If you’re selling digital services and products to customers in Norway, then you might be liable for the country’s Value-Added Tax (VAT). This guide covers two very important parts of the system:
- Registering for the tax, and then
- Filing tax returns on time.
We’ve scoured the Norwegian Tax Administration’s (a.k.a. Skatteetaten) website to provide you with all the necessary information about VAT for international businesses in one place.
How to register for VAT in Norway
Norway lets you register online! The system is available in English, but there are quite a few steps to actually log in. Let’s get started.
Remote sellers can register for Norway Simplified VAT through an online portal called Altinn. Pretty much everything you do will take place in Altinn.
The first step is to create yourself a user account. You must complete this step before you can register a business. Make sure to click ‘Create a new user’. The process is very short, and you’ll receive a confirmation email with your username.
Next you need to register your business in the VAT On E-Commerce (VOEC) scheme. (Here, “e-commerce” includes electronic services and ‘low-value’ goods.) For an overview of the process, you can click here, or follow along in this post. We’ll provide extra tips and insight. :)
1. Go to the Simplified VAT scheme for e-commerce login page.
2. Click ‘Start service’ and then a list of options will appear. Go to the bottom and click ‘Proceed to Alternative Log-In Methods’.
3. You’ll be sent to a login page for Norwegian businesses. Look just below that section and click ‘Log in without national identity number/D-number’.
4. Finally you’ll arrive at the VOEC login page, where you enter the Altinn username and password you set at the very beginning. Once in, you’ll access the form RF-1291. This is your registration application!
5. Provide all the requested information about your business, including your business’ registered tax number in your home country. Then digitally sign and submit!
In 2-3 working days, you'll receive a confirmation email from firstname.lastname@example.org. This will include your VOEC number, unique identifier they’ll use to identify you in the system. You’ll also use this as a payment reference number whenever you file and pay VAT! More on this later.
(Alternatively, it’s possible they’ll ask you some more questions to clarify whether you should indeed be in the simplified registration scheme, as opposed to a more traditional system for different kinds of business. In that case, you’ll be communicating directly with the tax administration, and they will help you through it!)
Note: If you ever need to change your tax registration in Norway, you can do that through the same process outlined above. The Altinn portal gives you the option to change your registration.
How to file VAT returns in Norway
You must report in Norwegian Krone (NOK). If you need to convert any currency, it doesn’t hurt to check out the European Central Bank’s official foreign exchange reference rates.
When to file and pay
As a foreign business selling online, you must file and pay every quarter. From the last day of each quarter, you have 20 days to file and pay. So the deadlines are as follows:
- 20 April, for first quarter ending 31 March
- 20 July, for second quarter ending 30 June
- 20 October, for third quarter ending 30 September
- 20 January, for fourth quarter ending 31 December
Note: You must still file every quarter even if you made no sales in Norway! This is called a “Nil declaration” and it follows the exact same process as a normal return. (Just a little less data entry 😉)
How to file
Before you get started, you should collect all the information about your taxable sales in Norway during the previous quarter. The tax website suggests having these pieces ready:
- Your company's VOEC identification number
- Total revenue during the period
You can file online, but as with the registration process above, you have to hop through three different “login pages” to actually log into your Altinn account and start the process. Phew!
1. Go to the VOEC VAT Return page and click ‘Start service’.
2. On the first login page, again scroll to the bottom of the list and click ‘Proceed to alternative log-in methods’
3. On the second login page, again scroll below and click ‘Log in without national identity number/D-number’.
4. Finally! The VOEC login page. Use your Altinn account info to get in, and there you’ll find form RF-1292. This is your quarterly VAT return!
5. Enter all the requested information. The form will automatically fill in the VAT fields calculated at 25%. Then double-check everything, sign, and submit!
At the end, you’ll see a confirmation page. It will contain all the information you need: the amount of VAT you owe, the payment deadline, and the bank account to transfer to. You’ll receive a copy of this page by email, but you can also download as a PDF and print for your records.
How to pay
As you’ve seen just above, you must pay in NOK, too! And payment is pretty straightforward. Just make a bank transfer to the information listed on the confirmation page.
Important: Make sure you enter your VOEC identification number as the payment reference number in the reference field every time you make a payment. This guarantees your money is counted!
What to do in between registering and filing?
Well, you must comply with all the rules for Norwegian VAT! That means charging 25% VAT at the point of sale or, if you sell physical goods online, complying with specific import laws — among other things.
For further reading that will help you stay compliant and successful as a remote seller, check out our Norway VAT Guide for Businesses.