About the statistics
Name and topic
Name: Tax for personal tax payers
Topic: Income and consumption
Division for Income and social welfare statistics
Definitions of the main concepts and variables
Total advance is the sum of settled advance tax deduction, settled advance tax, and paid additional advance tax.
Total assessed taxes cover wealth and income taxes paid to municipalities, county and state, National Insurance Scheme members' contributions, taxes on individual pension plans, late delivery fee and supplementary tax. All deduction and reductions of taxes are deducted.
Excess advance is the difference when the total advance exceeds total assessed taxes.
Back tax is the difference when the total assessed taxes exceed the total advance. Waived back tax are included.
Waived back tax is not required paid. From the fiscal year 1999 tax arrears under NOK 300 is not required paid. This limit was changed to NOK 100 from the fiscal year 2000.
Interest to pay is interest on back tax.
Interest due is interest on excess advance.
Basis for surtax on gross income (combined personal income) is a gross income term including employment income (personal income pay and estimated personal entrepreneurial income) and taxable pensions for personal taxpayers. Capital income is not included in this income term. The state surtax is calculated on this basis.
Ordinary income after special deductions includes the sum of taxable incomes such as wage income, entrepreneurial income, capital income, pension income and certain social benefits less statutory tax-deductible expenses such as the minimum deduction and income earning expenses, interest on debts, obligatory maintenance payments and pension premiums etc. Any special deductions are deducted from this. Income tax to municipalities and counties and tax equalization tax are calculated from ordinary income after special deductions.
Median income is the exact income amount that splits a distribution in two equally sized groups, when income is sorted ascending (or descending). The number of persons with income over the median income will be the same as the number of persons with income under the median income.
Gross income is total wages and salaries, pensions, entrepreneurial income and property income.
Wages and salaries
Wages and salaries are payments in cash and in kind, taxable sick pay and unemployment benefit.
Pensions cover all benefits paid by social security and private pension and life insurance benefit.
Entrepreneurial income consists of all local and non-local income from self-employment, both in the primary and other industries.
Capital income consists of interest income, dividends, realised capital gains, rent and other income from property.
Total deduction covers minimum deductions, travelling expenses, union subscriptions, entrepreneurial deficit and interest on debt.
Net property includes the value of real capital and financial capital. Debt is deducted. The individual types of property are assessed by tax value. Some types of property are included only beyond set tax-free allowances.
Real capital comprises the assessed value of all real properties, plant, forests etc., production capital and other business assets and house contents and moveables. Also included are the assessed value of dwellings and shares of the assessed value of housing cooperatives. From 2000 are real properties in foreign countries assessed in Norway.
Finance capital is made up of bank deposits, share of unit trusts, securities registered in the Norwegian Registry of Securities, other securities not registered in the Norwegian Registry of Securities, other claims and properties.
The statistics concern only taxable income. The amounts are consequently set by the tax rules in effect at any one time. All values associated with wealth and debt are fiscal values.
Residents age 17 and older The statistics concern residents aged 17 and older as of 31 December in the fiscal year.
Age Age is the person's age at the end of the fiscal year.
Marital status Marital status is the registered marital status at the end of the fiscal year.
There are nine different categories: unmarried, married, separated, divorced, widow/widower, partnerships contracted, separated partnerships contracted, divorced partnerships contracted and surviving partnerships contracted. Partnerships contracted, separated partnerships contracted, divorced partnerships contracted and surviving partnerships contracted are included in the tables with married, separated, divorced and widow/widower.
Pensioners Pensioners are people who, according to the National Insurance Administration, either receive old age, disability or survivors' pension from the social security system at the end of the fiscal year.
Minimum pension pensioners Minimum pension pensioners are pensioners who receive a special supplement from the National Insurance Scheme.
Socio-economic status A person is classified as economically active if income from employment or self-employment is greater than twice the basic amount of the National insurance scheme (so-called "G", or "grunnbeløpet"). For the income year 2010 and earlier, persons with income from employment or self-employment greater than the minimum pension for single people were regarded as economically active.
