Taxation during stays abroad
Look into how your stay abroad will affect your taxes, both in Norway and abroad. Make sure to obtain all necessary documentation prior to your departure/return.
- Your tax liability depends on the country you stay in, what work you perform there, the duration of your stay, etc.
- Norway has entered tax agreements (regjeringen.no) with a number of countries in order to prevent double taxation.
- You usually pay tax to the country from which you receive your salary.
- For France, Italy and some other countries, agreements mean that you continue to pay taxes to Norway even if you are paid by a foreign educational/research institution.
- For the USA, a special tax agreement may make you fully tax-exempt.
Tax agreement with the USA
- Based on article 15 of the tax agreement with the USA (regjeringen.no), a tax exemption may be granted for stays in the USA of up to two years.
- The application for tax exemption should be submitted to the tax office before departure.
- The most important criterion for the tax exemption is that you have been invited. The invitation should be of an official nature and must be made prior to departure. The invitation must specify that it is for teaching or research, and not, for example, for a stay as a 'privileged student'. The invitation should also include some obligations on the part of those who extend it. Doctoral students will normally meet the stipulated requirements, but are occasionally only granted a partial tax exemption (pursuant to article 16).
- The Ministry of Finance states that the following issues shall also be included in the assessment:
- Was the invitation made at an early stage in the process and before the research stay started, or was the invitation obtained after arrival?
- To what extent does the invitation describe the specific, delimited research project that is to be carried out, and which benefits or privileges is the researcher being afforded?
- To what extent is collaboration with the resources that the university offers necessary to the work being performed? Will the individual participate in a research team, for example?
- To what extent will the individual perform independent work, for example with regard to collecting research material and processing this?
- The academic qualification of the individual in relation to the work to be performed.
- Has the individual received a research grant or similar related to the work to be performed?
- Subsequent research results.
- If you are granted an exemption, you will receive a new tax card with a lower tax rate. The tax rate is not zero, as you still have to pay a 7.8 per cent national insurance contribution. Furthermore, the tax card applies to the full year, so the tax rate is set in relation to the share of the income that is tax exempt.
The right to deductions
If no tax agreements have been entered with the country in which the income is taxed, you can make deductions to your Norwegian tax return for the final assessed tax paid abroad. You must be resident in Norway for tax purposes. Read more about avoiding double taxation (pdf) (skatteetaten.no) (Norwegian), see from page 1394.
Research grants are taxable. Grants that are awarded in connection with a job are always considered taxable income. However, deductions can be made for expenses incurred to cover the purpose of the grant (extra expenses during the stay). You must document the extra expenses.
Other income taxable in Norway
- Your gross pay for the period of the year that you lived in Norway will be taxed. You are entitled to all deductions for that period. Read more about special rules for persons who are resident in Norway for tax purposes for part of the year (skatteetaten.no).
- You may be liable to pay tax in Norway for certain types of income earned abroad if you are resident in Norway for tax purposes. Your tax rate may be lowered for work-related stays abroad that last for at least 12 months.
- If you are tax resident in Norway at the turn of the year, you are liable to pay tax to Norway on your worldwide net wealth. If your general tax liability to Norway ceases before the end of the year, you will only be liable to pay tax on real property in Norway.
- If you have free accommodation abroad, the value of the rent-free accommodation may also be liable to taxation in Norway.
- Read more about taxable capital abroad (skatteetaten.no).
- Contact your local tax Office (skatteetaten.no) about any questions you have and for advice about how your stay abroad will affect your tax situation.
- The Association for Taxpayers (Skattebetalerforeningen) (skatt.no) (Norwegian) provides independent advice and assistance about tax issues.
- The host institution will often be able to provide advice on tax issues.