Økokrim boss ‘takes criticism seriously’

The special economic crimes unit of Norway’s state police, Økokrim, was hit by more stinging criticism this week, this time over how it handled a lengthy case of alleged tax avoidance by the world’s largest offshore rig company. The unit charged with investigating everything from fraud to corruption in Norway also faces a political fight over its […]

Court upholds property tax

The much-disputed property tax levied by Oslo’s newly elected Labour Party-led city government last year is not illegal, ruled a local court on Tuesday. The national organization representing homeowners (Huseiernes Landsforbund) had sued the city, arguing that it’s paid by far too few Oslo residents, based on their home values. The organization, which filed suit on […]

More road tolls set to cordon off Oslo

Oslo-area residents stuck in traffic while returning from the long Pinse (Whitsund) holiday weekend Monday evening were greeted by news reports that they’ll soon have to pay even more for the experience. Norway’s capital is due to be cordoned off by 55 additional toll plazas, and motorists will be charged to both enter and leave the city. It’s all part of […]

Oil Fund pumps up new tax principles

Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund, which has become a powerful investor around the world, is now launching what some call “a little revolution” in tax principles and transparency. Popularly known as the “Oil Fund,” it has released an “expectation document” that basically asks the companies in which it invests to improve their tax morals and pay more tax where […]

Elder care under constant threat

Norway’s local municipal governments (kommuner) are charged with providing elder care and nursing home services, and many like Oslo have been imposing property tax in order to shore up the funding they receive from the state. Services nonetheless continue to decline in line with cost-cutting, and both providers and taxpayers are feeling betrayed. In Oslo, […]

Mayor targeted in property tax revolt

The Labour Party’s mayor in Norway’s northern city of Bodø, Ida Pinnerød, is the target of so much anger over high local property tax bills that she went along with a stunt to let residents throw cakes at her during a handball match. The stunt was cancelled this week, however, after even more negative reaction from the public. […]

Tax return rush clogs the system

So many Norwegians were logging into the state tax office’s website on Tuesday, to check how their tax returns have already been filled out by the authorities, that part of the system broke down by mid-morning. One official compared the situation to how the tram system in Oslo gets overloaded during the annual Holmenkollen ski jumping festival. […]

Spanish seafarers demand pensions

Around 200 Spanish seafarers who sailed on board Norwegian ships and paid tax to Norway are now suing the Norwegian government for pension benefits. They believe they’re entitled to pension payments from Norway, after 30 years of failing to have their demands met. Around 12,000 Spanish seafarers have worked on board Norwegian vessels since the end of […]

Norway needs to secure welfare state

NEWS ANALYSIS: Few countries are as financially fit to secure social welfare systems as Norway, which has spent the past 20 years stashing away its oil wealth for future generations. Most of that money, though, is meant to preserve pensions, so the government now needs to keep its social welfare state intact as well, amidst debate […]

Labour avoids its own property tax

The Norwegian Labour Party has found a way to avoid paying the property tax that the Labour-led Oslo city government has imposed on all other owners of property in Oslo worth more than NOK 4 million. Labour’s headquarters building in the Norwegian capital is under historic preservation orders, and Labour leaders in Oslo proposed and passed a measure in December […]