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Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway
Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway
Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway

Norway Expat Forum

Still having problems in Norway after 25 years paying tax there

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Jonty
10/23/2014 06:22 EST

1. Still trying to get "pension points" awarded for 433,000,00,- worth of taxes deducted at source from my gross salary between 1989 and 1996. That was a "special tax scheme" for non-resident foreigners.
2. I bought a house in Norway, registered a business, got a residence permit, signed onto the Folkregister. 18 months later, after becoming a Dad to a Norwegian son, born to a norwegian Mum, in Norway, the residence permit (which needed renewing) was refused so I had to come off the Folkregister. That denies you access to any benefits in Norway in return for your National Insurance contributions.
3. Being off the Folkregister, I go back to the "special tax for foreigners" and a few years later, when I don't get paid, I find out the company who have been deducting the taxes haven't been passing them on to the tax collector. I'm fined for non-payment of taxes with interest added as, after the initial "special foreigners' tax" deductions at source, the house I own in Norway (a country I am abliged to leave every 3 months as I have no residence permit) has made me tax liable to Norway, a country UDI have refused me permission to live in.

being a parent of a Norwegian child, even one of whom you have shared custody doesn't entitle you to a residence permit.

Owning a house in Norway goes a long way to making you tax liable to Norway and national Insurance contributions are automatically added to your tax assessment. However, you get nothing in return because you're not entitled to benefits if you're not on the Folkregister which needs you to have a residence permit which I was refused because I "didn't need one" because my work took me out of Norway and I wasn't there more than 3 months at a time.

I managed this situation for a while until inevitably, I became ill. With no entitlement to any benefits, a GP (doctor) to co-ordinate the follow up to an operation where my gallbladder was mistaken for a pseudocyst on my pancreas, I had to return to the UK and stop working to receive the "follow up". I got a bill for 60,000,00,- for a week in a Norwegian hospital despite being a fully paid up member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme and then failed the Habitual Residency Test in the UK.

As late as 2014, I was told I am not entitled to an EU Healthcard or a GP in Norway. The beaurocracy here is horrendous.

If you are a middle class, qualified professional comfortably in the system in your native land, you're almost certainly better off where you are than coming to Norway.

Coming here you risk your qualifications being useless if your Norwegian isn't deemed up to scratch and, without work, you'll soon find yourself in trouble or doing menial jobs (like the cliche Afghan brain surgeon washing dishes in restaurants)

Buy a house here and you risk becoming tax a liable to a country that refuses you permission to live there plus, of course, there's the risk your tax deductions will go missing if you "don't exist". You'll return "home" and discover your previously good credit rating is non-existent, you're being chased by the Norwegian tax authorities for taxes that were taken from your wages but kept by your Norwegian employers.

If you're fleeing war, famine, disease and poverty ... Norway will perhaps be a step up for you. You may not be happy here but you MAY be better off if you can keep yourself warm.

It's a beautiful country with some fine people but, perhaps this is because Norway never had an "empire", it's not geared up for administering waves of migration and I wouldn't say "case-handling" is a Norwegian strong point. You can expect to wait the best part of a year to get any reply to letters to state bodies. often, you won't get a reply at all especially if the person handling it isn't sure how to proceed. The easy cases involving Norwegians may well be dealt with first.

Do take a cruise round the fjords sometime and go as far North as possible. I enjoyed Honningsvag!

To keep up to date, google "EFTA""Surveillance""Norway" and you'll see the kind of cases being brought against The Kingdom of Norway, the kind of cases that ended up being taken to the EFTA equivalent of the EU court rather than, for example, Norway deciding it should pay benefits to foreigners who'd worked and paid National Insurance in Norway.

It's also worth pointing out that learning Norwegian may not be the best investment you could make with your time and energy. You can't use it anywhere else unlike Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Russian etc.. in places like Brazil, South America ... places where there's potential for growth.

Tazzbaby
10/24/2014 09:46 EST

Jonty, I am so sorry to hear you are still dealing with such outrageous bullcrap, it truly is a damn shame you have been screwed over so badly. I am married to a norsk man but I haven't been able to find employment as they say unless I learn the language, chances are slim to none to be hired anywhere. I get no help from Norway what-so-ever and nor does my hubby for fully supporting me. I have been forced back into kurs to try learning the language once again, even though I have repeatedly told NAV that GIV sucks at teaching here in Kongsvinger. But I do what I must to be able to return to the work force.

My problem is that My husband works but at the moment is out on doctor ordered sick leave, so we don't have extra funds to get out to do things and be amongst the language on a daily basis, and he isn't really able to do so anyways. I go to my S-I-L's a few times a week just to get out the house, but the kids are trying to learn english in school so they would rather I speak english when there, and hubby always speaks english at home. So not hearing the language spoken daily doesn't really healp with what little I manage to gain from norskkurs sadly.

After all you have been through though, I am seriously scared to death to work here, between the taxes to Norway and I have heard nightmares of the US double taxing expats. I know there is a tax consultant company who does tax forms for expats, but the charge for this is ridiculously highend and to me would only be lowered tax only to go to them in turn. (as the saying goes, rob Peter to pay Paul?). So I am at a total loss as to what my employment future will hold for me. I do love it here in Norway and wish to continue living here, but if they were to screw me over the coals as they have you, at my age I would be in dire straits for sure.

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Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway

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Norway GuideNorway Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Norway.

Norway Forum Norway Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Norway on our Norway forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

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