Foreign enterprises that direct their business towards the Norwegian market will at some point face Norwegian VAT regulations and must know how to act. Learning the basics of Norwegian VAT regulations enables you to get the VAT deductions you are entitled to and can also help you to avoid expensive mistakes.
Businesses that acquire goods and services in Norway, will be charged with Norwegian VAT to the same extent as Norwegian businesses. As foreign businesses are not VAT registered in Norway, they are unable to have the VAT repaid over the regular bimonthly VAT returns. Instead, they can apply for a VAT refund to the Norwegian tax authorities.
Do you have employees who performed work in Norway in 2018? Don’t forget the annual wage report.
From 2019, a new and simplified tax scheme is available for foreign workers in Norway. The scheme is called PAYE (Pay As You Earn). Most foreign workers will fall under this scheme the first year they work in Norway.
Non-Norwegian enterprises doing business in Norway will find that the basic Norwegian compliance obligations are rather burdensome, and failure to comply commonly results in severe sanctions. As always, it is better to do the right things from the beginning than to tidy up afterwards.
The basic rule is that all Norwegian companies and foreign enterprises conducting business activities in Norway are subject to Norwegian corporate tax.
Anyone that conduct business activities in Norway is liable to register the company with the Norwegian authorities. This also applies even though the activities are not performed by the company itself, i.e. if the entire assignment is contracted out to subcontracts.
In many cases it is difficult to establish whether a foreign company must register for VAT in Norway. Is there a sufficiently strong connection between your business and Norway to trigger registration obligations?
Foreign businesses with activities in Norway are required to report their assignments and employees to Norwegian tax authorities. The report is filed to the Central Office – Foreign Tax Affairs (COFTA) through an online portal, or by completing and submitting a paper form named RF-1199 for reporting of contract and RF-1198 for reporting of employees.
The Norwegian Tax Administration performs identity controls of foreign employees in Norway. This means that all foreigners working onshore in Norway are required to meet at a tax office to verify their identity.