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paye tax scheme in Norway
Inger Lise Løvneseth - Partner2. February 2023 4 min read

PAYE tax scheme in Norway

As a foreign worker in Norway, you are liable to pay tax to Norwegian tax authorities. Doing this correctly can be overwhelming. Luckily, there is a shortened method available. PAYE (Pay As You Earn) is a simplified tax scheme for foreign workers in Norway. Most foreign workers fall under this scheme during their first year in Norway.

About the PAYE scheme

Your income from employment is taxed at a rate of 25 percent. The rate includes national insurance contributions at 7,9 percent. Your employer deducts the tax directly from your salary and the deducted tax is the final payable tax. The 25 percent deduction is made from your gross earnings. It is not possible to claim any deductions under this scheme. There is no obligation to file a tax return, and no tax settlement will be issued by the tax administration.  You will receive a statement from the tax administration confirming tax paid for documentation purpose. 

Also read: A brief guide to your Norwegian tax return

Who can choose to join the PAYE scheme

The scheme is meant for foreign employees who work in Norway for short periods of time, and who are not tax residents in Norway. The scheme applies to most foreign workers the year in which they become tax residents in Norway. Persons living abroad and receive director’s fee or similar from a Norwegian company also fall under the PAYE scheme.

You cannot join the PAYE scheme if your annual income exceeds the limit set out in the bracket taxstep 3 (equal to NOK 642,950 for the income year 2023 and NOK 670,000 for the income year 2024).

You cannot join the PAYE scheme if you have taxable income from:

  • The Norwegian continental shelf
  • Norwegian (NOR/NIS) ships abroad
  • Real property or moveable property in Norway
  • The Norwegian State
  • Business in Norway
  • Benefits from NAV

Also read: Annual wage report in Norway

How to join the PAYE tax scheme

All foreigners working in Norway must have a tax deduction card. If you meet the criteria, you will join the scheme automatically when you apply for a tax deduction card.

Married couples can choose different tax regimes. If only one of you qualify for the PAYE scheme you can choose to sort under different schemes, you do not have to choose the same tax rules.

If you change your mind during the tax year and do not want to be taxed under the PAYE scheme but rather prefer the general tax rules, you can opt out of the scheme by changing your tax card at any time during the tax year.

If you have chosen to be taxed under the general tax rules, you cannot re-join the PAYE scheme for the ongoing income year. The following tax year you can re-join the scheme if you meet the criteria.

Get help with your tax return to Norway

Taxable income under the scheme 

  • Gross wages
  • Bonus
  • Holiday pay
  • Any other taxable benefits
  • Any travel, meals, per diem, housing covered by the employer

If the sum of the income listed above exceeds the limit set out in the bracket tax step 3 (equal to NOK 670,000 for the income year 2023), you will be taxed under the general tax rules.

If you are not sure how much you will earn during the tax year, you can start with PAYE and then, if necessary, opt out later in the income year. If you earn more than the income limit, the entire income will be taxed under the general tax rules.

Exemption from paying national insurance contributions

If you have full or partial exemption from paying Norwegian National Insurance (NI), the PAYE tax rate should be reduced accordingly. You can get a tax deduction card with a reduced rate if you show documentation to the tax office proving you are a member of a foreign insurance scheme. For instance, you can use form A1 issued by the authorities in your home country and approved by the Norwegian NI office, showing that you are a member of an insurance scheme in another EEA state. Please be aware that employees resident in an EU/EEA country do not have to send the A1 form to NAV. Starting from July 2023 the EU/EEA countries exchange information directly between the authorities in the respective countries.

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

Tax resident during the income year

If you become a tax resident during the year, you can stay in the PAYE scheme for the remainder of the income year. However, you must bear in mind that the income limit of NOK 670,000 includes worldwide income from employment and capital gains such as interest income and income from letting property. If capital gains income increase NOK 10,000 you must be taxed under the general tax rules.

Visit our website to find out how we can assist with your tax return to Norway

Change from PAYE to general tax rules after ended tax year

If it turns out that you will be better off paying tax under the general tax rules, you can apply for a refund by submitting a request for amendment. You can claim a refund for up to 3 years after the income year when the tax was assessed under the PAYE scheme. If you have been taxed under the general tax rules, you cannot opt to PAYE.

Get help with your tax return to Norway

Article first published 17 January 2019, latest update February 2024.

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Inger Lise Løvneseth - Partner

Inger Lise works with international tax law and accounting. She is a qualified accountant and authorized legal practitioner. Her specialty is international personal taxation and tax for foreign and international companies. She has solid expertise in advising Norwegian and foreign companies about the movement of labour across borders, VAT representation and optimization of international tax matters for individuals and companies. Inger Lise has worked with international taxation since 1995, including for the Central Office for Foreign Affairs. Inger Lise was general manager and senior tax consultant in Advanced Solutions from June 2005 and until she joined Magnus Legal in January 2015. In 2021 Inger Lise was successfully chosen as International Tax Law award winner in Norway, by IAE group (International Advisory Experts).

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