NAV isn’t Norway’s only state agency admitting to mistakes and apologizing to the public. The head of the state tax agency (Skatteetaten) also had to admit that it’s found 17,500 cases in which NAV clients were ordered to pay back welfare benefits in full, but didn’t get refunds themselves for the taxes they’d paid on the benefits.
“We have uncovered many cases where we must adjust tax bills,” Hans Christian Holte told state broadcaster NRK. He apologized for the earlier lack of refunds, which were already being paid starting this week.
Many of the cases involved wrongful withdrawl of benefits, demands from NAV for repayment that were not justified and even wrongful criminal convictions. The lack of tax refunds amounted to salt in the wound for many of those affected by the ongoing scandal at NAV, and also hurts the tax authority’s credibility.
“We’re taking this very seriously,” Holte insisted to NRK and other Norwegian media. Refund amounts are said to mostly amount to between NOK 500 and NOK 5,000.