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Banks & Taxes in Norway
A Comprehensive Guide About Opening a Bank Account and Managing Your Taxes
Part of managing finances in Norway is opening a bank account. You can do this with either a Norwegian National Identity Number or a D-number. As a non-resident you can only open a savings account in the country. You will also need to learn the tax system. As someone new to Norway, you will be eligible for a 10% expat deduction on gross income for the first two assessments.
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Figuring out the bank account and tax system in Norway is an important part of your relocation to the Nordic country. When you open a new account, you will typically receive a debit card right away and receive your pin in the mail. However, to apply for a credit card in Norway, you will usually need to wait at least a year after your move. This is because you may require at least one tax return to apply.
Speaking of which, you will also need to become familiar with the country’s tax system. Taxes in Norway include income, wealth, property and, value-added tax (VAT).
How to Open a Bank Account in Norway
This section will explain how to open a bank account in Norway for non-residents. First, you may be asking yourself “Can I open a bank account in Norway?” The answer is yes, but it can only be a savings account if you are a non-resident. The following is a list of requirements and required documents to open a bank account as a non-resident:
- Norwegian National Identity Number (issued to those staying or working in the country for more than six months) OR
- D-number (issued to those staying less than six months)
- passport-sized photo
- employment contract
- lease / rental contract
- in some cases, letter of recommendation from your bank in your home country
You may also need to provide just reason as to why you need a bank account and what you plan on using it for.
If you are a foreign investor, you can only open a savings account. You must be either an EU citizen or a national of South Africa, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Switzerland, New Zealand, or Singapore. The minimum deposit is 100,000 EUR in NOK.
If you want to open a bank account before arriving in Norway, you can do so, but it can only be a savings account. Be advised that a large deposit will be required. An example is DNB Bank: they expect a minimum deposit equal to 1,000,000 NOK (109,405 USD). Otherwise, it is best to wait until you are actually in Norway and can present a Norwegian residential address.
For setting up a Norwegian bank account in person, you will need to make an appointment with the branch. If you require a D-number, bear in mind that it can take up to two weeks to arrive so plan accordingly. Some banks can also order a D-number for you as part of their account opening process. Students should apply for a D-number. If you require a Norwegian National Identity Number, these are issued at the local tax assessment office. A debit card will be issued to you on the same day you open your account. You will need to wait for your PIN to arrive in the mail.
Banks in Norway offer bank deposit insurance covering up to a maximum of 2,000,000 NOK (218,510 USD) should this be something of interest.
Open a Bank Account Online in Norway as a Non-Resident
You can also open a bank account online. You will need a Bank ID which you can get by presenting your passport and D-Number / National Identity Number to your chosen bank. Once you are issued your Bank ID you will be able to open your account online.
Best Banks in Norway
Norway has a strong and stable banking system that performs particularly well. There are more than 100 banks to choose from in the country. You will find commercial/retail, savings, and foreign banks in the country. Banks operate Mondays to Fridays between 8:30 to 15:30 (hours may vary). Top banks in the Nordic country are the following:
This is the country’s most popular bank. There are 18 branches and 47 ATMs found around Norway. They offer savings and business accounts. If you are an Anglophone, this bank offers an English language website. They also make it quite easy to open a bank account online if you have your Bank ID.
This is Norway’s second largest and second most popular institution. It has 240 branches and 233 ATMs across Norway. They offer current, children, youth, and savings accounts plus mobile banking options. This institution offers an English website.
This bank has 35 branches across the country, each with an ATM. They offer current, student, and business accounts.
Other popular banks in the country include Vekselbanken and Danske Bank Norway, which is an international bank. Danske has been operating in Norway since the early 1900s and has 36 branches and 73 ATMs across the country. Available accounts include student and savings accounts.
Other international banks in Norway include:
- BNP Paribas Norway;
- Swedbank Norway;
- Handelsbanken Norway.
The best online banks in Norway are:
- Skandia Bank;
- Bank Norwegian;
You can only apply for a credit card after a year of living in Norway. You will need:
- tax returns;
- full-time job;
- proof that you are paying household bills on time.
Except for student and children accounts, all banks in Norway have an annual VISA card fee:
- DNB—275 NOK (30 USD) (0 for Mastercard accounts)
- Nordea—300 NOK (33 USD)
- Dankse Bank—300 NOK (33 USD)
- Sparebanken—275 NOK (30 USD) and 200 NOK (22 USD) for Visa Electron
Other fees include ATM fees. Unless you are a student or a child, you can be charged anywhere between 7 to 10 NOK (approximately 1 USD) when you withdraw from an ATM other than your bank’s. Sparebanken charges 3 NOK (less than 1 USD) for ATM withdrawals or 10 NOK (1 USD) if withdrawing from a rival. DNB will charge you 10 NOK (1 USD) at any ATM or 40 NOK (4 USD) plus 1% with a Mastercard.
