Tax season shifts into high gear

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Norwegian tax authorities started sending out the annual tax returns known as the selvangivelse this week. That literally translates “to give of yourself,” but as it turns out, around 2.3 million taxpayers stand to get something back this year.

Preliminary calculations by the state tax agency Skatteetaten show that individual taxpayers are owed NOK 25 billion in refunds for the 2009 tax year. That boils down to an average NOK 10,800 (USD 1,800) per person.

Another 850,000 taxpayers will have to send more tax money to state coffers, an estimated NOK 12.5 billion all together. Many of those owing more tax failed to boost the amount deducted from their paychecks to compensate for the lower interest rates that mean lower mortgage deductions.

In Norway, the tax forms arriving in mailboxes are already filled out, because state law requires employers, banks, brokerages and all others dealing in taxable transactions to report tax-relevant amounts as of December 31 in advance. Taxpayers must still check over and approve their tax returns before sending them back or merely accepting them electronically via a text message.

Around 2 million Norwegians opted for the simple solution last year. Others still need to spend some time going over their forms, adding income or deductions not already picked up, or altering figures on the forms already. The tax returns are due by April 30, while sole proprietors can file electronically until May 31. 

Views and News staff