Tax statistics for companies
Updated: 19 December 2022
Modified: 19 Dec 2022, 11:30:00
Next update: 18 December 2023
|Amount (NOK million)||Per cent|
|Oil extraction companies1||299 222||70.7|
|Power companies||30 116||7.1|
|Financial companies||20 323||4.8|
|Land based activities2||73 185||17.3|
|1As from 2018 foreign shelf companies are included in land based activities.|
|2As from 2017 companies subjected to financial activity tax are included in financial companies.|
|The figures for 2021 were corrected at 11.30 am on 19th December 2022.|
About the statistics
The purpose of the statistics is to present taxable income, taxable property and assessed taxes for companies as a whole and companies broken down by industry.
Are enterprises whose owners have limited responsibility for the companies' liabilities. The owners/shareholders must also be obliged to file a tax return, cf. Tax Assessment Act, Chapter 4. The statistics include mainly limited companies, but associations, co-operatives, branches of foreign companies, institutions, mutual funds, building co-operatives, savings banks etc. are covered too. They all pay tax in arrears.
Companies with assessed taxes or tax deductions.
Are non-personal tax payers that are taxed pursuant to the Petroleum Tax Act (Act No. 35 of 13 June 1975). Oil extraction companies are companies licensed to participate in the extraction and pipeline transport of oil and gas. They are taxed pursuant to the Petroleum Tax Act. As from 2005, oil extraction companies with losses can demand to be paid the tax value of the company’s exploration expenditure. Companies that close down can also demand to be paid the tax value of the losses that can be carried for.
Foreign shelf companies
Are companies that are not registered in Norway and are engaged in various forms of maintenance, repair and activities supporting Norwegian companies engaged in the extraction and pipeline transport of oil and gas under the Petroleum Tax Act. They pay only ordinary income tax to the state.
Include all non-personal taxpayers taxed by the special tax rules for power companies in accordance with the Taxation Act chapter 18. All companies owning hydroelectric power stations are liable to pay special taxes. The companies are often involved in other activities besides electric power production and can therefore be in another main industry different from electricity, gas and water supply.
Power station is a unit that produces electric power. If a power company has more than one hydroelectric power station in a municipality, will all be treated as one hydroelectric power station.
Include all limited companies and participant taxed companies that are taxed by the special rules for limited shipping companies. In order to be eligible for the special rules, the company must be a limited company that owns ships or vessels either directly or indirectly through another company. The latter can be a participant-taxed company or another limited company covered by the regime. As of fiscal year 2002, the limited companies can own a chain of participant taxed companies. Companies covered by the regime cannot operate other businesses than chartering and operating own and chartered in ships and may not have employees. The material Statistics Norway obtains covers both limited companies and participant-taxed companies. The statistical units are non-personal taxpayers (limited companies) covered by the regime. Participant-taxed companies are included in the statistics with information about the number of companies assessed by the special rules. A participant-taxed company is not a separate taxpayer as each of the participants is taxed. In order for a participant-taxed company to qualify for the regime, all participants must be Norwegian limited companies covered by the regime, or foreigners not taxable to Norway. Consequently, all participants taxable to Norway are included in the figures for limited companies covered by the regime.
Include companies subjected to financial activity tax. Financial activity tax was introduced with effect from 2017. In general, the financial activity tax applies to all employers that engage in activities within section K - Financial and insurance activities - in Statistics Norway's Standard Industrial Classification (SN2007). The financial activity tax consists of two elements. Financial activity tax on salary and financial activity tax on surpluses. Financial activity tax on salary is an extra payroll tax of 5 percent for employers in the financial sector. Financial activity tax on surplus is a tax rate of 25 percent on ordinary income. Companies without employees will not be subject to the financial activity tax, neither on salary nor on profit.
There are two exemptions and one limitation to the financial activity tax.
- There’s an exemption from financial activity tax liability for enterprises where the salary expenses linked to the employer's financial activities do not exceed 30 percent of the enterprise's total declarable salary expenses.