Standard bank accounts are no-fee bank accounts (meaning, no monthly fees are incurred) unless you have a reward account with benefits like travel insurance or airport lounge access.
Transferring money abroad will also cost you a fee. Rates can range anywhere between 0.5 to 2.25%. Additional fees may apply (20–30 NOK (2–3 USD)).
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What is the Tax System in Norway?
What is the tax system like in Norway? The tax system in Norway is a dual income tax: income from labor and pensions are taxed at progressive rates while capital income is taxed at a flat rate. The tax system funds Norway’s public welfare.
Everyone should have a tax deduction card that you can get at your local tax office. All employees (including foreigners) in Norway have to file a tax return, which is due annually on April 30. It is possible to obtain an extension of up to one month. The end of the tax year is December 31. All tax returns should be filed electronically. You can make changes to a submission up to three years following the deadline. If you disagree with a tax assessment, you can appeal to the tax office.
People moving to Norway are entitled to an expat deduction of 10% on gross income for the first two assessments. This deduction is limited to 40,000 NOK (4,365 USD). The two-year limitation does not apply to non-residents. If the taxpayer does not opt for this standard deduction, they can claim the following deductions:
- interest on debt
- travel expenses to and from working place in Norway
- extra expenses for lodging and food incurred when working away from home (documentation of expenses is required)
- parent deduction (expenses for childcare while parents are working)
- losses when selling shares or other financial instruments
Most new foreign workers in Norway will fall under the new PAYE (Pay As You Earn) scheme for the first year that they work in the country. Essentially your employment income is taxed at a rate of 25% (16.8% if you are not part of the social security scheme). Tax is taken directly from your salary and you do not need to claim deductions. You also do not need to submit a return nor wait for an assessment. This scheme is meant for workers who work in the country for short periods of time and are not tax residents in Norway. However, the scheme also applies for the first year they become tax residents in the country.
The types of taxes in Norway that you may be liable to pay are income (22%), wealth (.85%), property (2–7%), and VAT (25%). Income and wealth you are liable to pay both in Norway and abroad. They are direct taxes while VAT is an indirect tax. Other consumption taxes for services include:
- train (12%);
- airplane (12%);
- taxi (12%);
- rental car (25%);
- hotel, boarding house, and rent (12%);
- purchasing food (e.g., grocery store, take-away) (15%);
- purchasing food in a restaurant (25%).
You are liable to pay income tax on things like salary, income from letting property and income from shares. Tax is calculated on general income and the amount you pay depends on what your income is. Usually, the more income you earn, the more tax you will need to pay.
Wealth tax is paid to the municipality (0.7%) and to the state (0.15%). Wealth could be bank deposits, shares, cars, and property.
Property tax is optional and decided by each municipality. Currently, it is capped at 7% but this will change to 5% at the start of 2020.
You are considered a resident in Norway for tax purposes if you stay in Norway for more than 183 days during a twelve-month period. As a tax resident, you are taxed on your worldwide income. The good news is that Norway has double taxation treaties with several countries so you are not responsible for paying taxes twice. It best to hire professional services to help you navigate the tricky tax system and avoid any mistakes.
What is the Income Tax in Norway?
Tax on salary in Norway is as follows:
|Tax Bracket (NOK)||(USD)||Average Income Tax Percentage|
Taxes for Self-Employed People in Norway
Self-employed people in the Nordic country must submit a tax return electronically. The deadline is May 31. You can apply for an extension and you must do so by the same date. To determine whether you will be regarded as self-employed in this country, you must consider if your business:
- is operated at your own expense and risk;
- has a certain scope;
- is likely to generate profit over time;
- is aimed at having a particular duration.
You may be liable to pay taxes if you:
- sell goods over the internet;
- do blogging and social media;
- work as an Uber driver; as an Airbnb host; or for Nabobil.
Some of the deductions you may be entitled to for your business may include:
- use of a vehicle for commercial purposes;
- office expenses;
- purchases of assets (equipment, etc.);
- start-up expenses;
- expenses for electronic communication for business purposes (landline, mobile, telephone, IP telephone, broadband, and wireless networks);
- pension expense.
The Norwegian Tax Administration offers free courses nationwide for entrepreneurs who have started businesses. Some courses are in English.
Whether you are a worker or self-employed, it is recommended you hire an accountant who has experience working with expats, or a destination services provider such as InterNations GO!. With our Settling-In Services, we can assist you in registering with the local tax authorities. If you are having trouble finding someone to help you with your taxes, we can arrange the professional services of accountants and financial advisors who speak your language. Get in touch to learn more.
Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!