VALUE-ADDED TAX (VAT)
From January 1st, 1995 the tax rate is 23 %.
Value-added tax (VAT) is imposed on the turnover of goods or taxable services in a commercial activity in Norway. Any individual or legal person, such as a limited company or partnership, that conducts a taxable activity is subject to VAT. Special rules apply to certain partnerships, trading companies, corporate groups, estates of deceased persons and estates in bankruptcy. VAT is also imposed on imported goods. VAT returns are filed with the County Tax Office (Fylkesskattekontoret).
A business must register for VAT if its taxable sales exceed a certain limit. Currently, the threshold is sales of NOK 30,000 in the last 12-month period, not necessarily the calendar year. An entity registers by notifying the County Tax Office for the county in which the permanent place of business is located.
Transactions between a head office and a branch are not considered to be a turnover or exchange because the head office and branch are deemed to be the same tax entity.
Foreign enterprises supplying taxable services or selling goods in Norway are also subject to VAT. They must register for VAT and are subject to the VAT rules, including those for calculation and payment of tax. A registered foreign enterprise may claim credit for the input tax paid, such as on importation. A foreign enterprise that does not sell any taxable products or services in Norway may not deduct input VAT.
If the foreign supplier does not maintain a place of business or a registered office in Norway, registration and remittance of VAT must be done through a representative.
The special tax on investments is a one-time tax levied on the acquisition of durable items of business equipment and supplies and is payable by persons that are registered for VAT. Many special rules apply to this tax.
The normal rate of tax on investments is currently 7%. Enterprises engaged in industrial manufacturing and mining are exempt.
Stamp duty is levied on registration of documents transferring the ownership of real estate. The rate is 2.5% of the transfer price. The Ministry of Justice has indicated that registration of transfer documents is not required for mergers, and consequently no stamp duty is due for such transactions.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
For further information contact Unni Bjelland, Ernst & Young, Tel: +472 203 6000 or Fax: +472 203 6370.
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