Income Tax in Norway 2020

Norwegian money. A hundred krone note from Norway

Find out how much tax you can expect to pay from your salary this year in Norway.

If there’s one topic that always kick-starts a debate here on Life in Norway and on all our social media channels, it’s Norwegian tax.

Many people contact me asking how much tax they should be paying. Without knowing their salary and a bunch of other personal information, it’s a difficult question to answer.

That’s because like many other countries, Norway operates a progressive system for income tax. That means the more you earn, the more tax you pay on a percentage basis. However, it's possible to work out your expected tax bill by doing a few calculations. There's plenty of online calculators to help you along the way, too.

How Norwegian income tax works

Income tax is deducted by the employer on behalf of the Norwegian state. The tax-year runs January-December and your estimated annual tax bill is worked out at the beginning of the year.

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From this, the monthly deductions are calculated. If you pay too much or little, the difference is settled on the personal tax return the following year.

Norwegian krone tax rebate

If you know you’ll be earning more or less than estimated during the year, you are able to make changes to these figures. This helps prevent a big tax bill at tax return time.

Income tax is split into various elements, and the basis for these taxes is different. To fully understand your situation, you need to calculate these two figures:

Personal income: Your total income.

Tax basis: This basis for taxation is your personal income minus any deductions that you are entitled to. These vary. However, everyone receives a standard deduction (minstefradrag) equal to 45% of your gross employment income, up to a maximum of 104,450kr. Most employees also receive a personal deduction (personfradrag), which is 51,300kr for most people. Remember, these so-called deductions are simply a way of working out your taxable income.

Income tax rates in Norway in 2020

Income tax is split into a base rate and a step tax, to allow for progressive taxation.

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The base rate (fellesskatt) of income tax in Norway is 22%. Those who live in Finnmark or Nord-Troms will pay 18.5%. There is a then a so-called step tax (trinnskatt), sometimes called bracket tax. This is a progressive tax rate based on four levels, as follows.

For the first 180,800kr of your personal income, you will not pay any step tax. 1.9% step tax is owed on your personal income between 180,000kr and 254,500kr. Then, there is a 4.2% step tax for income between 254,500kr and 639,750kr. Over and above this amount, the step tax increases significantly.

You will pay 13.2% step tax on income between 639,750kr and 999,50kr. For this living in Finnmark and Nord-Troms, this level of step tax is reduced to 11.2%. For all income above this amount, a 16.2% step tax is charged.

Norwegian krone coins

Social security payments in Norway

One of the reasons income tax is often perceived as high is that social security or national insurance payments are taken from wages at the same time as income tax. In Norwegian, this is known as trygdeavgiften. Most employees see one big deduction on their payslip, but this deduction covers both taxes.

Read more: Get a credit check in Norway

As with step tax, national insurance contributions are calculated on your personal income. That’s your gross income before any deductions. Most people pay 8.2% contributions on their personal income.

How much income tax will I pay in Norway in 2020?

As I said before, the final amount you pay will be determined by many factors based on your personal circumstances. However, you have all the information you need on this page to get a rough estimate. Let’s look at some examples.

Firstly, let’s take a salary of 450,000kr. Assuming just the standard deductions, the breakdown is as follows:

Personal income: 450,000kr

Tax basis: 450,000 – 104,450 – 51,300 = 294,250

Base rate: 22% of 294,250 = 64,735

Step tax level 1: 1.9% of personal income (254,500 – 180,000) = 1,415.50

Step tax level 2: 4.2% of personal income (450,000 – 254,500) = 8,211

National insurance: 8.2% = 36,900

Total annual salary deductions: 111,261.50. That amounts to a total 24.7% over the course of the year. But you'll see a bigger percentage deduction on your payslip most months, because of the 10.5 month system Norway uses to collect income taxes. You'll likely see a 28% deduction on most month's payslip at this rate. Read the section below to understand why.

Norwegian paper money

Here's another example on a higher salary of 700,000kr. This would result in a total tax payment of 202,669kr over the course of a year. That's about 29% over the course of a year, although you'll see a 33% deduction on most of your payslips.

