts of accounts

Penalties for late and non-filing of the corporate tax return

If the tax return is not delivered by the deadline, the tax office will issue one reminder with a short additional deadline.

Thereafter, a penalty fine will be imposed for each day the tax return is not delivered. The same applies when there are obvious errors in the information provided in the tax return.

The maximum penalty fine is NOK 59,950 (for 2021). Criminal charges may be raised against companies or members of the board of directors etc. that willfully does not deliver the tax return.

It is further important to note that that in case of non-compliance, the tax office will normally discretionarily assess a taxable income.

Also read: Business in Norway - Avoid sanctions and penalty charges

Application for extended filing deadline

It would normally be possible to obtain an extended filing deadline to the end of June 2021. An application for extended filing deadline should be reasoned.

However, you may also discuss this issue with your advisor at Magnus Legal since we have a right to request extended deadline for a certain number of our clients.

Also read: Do the right things when doing business in Norway

Taxation Period

For companies with the ordinary financial year following the calendar year, the tax return delivered in 2021 should include income and deductions related to the calendar year 2020.

However, in certain cases, the company may utilize a financial year that deviates from the calendar year. A deviating financial year is practical for Norwegian subsidiaries or branches of foreign groups that apply a deviating financial year elsewhere.

In such case the tax return should reflect the same period as the financial accounts. Note however that a Norwegian tax year can never exceed 12 months.

The 2020 tax return, which is filed in 2021, should reflect the situation of the deviating financial year ending in 2020. For example, if the company has a financial year that runs from February 1 to January 31, then it is the income in the financial year February 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020 that should be reflected in the 2020 tax return.

Also read: VAT for foreign businesses operating in Norway: 7 frequently asked questions

Other obligations

Please keep in mind that there are various other compliance obligations in Norway you must adhere to. Important is that the 2020 financial accounts must be filed to the Registry of Accounts within end of July 2021.

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Find out more about Magnus Legal’s tax services on our webpage: Corporate tax in Norway

Article first published 16 April 2020, latest update 15 April 2021.