- There’s an exemption from tax liability for enterprises where the salary expenses linked to VATable financial activity exceed 70 percent of the enterprise's total declarable salary costs linked to financial activities. What constitutes VATable financial activity must be assessed based on the nature of the service. For example, it’s irrelevant that the activity is exempt from VAT because it concerns export of services. This is still considered as a VATable financial activity.
- Enterprises that engage in non-economic activity, as defined in EEA law, may limit the tax basis for the financial activity tax on salary to that proportion of the salary expenses linked to economic activity.
Land based activities
Cover companies assessed by the ordinary tax rules. These companies are assessed 22 per cent income tax (16 per cent on Spitsbergen). In addition, some types of companies are assessed 0.15 per cent wealth tax. Land based activities include all companies assessed as non-personal taxpayers, except oil extraction companies, which are assessed by the Petroleum tax Act, and power companies, shipping companies and companies subjected to financial activity tax, which are assessed by special rules of the Tax Act. Land based activities do however include shipping companies and financial companies assessed by ordinary tax rules.
Consists of business and capital income less interest on loans and other capital costs and deduction for loss carried forward. Ordinary income is the basis for assessing income tax.
Consists of the portion of untaxed equity that the company has paid as dividends or given as a group contribution. Correction income ended in 2011.
Covers positive ordinary income and correction income. As from 2004, tax exemptions have been introduced for incomes from shares and other assets, among others, share dividends, according to the Taxation Act, Section 2-38. Those incomes are therefore not included in taxable income, see the Taxation Act Section 2-38.
The value of the company's assets reduced by debt, as of 1 January in the the assessment year.
A Central government tax calculated on the basis of ordinary income. All types of companies, including companies taxed pursuant to the Petroleum Tax Act, are subject to income tax. Income tax also included assessed tax on correction income until 2011.
A central government tax assessed on the basis of taxable wealth for certain groups of companies.
Tax deduction for received dividends
A tax deduction relating to the provisions covering the taxation of share dividends. The purpose of the tax deduction is to prevent double taxation of paid share dividends. Unused tax deduction can be carried forward for 10 years. Since, as from 2004, income from share dividends is no longer liable to taxation, according to the Taxation Act, Section 2-38, tax deductions for received dividends are not applicable.
Tax deduction for tax paid to foreign country
A deduction that can be demanded, according to the rules in Sections 16-20 and 16-30 of the Taxation Act. The taxpayer can demand a deduction for assessed income tax or property tax they have paid to a foreign state. Also, if the taxpayer has paid tax to a foreign state on dividends or profit from foreign subsidiaries, it can demand a deduction from Norwegian tax. Earlier this deduction was made directly from income tax. Unused tax deductions can be carried forward for 10 years.
Paid back tax
Paid back tax refers to taxes paid back to companies with losses and that have had assessed taxes the two previous years. As from financial year 2008 to financial year 2009, companies having losses are repaid the taxes assessed the two previous years. In 2008, the maximum amount of losses that could be repaid was NOK 20 millions.
Tax deduction for expenses on research and development
A deduction for expenses on research and development projects, according to the Taxation Act section 16-40. If the calculated deduction exceeds the total assessed taxes, the excess shall be paid.
Paid exploration expenses
The tax value of expenses incurred in exploration of petroleum deposits, which the state may pay the company according to the Petroleum Tax Act Section 3 C Part 4 and 5.
Special concepts concerning shipping companies
Limited companies assessed according to the special rules for shipping companies are exempt from taxes on ordinary income, although the income is taxed through the distribution of dividends to shareholders. In addition, the company must pay taxes on positive net financial income and other taxable income.
Taxable dividend income
Occurs as a result of the distribution of untaxed income to the shareholders.
Net financial income
Is financial income minus financial costs. Financial income and financial costs are ordinary income relating to investments, securities, claims and liabilities.
