VAT shall be paid on the supply of all goods and services, unless they are specifically exempted from VAT liability. VAT is also charged on the withdrawal by the owner of goods and services from his own business when such goods and services are for private use or for other purposes falling outside the scope of the VAT Act.
The supply of some goods and services is zero-rated (exemptions with credit for input tax). Zero-rating applies for example to the supply of goods and services abroad, to certain ships and aircraft and for the use in offshore petroleum activities. Taxable persons with zero-rated supplies are obliged to register for VAT.
The supply of certain goods and services are exempted from VAT, for example the supply and letting of real property and rights to real property, financial services, health services, social services and educational services. A wide range of services in the cultural area are exempted. The same applies to certain services in the tourist business, like guide services. Taxable persons with only exempt supplies shall not register for VAT and do not get credit for input tax on purchases.
Foreign suppliers of electronic communications services are obliged to calculate and pay Norwegian VAT when such services are supplied to private individuals and other persons that are not engaged in business or public institutions, and who are resident in Norway. In these cases VAT shall be calculated and collected by the foreign supplier through a representative who must have his residence or his place of established business in Norway.
VAT shall be calculated and paid on the importation of goods. For the purpose of VAT liability, it is irrelevant whether a consumer or a taxable person imports the goods. VAT must also be paid on the purchase of services from abroad. Liability for VAT exists if the purchaser is a taxable person or a public institution and the service would be liable to VAT if supplied in Norway. Apart from electronic communications services, this does not apply to private consumer purchases. VAT liability applies only to those services that can be supplied from a remote location (intangible services), for example consulting services, advertising services, the hiring out of labour, legal services and various kinds of information services.
The standard rate of VAT is 25 per cent. The rate of VAT on the supply of foodstuff is 15 per cent and the rate of public transport is 8 per cent. VAT shall be calculated at 8 % on the letting of rooms in hotels, motels and tourist cabins etc., and the hiring out of camping areas, cabins, holiday flats and other recreational accommodation. The same applies to the procurement of such services.
Registration in the vat register
Foreign businesses supplying goods and services in Norway, shall register in the VAT register when their supplies or withdrawals of such goods and services exceed NOK 50 000 during a 12 months period. A written note of the business activity shall be sent to The Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities (CCRLE) or to the Tax Office. The written note shall be given by filling in the registration form, “Coordinated register notification” (Samordnet registermelding) part 1 and 2. If the business is already registered in CCRLE and has given all the necessary information to this register, only part 2 of the registration form shall be filled in.
Registration by the use of a representative
A foreign non-established business with taxable supplies in Norway, must register for VAT through a representative. When registered through the use of a representative, the foreigner gets the same rights and obligations as those that follow a normal VAT registration.
The only requirement the representative must satisfy is that he or his business is resident in Norway. Both the foreign business and the representative shall sign the registration form.
The foreign business must keep a complete account for its taxable activity in Norway. The representative shall keep a separate complete account for the supplies in Norway (purchases and supplies) by the foreign business.
The invoices for the foreign business’ supplies in Norway shall be sent through the representative. He shall mark the invoice with his own name and address, the foreign business’ registration number (organization number) followed by the letters MVA and the VAT (output tax) for the total supplies. The invoices shall be issued in at least 3 copies, and at least one of them shall be kept by the representative.
Both the foreign business and the representative are responsible for the calculation and the payment of the VAT.
Obligations and rights as a result of registration in the vat register
A foreign business established or resident in Norway must carry out its bookkeeping according to the Norwegian Bookkeeping Act. Foreign businesses that are registered in the VAT register shall calculate and pay VAT (output tax) on their supplies of goods and services in Norway. A foreign business is entitled to deduct VAT paid on goods and services going to be used in his Norwegian business (input tax). The provisions are given in the VAT Act, section 21 (in Norwegian only). The right to deduction also includes VAT collected by the Customs authorities at the importation of goods and VAT paid on the purchase of services from abroad.
VAT-registered persons must submit returns on a bimonthly basis to the County Tax Office. The use of shorter periods may be granted if input tax regularly exceeds output tax by 25 percent or more. Taxable persons with supplies of under NOK 1 million per year may apply to submit VAT returns annually.
The VAT return must be submitted and VAT be paid one month and ten days after the end of each period, see the VAT Guide.
For additional information, please refer to the brochure titled Value Added Tax (RF-2020 E). The VAT provisions are laid down in the Act relating to Value Added Tax of 19 June 2009 no 58. Both are available on the Norwegian Tax Administration website at http://www.skatteetaten.no/
Further information can be obtained from the county tax offices.
Last changed: 11/12/2012 Print