In Norway, VAT (or ‘Merverdiavgift’) was introduced in 1970. Norway’s VAT has been a local system for the past 40 years after Norway chose not to join the European Community in 1972.
For foreign companies making taxable supplies in Norway, there may be a statutory obligation to register for VAT. This includes the ongoing compliance requirements to file periodic tax returns and pay over any VAT due to the Norwegian tax office.
There is an annual VAT registration threshold of NOK 50,000 (approx EUR 6,000), based on current turnover. It is not compulsory to register if your annual sales turnover is below this amount.
Many companies below this level, however, elect for a voluntary VAT registration. This enables them to claim back any Norwegian VAT incurred during the supply of the goods or services. For example, VAT on the import of goods, or local sub-contractor invoices.
Companies may also voluntarily register are if they make only exempt supplies.
A foreign company may register for VAT without the requirement to form a local company; however they must appoint a Norwegian VAT Representative. The representative and company are jointly liable for the reporting and payment of VAT to the Norwegian authorities. In addition, the agent is responsible for all communications between the company and the Norwegian tax authorities.