Allowance for high equity
As from 2002, an additional financial income is calculated for that part of the company's equity that exceeds 50 per cent of total assets. In fiscal year 2000 and 2001, companies with interest expenses lower than 50 percent of the company's total assets multiplied by a mean interest rate, had to credit the difference as financial income. From 1996 to 1999, the allowance for high equity was 30 percent.
Other taxable income
Other taxable income for shipping companies can occur as a result of transition rules. Transition rules for fiscal years 1996 and 1997 were drawn up when the regime was introduced. Commencing from fiscal year 2000, other taxable income includes income from profit and loss account and income from entering the tax regime.
Applies to shipping companies and is computed on the basis of information about the ship's net tonnage and number of days in operation. As of fiscal year 2000, the tonnage tax can be reduced for that part of the year the vessel has an environmental declaration. Limited shipping companies that meet certain qualifications may demand to be taxed pursuant to the special provisions of Sections 8-10 to 8-19 of the Taxation Act.
Tonnage tax rates. 1996 - 2021.
Per 1 000 ton per day
For the first 1 000 net ton:
NOK 0,9 per 100 net ton
The excess net ton up to 10 000
The excess net ton up to 25 000
25 000 net ton or more:
If the vessel has not been in operation for more than three consecutive months during the fiscal year, tonnage tax is not applicable to the time the vessel has not been in operation. More information about tonnage tax and the environmental reduction can be found in Section 8-16 of the Taxation Act and in regulation no. 1158 of 19 November 1999 from the Ministry of Finance.
Special concepts concerning oil companies
Net income on shelf
Net incom on shelf includes operating income, work-in-progress and other income, financial income less direct expenditure, depreciation and financial expenditures and deductions according to Section 6-42 of the Tax Act.
Is an extraordinary tax for companies engaged in the extraction and pipeline transport of petroleum.
Special concepts concerning electric power companies
Ground rent income
Consists of gross sales income less the costs of electric power production. In addition, allowance is made for free income corresponding to the average of the fiscal year's opening and closing tax-related value of production equipment multiplied by a fixed norm interest rate. Negative ground rent income can be carried forward as a deduction in later years. As from 2004, only generators with an output of at least 5500kw are included in the tax base. As from 2015, only generators with an output of at least 10 000kw are included in the tax base.
Tax on ground rent income
A central government tax assessed in the municipality in which the company has its offices. Taxable income is set for each power station according to the rules in Section 18-3 of the Taxation Act.
Tax on natural resources
Applies to power stations, and it is assessed by municipalities and counties. Its tax base, which is the average of the power plant’s overall electric power production in the fiscal year and 6 previous years, is set for each power station. As from 2004, the tax base includes only generators with a minimum output of 5500kw. As from 2015, only generators with an output of at least 10 000kw are included in the tax base.
Deduction for natural resource tax
Companies may demand tax deduction for tax on natural resources from the income tax assessed by the central government. If the tax on natural resources exceeds the income tax for the fiscal year, the excess may be carried forward as a tax deduction in later years.
Special concepts concerning financial companies
Income tax for companies subjected to financial activity tax is based on ordinary income. The tax rate for these companies is at 25 percent.
Financial activity tax on salary
Financial activity tax on salary is at 5 percent of the enterprise's total salary expense.
The industrial classification is based on the EU-standard of NACE Rev. 2.
A company with businesses in several industries is assigned in its entirety to the industry in which the business contributes the most to its overall added value participates.
Classification of county follow the standard for counties.
Name: Tax statistics for companies
Topic: Establishments, enterprises and accounts
Division for Accounting Statistics and Business Register
National level and the Norwegian continental shelf.
Data are obtained after ordinary assessment, i.e. 10 months following the fiscal year covered. The statistics are published 2 months later.
Collected and revised data are stored securely by Statistics Norway in compliance with applicable legislation on data processing.
Statistics Norway can grant access to the source data (de-identified or anonymised microdata) on which the statistics are based, for researchers and public authorities for the purposes of preparing statistical results and analyses. Access can be granted upon application and subject to conditions. Refer to the details about this at Access to data from Statistics Norway.
