The fiscal year for individuals equals the calendar year (i.e. January thru December).
Individuals will receive a pre-drafted tax return from the tax authorities to be controlled, corrected, and filed by 30 April of the consecutive year after the year of assessment. Extensions may be granted by the tax authorities.
In cases where no amendments of the pre-drafted tax return needs to be made, filing is not required since the tax authorities will consider the pre-drafted tax return as accepted by the individual, and the tax assessment will be based on the information in the pre-drafted tax return.
Payment of tax
Individuals taxable in Norway are obligated to pay tax in advance during the income year. This applies to employees as well as self-employed persons. The employer must, without prior request, withhold taxes in advance. This also applies to foreign employers with employees resident in Norway. An employer is defined as the person who oneself or through an authorised person pays the wages or other remuneration subject to the obligation to withhold taxes in advance. In case of hiring out of labour, both the contractor and subcontractor are responsible for fulfilment of this obligation.
The withholding is based on tax deduction cards issued by the local Assessment Office. If a tax deduction card has not been provided to the employer, the employer must withhold 50% of gross payments.
Advance tax paid by individuals as regards income not subject to withholding must be affected in four equal instalments during the income year, on 15 March, 15 May, 15 September, and 15 November. If the advance tax is not paid when due, an interest charge is imposed on the taxpayer.
When the assessed tax is higher than the withholding or advance tax, the difference is payable by the taxpayer in two equal instalments 3 and 12 weeks after the date on which the assessment has been made public. Interest is charged on the amount equal to the instructive interest determined by the Norwegian National Bank less 24%. The taxpayer may avoid interest by making additional payments before 31 May in the assessment year. If the prepayments are greater than the assessed tax, the difference plus interest is refunded to the taxpayer.
Tax audit process
The assessment provided by the tax authorities is based on information given by the taxpayer in the annual tax return (with supporting schedules) and other available information (e.g. reports from employers). If the assessment authorities find the information given by the taxpayer incomplete or incorrect, they may alter, add, or delete amounts. They may always alter estimates given by the taxpayer.
In certain cases, the taxable income and capital will be estimated by the assessment authorities at their discretion. This applies when the information given by the taxpayer is not considered to constitute a proper basis for the assessment and when the taxpayer has not filed a tax return or given other requested information.
The assessment will normally be finalised between June and October in the assessment year, depending on the nature of the taxpayer's income. A notice of assessment is sent to the taxpayer.
Statute of limitations
Tax assessments older than ten years are final and cannot be altered or rectified. However, shorter statutes of limitations (one to three years) do apply in the majority of cases.
Topics of focus for tax authorities
Topics of focus for the tax authorities include undeclared labour, unreported foreign wealth, and tax avoidance in general, with a special focus on unreported wealth abroad and foreign employment income.