Income and consumption
Inheritance, gift and inheritance tax

Inheritance tax (discontinued)2013

In 2013, it was decided to abolish inheritance tax with effect from 1 January 2014. This is the final release of inheritance tax statistics.


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Inheritance tax (discontinued)
Topic: Income and consumption

Responsible division

Division for Income and Wage Statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables


The tax basis, i.e. taxable inheritance, in private administrations of estates. The tax basis will be previously received gifts (advance on inheritance) and the inheritance amount received in the distribution of the estate from the same person.


Taxable gift amount, or advance on inheritance. Tax-free gifts are not included in the statistics. The statistics basis, however, includes information on both taxable and tax-free gifts. The reason that gifts below the tax-free amount are being registered, is because they are included in the tax basis together with a possible subsequent gift from the same donor. If the total amount of previously received gifts and subsequently received gifts exceed the tax-free amount, tax is assessed.


Recipient of inheritance or gift amount. One recipient may receive inheritance/gifts from several donors. Inheritance tax is connected to the aggregate amount received by one recipient from one donor.


Decedent or donor of gift.


Each inheritance and gift report is assigned a case number when it is recorded by the tax collector. A case will be a distribution of an estate upon inheritance. In case of a gift it will basically be a gift transfer from a donor to a recipient, although this may vary (e.g. from one donor to two recipients).

Possession date

The date of which the recipient takes possession of the inheritance/gift. As a rule it is close to the date of death of the decedent in inheritance cases.

Decision date

The decision date is the date the tax collector takes a decision on taxes in the case. This usually takes from one half to one year after the possession date, but may also take longer in special cases.

Standard classifications

Tax collector

There are 18 tax collectors in Norway, which follow the county divisions. Oslo and Akershus have a joint tax collector.


Tax section. There are three tax sections that depend on the recipient's relationship to the donor. The tax rates are different:

§0 = Non-profit organizations and spouses. No tax.

§4 = Close relatives (parents and children ).

§5 = Others.

There is a tax-free amount and an amount distinguishing between low and high taxes. These are the same for recipients in §4 and §5, while the tax rate is different.

Tax rates

As of January 1st 2003 the tax rates for inheritance/gifts are:

To children/parents: To others

Of the first 250 000 kroner: - no tax - no tax

Of the next 300 000 kroner: - 8 per cent - 10 per cent

Of excess amount: - 20 per cent - 30 per cent

Private administrations of estates in which the tax basis is under the tax-free amount of 250 000 kroner (0 estate) and distributions of estates under public administration are not included in the statistics.

As of January 1st 1999 to 31.12.2002 the tax rates for inheritance/gifts were :

To children/parents: To others

Of the first 200 000 kroner: - no tax - no tax

Of the next 300 000 kroner: - 8 per cent - 10 per cent

Of excess amount: - 20 per cent - 30 per cent

Private administrations of estates in which the tax basis is under the tax-free amount of 200 000 kroner (0 estate) and distributions of estates under public administration are not included in the statistics.

Tax rates 1985 - 1998:

The tax-free amount was 100 000 kroner until January 1st 1999.

Exampel where the tax-free amount were NOK 200 000 (the period 1999 to 2002):

A person who inherits 199 000 kroner one year, will not be in the statistics, while someone who inherits 201 000 kroner will be listed with the entire amount. A precondition of the above example is that the persons have not inherited anything previously. A person who inherits 30 000 kroner will be in the statistics if he previously received more than 170 000 kroner in an advance on inheritance from the same person. Gifts from community of property and distribution from undivided estate to common heir will be counted as having one-half given by each of the spouses (i.e., a person can inherit 400 000 kroner, 200 000 kroner from each of the parents without being assessed inheritance taxes). Inheritance and gift cases in the text refer to the year possession in law takes effect (possession date), i.e., date of death of the decedent (the longest living decedent in an undivided decedent estate) or when the gift is given.

Administrative information

Regional level

National level.

Frequency and timeliness


International reporting

Not relevant


Raw data files and statistics files are stored.


Background and purpose

The purpose is to compile statistics that illuminate the inheritance tax system's manner of operation and distribution effects. The statistics provide information about taxable inheritance and gifts as well as assessed taxes, preferably at the recipient level.

Statistics Norway has published Inheritance Tax Statistics annually since 1995.

Users and applications

Major users are the Ministry of Finance, research institutes and the media.

Coherence with other statistics

Not relevant

Legal authority

Data are obtained pursuant to Section 3.2 of the Statistics Act.

EEA reference

Not relevant



The statistics cover everyone who receives taxable inheritance or gifts in the course of the year of the possession date from private administrations of estates. The statistics also cover all recipients in private administrations of estates who have received a tax decision in the course of the year to which the decision date applies. Public administrations of estates, i.e., administrations of estates that go to probate court, are not included in the statistics.

Data sources and sampling

The statistical basis builds on extracts from the County Tax Collectors' inheritance tax system covering all taxable inheritance and gifts transferred through private administrations of estates.

Total census.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Statistics Norway obtains an aggregate extract from the County Tax Collectors' inheritance tax system once a year via the Directorate of Taxes.

Logical machine controls have been established for the correlation between inheritance and gift amount and assessed tax. Controls are furthermore undertaken of extreme values and comparisons with previous years' statistics. With respect to the decision date controls are performed in relation to cases that occur in several years.

The analysis unit is recipient, donor and case in private administrations of estates by the possession date and decision date. No estimation method is used because the statistics are based on a total census.


Not relevant

Comparability over time and space

The inheritance tax statistics have comparable figures for the periods 1995-1998 and 1999- 2002 for possession date. The break in comparability is due to a new limit for the tax-free amount as of 1 January 1999 and 1 january 2003..

In the years before possession date 1997 and decision date 1998 the extraction was done early in the year after the close of the statistical year. A later extraction leads to less arrears on the possession date.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Possible errors can occur during the filling out of the forms by the respondent and when recording the data in the inheritance tax system.

The data are obtained from the tax collectors' inheritance tax system. When an inheritance or gift case is recorded in the inheritance tax system depends when the case is handled. On the other hand, the possession date is tied to the decedent's date of death. Consequently, there may be some arrears in registered cases with respect to possession date. This is largely avoided by taking extracts relatively late (in April of the second subsequent year).

The processing of a case in the event of changed decisions can cause problems in the statistics. In such cases the cases are withdrawn from the inheritance tax system to which they originally belonged, and entered in the register by the last decision date. If the extraction is done before the relevant case is taken out, the case will appear in the statistics for both years. These will be evaluated from year to year. Particularly large cases will be taken out from the newest year. Cases in which the scope is acceptable or insignificant remain in the statistics.