Norway’s state tax authority (Skatteetaten) made its tax lists public again this week, displaying the taxable income and net worth of all Norwegian taxpayers plus how much tax they actually paid last year. There was less media hype, however, now that most have realized how the numbers can be deceiving.
Income figures, for example, are taxable amounts after all deductions, while net worth (formue/fortune) reflects taxable assessed values of real estate assets, for example, that are only a quarter of net market value. That means actual income and fortune figures can be much higher.
The numbers nonetheless are used as an indication, and industrialist Kjell Inge Røkke emerged as Norway’s wealthiest person with NRK 18.6 billion (USD 2 billion) in net worth but zero income. He paid a total of NOK 168.1 million in tax.
Trond Mohn, the retired industrialist and philanthropist from Bergen, was listed as having the highest income in Norway in 2018: NOK 443.2 million. He also paid the most tax of all individuals in Norway, handing over NOK 187.9 million to the state treasury in income and fortune tax.
It’s not possible any longer to anonymously snoop through the tax lists, like Norwegians could do when they were published on paper and laid out in local city halls, and later when they were widely available online. Now anyone wanting to go through the tax lists must log in and identify themselves if they want to find out how much tax, for example, their neighbours paid.