Tax deductions for donations and charitable donations in Norway

As in many countries, the Norwegian tax authorities offer a tax deduction for charitable donations. Here’s how the system works.

Do you donate to charities or volunteers? If so, you can save money on your annual tax bill. Of course, it doesn’t make sense to donate just to get tax savings, but it’s worth making sure you’re getting what you’re entitled to.

Charity donation concept image

The general rule is that if you have made a monetary donation of at least NOK 500 to a registered charity, voluntary organization or religious/confessional community, you may qualify for a tax deduction on your income tax. personal income.

Of course, as with anything tax-related, there are many rules and regulations surrounding this program. So, let’s dive into the detail.

Tax deduction rules on donations

There are certain rules as to the type of donation that entitles you to a tax deduction. Essentially, your monetary donation must be at least NOK 500 and the organization must be approved by the tax authorities.

The list of organizations approved by Norway for tax deductions is extensive. Here you will find the vast majority of charities, voluntary organizations and religious/confessional organizations.

Pile of 200 Norwegian krone banknotes.

If you have made a joint donation, the organization will report this to the tax office. If you want to change the proportion given to each person, you must contact the organization to make this change.

Maximum tax deduction

Of course, you cannot benefit from unlimited tax deductions for donations. For many years there was an annual personal limit of NOK 50,000. However, for the 2022 tax year, this amount has been reduced to NOK 25,000.

Read more: Norwegian tax for beginners

You can make as many donations during the year as you wish, of course! But only NOK 25,000 will be available to you as a tax deduction.

Donations to international organizations

The easiest way to donate to charities working abroad is to find their Norwegian branch. For example, companies like Greenpeace, the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, etc., all have Norwegian branches.

You can also benefit from a deduction when donating to foreign organizations, but there are many more conditions. First, they must be based within the EU/EEA. Second, they must have been previously approved by the tax administration.

Global charity concept image

Unlike donations to Norwegian organisations, you will have to claim the deduction manually on your tax return.

Donations from companies and organizations

A different set of rules apply to corporate donations. This is outside the scope of this article, but you can find more details on the tax authority’s website or from your company’s accountant.

How to claim the tax deduction?

The good news is that in most cases your donation is registered by the charity and automatically sent to the tax office. This means that you don’t have to do anything except check that the deduction appears on your tax return.

Read more: Volunteering in Norway

A charity or voluntary organization can only automatically process this donation for tax purposes if you have provided your national identification number. Generally, organizations ask for it at the time of donation, specifically for this purpose.

Sometimes a donation will not automatically appear on your tax return. This is always the case when you did not communicate your national identification number at the time of the donation, or when you make a donation to an international organization.

100 kroner banknote on norwegian flag

If you donated to a Norwegian organization without giving your national ID number, you should contact the organization. They will update their records and notify the tax administration.

To add an international donation to your tax return, you must be able to document it with a receipt. The receipt should show the donor’s name, address, Norwegian national ID number/D-number and the amount of the donation in Norwegian kroner.

What a tax deduction actually means

Finally, I think it is necessary to explain the terminology here. I’ve gotten a few messages over the years asking why someone’s tax bill hasn’t been reduced by the amount of the deduction. That’s not how it works.

A tax deduction means an amount deducted from your taxable income, before tax is calculated. It is essentially the same as a business expense.

So if your taxable income is NOK 500,000 and you allow the maximum deduction of NOK 25,000 in one year, you will be taxed on a total taxable income of NOK 475,000, not NOK 500,000. I hope it’s clear !

Leave a Reply