A final example for those lucky enough to earn one million kroner. This would result in a total tax liability of 332,882kr. That's 33.3% over the year, with a 38% deduction on most payslips. Let's look at why you get a higher deduction on payslips.

Monthly tax payments in Norway

It’s relatively straightforward to calculate a rough estimate of your annual tax liability in Norway. However, that doesn’t mean your monthly tax liability will be 1/12 of that amount. Norway uses a 10.5 month system of taxation, rather than a 12 month one.

You pay half the normal monthly tax in December and zero tax in June. In fact, most employees don't receive normal salary in June. That month is when you receive the holiday pay accrued from the year before. That payment is not taxed, so typically you'll receive a higher monthly payment in June.

Holiday pay is a complex topic and outside the scope of this article. However, I will return to tackle the topic soon, as it's an area of Norwegian life that quickly confuses newcomers!

What if I'm paying too much tax?

At the beginning of every year, the tax authorities give a ‘tax card' to your employer to let them know how much to deduct each month. This code is based on your previous year's income. At the time of publishing this article, 2020 tax cards are available.

If you believe you're paying too much tax, you have two options. Firstly, you can log on to the Skatteetaten website and request a new tax card. You're able to see your expected annual income, expected yearly tax liability, plus how much you have paid to date. You're able to adjust your expected annual income so that your employer receives a correct tax card.

Alternatively, you can just wait! If you have indeed paid too much tax during the course of a year, you'll receive a rebate through the following year's tax return process.

The new Norwegian thousand krone note

An important note

Please understand, I am not a qualified accountant. This means I will not be able to answer any questions pertaining to your tax situation! I've simply written this article based on published facts and figures from Norway's tax authorities.

As your own personal tax rate, there are many other factors that could impact the final amount. Things such as whether you own a house or not, your level of pension contributions, and a whole range of other factors can all make a difference.

That being said, I hope this article helps you to understand the tax system a little better.

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About the Author: David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.


  1. I see insurance rate is 8.2%. Would that cover all health needs or just medical? Even if it was just basic health insurance sounds like an equitable program to me.

  2. Thought 450k as an average salary sounded a bit low. According to SSB, average monthly salary is 44 160 NOK, which works out to 530k/year.

  3. Can you please give an idea that how the tax basis “Tax basis: 450,000 – 104,450 – 51,300 = 294,200” came out for the Personal income: 450,000kr. I mean what are these numbers 104,450 and 51,300 and how to interpret. Thanks!

        1. Thanks for the great works you being doing. Am a Nigerian I got plan of moving to Norway and I just want to know how much one has to have to sustain himself for 6 months In Norway. And I want to know if there is any safe area with regard to natural disaster in Norway?

  4. Is it possible for you to just put a calculator to caculate tax based on the monthy/yearly salary ?
    Thanks for the nice article.

  5. Hi David,

    can you tell me what to do to get back my 10% foreign basic tax refund I was entitled to in previous 2years, 2017 and 2018… where can one claim that, or see if one has received it under what section? What is it the proper term for it and what is it exactly called.

    1. There is no such refund. There is a 10% deduction, but that is exactly that – a deduction from your total income on which your tax is based. But it replaces other deductions. I do not know if you can resubmit a tax return for previous years – you will have to contact the tax office about that.

  6. Hi! Peculiar one but as a Brit in Norway with a not so clued up Norwegian partner, I was hoping you could answer a question for me.

    On backdated payments, IE stuff you were supposed to be paid but was not, there is a 44% tax for that sum if it is X months old, or older. I remember being explained it previously but I can not remember the age in which these payments stop being taxed this high and start getting taxed at current tax card.


  7. Even Norwegians will retire at some point. Is retirement income taxed? If so, at what effective rate?

  8. Hello David,
    I have a friend who work in Norway 3 weeks ago he was detained from going home because he ows taxes and they requested a tax credit certificate grom him. He was on a contract. His account is frozen right now. I will appreciate any advice at this time. Thanks

  9. Hi! Can you please advise which would be the tax treatment for a second (full time) and a third (part time-on call) job. I mention that my first job is also part time – on call. Thank you!

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