The purpose of the statistics is to present taxable income, taxable property and assessed taxes for companies as a whole and companies broken down by industry. Assessed taxes are divided into various taxes.
Statistics Norway has compiled annual statistics on municipal tax assessment since 1884, and the central government tax assessment since 1936. The statistics have been presented in the present form annually since 1976. Considerable changes were made in tax rules in connection with the 1992 tax reforms. Changes in tax rules must be taken into consideration when the statistics on assessed taxes are compared over time. Several tax regulations for non-personal taxpayers have also been changed and implemented. The regulations on site-specific taxation, among other things, were abolished as from the 1998 fiscal year.
The statistics for oil companies present the tax basis (income), income and tax allowances and the number of companies engaged in the extraction and pipeline transport of oil and gas. In addition, the statistics show figures for foreign companies engaged in maintenance, repair and various activities in support of the Norwegian production companies on the shelf. The companies covered by the statistics are all taxed pursuant to the Petroleum Tax Act, which covers the taxation of sub-sea petroleum deposits and related activities, and pipeline transport of extracted petroleum. The statistics have been published annually since 1985.
The purpose of the tax statistics for electric power stations is to show the extent to which the rules are applied, and their effect. Statistics Norway has prepared Tax Statistics for Electric Power Stations annually since the fiscal year 1997, when the new rules for the taxation of electric power stations were introduced, replacing the earlier provisions covering percentage income and property tax for electric utilities.
The purpose of tax statistics for shipping companies is to show to what extent the rules for shipping companies are used and the effect of the special rules. The statistics show the number of companies covered by the scheme, the tax base and assessed taxes. The tax statistics for shipping companies was established as of fiscal year 1996, when special tax rules for shipping companies were introduced. The regime is voluntary but special demands have been made of companies to be taxed according to the special rules. Consequently, not all shipping companies are taxed by these rules. Shipping companies not taxed under the special rules are taxed as an ordinary limited company, and are included in Tax statistics for non-personal taxpayers. The rules can be found in Sections 8-10 to 8-19 of the Taxation Act.
In 2007, tax statistics for non-personal tax payers, tax statistics for electric power companies, tax statistics for petroleum companies and tax statistics for shipping companies were combined into one statistics, tax statistics for non-personal tax payers.
Major users are the Ministry of Finance, internal and external research community, and the media. The statistics are used to elucidate the consequences of changes in taxation rules and the effects of tax revenues. Additionally, the statistics are used in general tax research. The results from the statistics are used in the National accounts and the National budget.
The enterprises covered by the statistics Accounting statistics for non-financial limited companies are also covered by Tax Statistics for Non-Personal Taxpayers. However, the accounts statistics include the income statement and balance sheet, which are not included in the tax statistics.
The statistics are developed, produced and disseminated pursuant to Act no. 32 of 21 June 2019 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway (the Statistics Act).
The statistics cover all non-personal taxpayers. To be regarded as a non-personal taxpayer, the owners of the company (or institution, association etc.) must have limited responsibility for its liabilities. The owners/shareholders must also be obliged to file a tax return, cf. Tax Assessment Act, Chapter 4.
The tax statistics are based on information from the Directorate of Taxes' Register of Non-Personal Taxpayers after the ordinary assessment. Once the data have been collected, checked and corrected, they are linked to information about industry, among other things, from Statistics Norway's Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises.
The information about the companies taxed pursuant to the Petroleum Tax Act is obtained from the Petroleum Tax Office in Oslo and the Central Office - Foreign Tax Affairs.
The statistics for shipping companies are based on information obtained from the Central Office - Taxation of Large-Sized Companies (SFS), where all companies covered by the special tax rules for shipping companies are assessed. This information includes taxable income, deductions, assets and equity.
Information about the financial activity tax on salary is gathered from the a-ordning.
