In what’s long been a rite of spring, the Norwegian tax authority Skatteetaten released the bulk of its tax returns for 2012 on Tuesday to 3.9 million workers, retirees and small business owners in Norway. Along with them came the annual warnings that taxpayers still need to monitor their returns, even though they’re largely filled out in advance.
Tax authorities in Norway already have the information filed by employers, banks, state welfare agency NAV, day care centers and a host of other institutions that play a role in the average Norwegian’s financial affairs. Figures like how much an employee has earned, the taxable interest a bank may have paid out, bank balances and how much deductible interest a borrower has paid already appear on the tax returns known as a selvangivelse (literally, “to give of your yourself”).
The amounts should be double-checked, however, and taxpayers are also legally bound to add other sources of income or deductions that may not be automatically recorded. Around two-thirds of all Norwegian taxpayers receive a refund, while the rest owe additional tax.
Signed tax forms must be sent back to the tax authorities by April 30, along with any extra taxes due. Refunds start being paid back in June for those who have filed electronically, and from August 7 for those filing on paper. Small business owners don’t receive their refunds until the autumn.