To be classified as self-employed in agriculture, forestry and fishing, total entrepreneurial income must be greater than both wages and pension. At the same time, entrepreneurial income from agriculture, forestry and fishing must be larger than entrepreneurial income from other industries. If the opposite is true, one will be classified as self-employed in other industries. This classification is in agreement with Statistics Norway's Standard Sosio-Economic Status Divisions (SNS 5/84).
Pensioners are persons who have a pension income greater than wages or entrepreneurial income.
If a person does not receive any pension income and if the sum of employment income is less than the minimum benefit from the National Insurance Scheme, then he or she is classified with socio-economic status "others".
National level. Regions, counties and municipalities.
Frequency and timeliness
Annual, preliminary and final figures. Figures for the fiscal year are released during the fourth quarter of the subsequent year.
Raw data files and linked statistical files are stored. All files from the Tax Return Statistics and the End of Year Certificate Register have been stored since 1993. The files from the Tax Register have been stored since 1967.
Background and purpose
The purpose of the statistics is to provide an overview of the tax settlement for personal taxpayers including how much tax was paid in advance, assessed taxes, advance refund with interest due and residual tax with interest to pay. In addition, the statistics provide taxable income, deductions, property and debts.
Also provided is an overview of the calculation basis for the various taxes in recent years, gross income and wealth taxes (before deductions and reductions are deducted) and the various deductions and reductions in taxes.
The statistics are used in Statistics Norway's tax model LOTTE which computes changes in tax proceeds as a result of various changes in the tax rules. The statistics are also used for own calculations of tax proceeds requested by the Ministry of Finance.
The tax statistics for personal taxpayers are presented in a separate chapter in the fiscal budget each year (Proposition to the Storting No. 1).
Statistics Norway has prepared annual statistics on the municipal tax assessment since 1884 and on the central government tax assessment since 1936.
Until fiscal year 1948, forms with summary reports filled out by the tax committees in each tax district constituted the source of the tax statistics. In 1948 however, Statistics Norway began obtaining copies of tax lists and processing them by machine to obtain information on the individual taxpayer as well. This became too comprehensive for Statistics Norway and in the early 1950s, SSB switched to selecting a representative sample from the tax lists.
1967 saw the entry of register-based tax results for the individual person on magnetic tape. The Tax Register is one of the oldest electronic registers at Statistics Norway and is obtained each autumn from the Directorate of Taxes after the tax results are completed.
The first Tax Return Statistics were prepared for the fiscal year 1993. That year, all tax offices switched to computer processing of returns, and information from the personal tax return became available in electronic form. Since the fiscal year 1993, Statistics Norway has annually obtained an extract of data from the Directorate of Taxes and has published the Tax Return Statistics. For previous years, Statistics Norway only had information about income and property from a small sample of households, where data was obtained from the personal tax return. From 2004 and on, the household statistics covering the whole population have been released as well.
Users and applications
Major users are the Ministry of Finance, municipalities and counties. Other ministries, the research environments, the media and private enterprises are also frequent users of the statistics.
Equal treatment of users
No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given inthe Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.
Coherence with other statistics
The data from the tax statistics for personal tax payers is the basis for all of Statistics Norway's statistics on income and property for persons. The following statistics include information from the tax statistics for personal tax payers:
Income statistics for households Income statistics, households
Income statistics for self-employed persons Income statistics, self-employed
Survey on Living Conditions
- The Health Survey
- Population and Housing Censuses
- Survey of Consumer Expenditure
- Survey of Housing Conditions
Data were obtained pursuant to the Statistics Act, Section 3.2
The tax statistics for personal taxpayers is a total census based on data from the ordinary tax assessments. The data basis contains individual data for all persons aged 13 and older who are taxable to Norway during the fiscal year in question. The age cut-off limit stems from the fact that children who are 13 and older during the fiscal year, must file a tax return if they have had employment income. If the child is 12 or younger during the fiscal year, the employment income shall be listed in the parents' tax return.
The statistics cover all individuals in the tax assessments, including those living abroad and who are taxable to Norway. From fiscal year 1999, individuals taxed on Svalbard are also included in the statistics.
In connection with the publishing of the statistics, the population has often been limited to all persons 17 years of age and older who are registered as residents of the country as of 31 December of the fiscal year. This dividing line was set because 17 is the age individuals normally begin filing tax returns. All persons living in Norway are included in the Tax Return Statistics, regardless of whether or not they have delivered tax returns.
Data sources and sampling
The tax statistics for personal tax payers' main source is the Directorate of Taxes' Register for Personal Tax Payers. Information on income, deductions, property and debts are obtained from here. In addition, information on taxes and tax deductions have been collected from Statistics Norway's tax statistics for personal tax payers, while demographic information is collected from Statistics Norway's population statistics.
The tax statistics for personal tax payers is a total census, including all persons who are taxable to Norway.
Earlier annual releases:
Collection of data, editing and estimations
Information about the taxes and the tax basis is obtained in electronic form from the Directorate of Taxes.
Other types of information is collected from various other registers.
A number of machine controls are carried out at Statistics Norway to ensure the consistency of the data material. Amounts are moved between the items when possible to achieve consistency between the calculation basis for the taxes and tax amounts. Macro figures from the tax statistics are compared with the Directorate of Taxes' summary overview to uncover any major deviations.
Due to the large amount of information in the data material with respect to the number of observations and the number of entries on the tax return, it is not practically possible to carry out all consistency controls at the individual level. Nor can several of the given variables be controlled against other statistics, because they are only available in this extract from the Directorate of Taxes. The controls will therefore not uncover all the errors in the material.
The tax statistics provide an overwiev of the the number of persons registered with amounts on various items on the tax return, and the total sum, average and median for the various items. The statistics further provide tables for income, wealth and tax, sorted by intervals, deciles and quartiles.
All averages are rounded to the nearest NOK 100.
The collected data is utilized, released and stored in accordance with the rules of the Statistics Act.
Comparability over time and space
The statistics are comparable back to 1948. No differentiation was made between personal and non-personal taxpayers for earlier years. Both the data basis and principles for the statistics have been changed over time. The changes that the tax system has undergone over the years are reflected in the data basis and affect the continuity of the time series.
There has been some changes in the items of the tax return form. Changes in the tax system are reflected in the databases and influence the comparability over the years.
Mutual funds and share savings accounts:
Until 2015 wealth in mutual funds were split into two variables: "4.1.4 units in stock funds", including all mutual funds with at least one stock and "4.1.5 units in bond and money market funds" including funds with no stocks. In 2016 these variables were merged into "4.1.4. units in mutual funds". In 2017 the variable was split into "4.1.4 Capital assets in mutual funds - share component" and "4.1.5 Capital assets in mutual funds - interest component" due to lower valuation of the share component in the Norwegian wealth tax.
From 2017 it is possible through a share savings account to own listed shares, mutual fund holdnings and exchange traded funds in companies domiciled in the EEA. This wealth is included in the variable "share savings account".
Several details about various changes are documented in Notat nr. 99/13 Selvangivelsesstatistikk 1993 - 1996 (in Norwegian only).
Sources of error and uncertainty
One possible source of errors is incorrect reporting by the respondent to the tax authorities, i.e. persons who report incorrect amounts for income, property or deductions in the tax return and in attached schedules, or that the amounts are entered in the wrong place on the form. In most cases this will be discovered and corrected by the tax office.
Another type of error occurs when data are recorded electronically. This registration is done manually, but there are controls that discover most typing errors.
Controls are done in the data material to uncover a lack of consistency between taxes and the estimation bases for taxes. Because of the enormous scope of the data material, it is not possible to uncover all such errors for the individual person.
The statistics are based on a total census and we thereby avoid the uncertainty associated with sample variance and non-response associated with sample surveys.
Publication of these statistics is based on register information obtained after the assessment is released and a fair number of taxpayers complaints have been dealt with.