Statistics Norway obtains information about companies from the Directorate of Taxes after the taxes have been calculated. In principle, the data are obtained before any complaints and changes are made. Such cases can take a long time to resolve, and for actuality reasons, the data are obtained after ordinary assessment. The data are collected in November the year following the fiscal year covered.
Data on oil companies are obtained in October/November the year after the fiscal year. Respondents obtain data from company accounts/tax statements.
Information about the financial activity tax on salary is gathered from the a-ordning.
The companies covered by the regime for shipping companies must submit a special trading statement and tax return with various schedules. SFS registers selected information from these forms, and this part of the material is collected by Statistics Norway.
Editing is defined here as checking, examining and amending data.
The tax authorities and Statistics Norway carry out a number of mechanical and manual checks to ensure that the information is correctly recorded. The tax authorities register the basis for tax assessment (estimates) for the individual unit, based on the tax return. Taxes are subsequently computed electronically, except in particularly complicated cases, where computation is done manually.
Statistics Norway's revision ensures that there is correspondence between the assessable values and the assessed taxes, and that the information is consistent with other available statistics.
The main mechanical checks carried out for oil companies are aimed at internal reconciliation of income and tax deductions leading to ordinary income and special tax base (special tax income). Furthermore, the tax bases are checked against corresponding figures from the Tax statistics for non-personal taxpayers.
The data on shipping companies are mechanically and manually checked to ensure that they are correctly recorded. They are also checked against the Directorate of Taxes' Register of Non-Personal Taxpayers. In some cases the data are checked against the companies' annual accounts too.
The statistics are estimated by counting all units with a certain characteristic, e.g. the number of taxpayers, and by adding up a certain characteristic for all units in the statistics, e.g. income tax.
Employees of Statistics Norway have a duty of confidentiality.
Statistics Norway does not publish figures if there is a risk of the respondent’s contribution being identified. This means that, as a general rule, figures are not published if fewer than three units form the basis of a cell in a table or if the contribution of one or two respondents constitutes a very large part of the cell total.
Statistics Norway can make exceptions to the general rule if deemed necessary to meet the requirements of the EEA agreement, if the respondent is a public authority, if the respondent has consented to this, or when the information disclosed is openly accessible to the public.
More information can be found on Statistics Norway’s website under Methods in official statistics, in the ‘Confidentiality’ section.
To ensure confidentiality, the suppression method is used in these statistics.
The total figures in the statistics are comparable back to 1976. In connection with the 1992 Tax Reform, significant changes were made in taxation rules. Other changes, in addition the Tax Reform, have also been made. For example, new rules for shipping companies were introduced in 1996. In 1997, new rules were introduced for the taxation of electric power stations. And in 1998, the provisions regarding site-specific taxation were abolished. The changes that the tax system has undergone over the years are reflected in the tax data, and affect the continuity of the time series. The changes in taxation rules must therefore be taken into consideration when the data are compared over time. When comparing the figures from various years, changes in industrial rankings and structural changes in different industries can also affect the figures.
The statistics for oil companies are fully comparable back to 1992. From 1992, large changes were made in income terms and tax rates. With respect to the Norwegian companies, the term ordinary income replaced the earlier terms shelf income M and S. The tax rates were previously 23 per cent (shelf M) and 27.8 per cent (shelf S). The new tax assessment is set at 28 per cent of ordinary income. In addition, the special tax has increased from 30 to 50 per cent. Since 1992, foreign companies on the shelf have been assessed only shelf income state at a rate of 28 per cent. Earlier, taxes were assessed on both shelf income M (23 per cent) and shelf income S (27.8 per cent). Furthermore, the wealth tax was eliminated for all companies taxed pursuant to the 1992 Petroleum Tax Act.
Figures that are the basis for the calculation of special tax income until adjustments for negative figures are not directly comparable before and after 1992. The figures for 1992 and earlier include numbers for the companies ending up with a negative special tax basis. From 1993 only the numbers for the companies in line for positive special tax income are included.
Effective from fiscal year 2002, changes have been made in the Petroleum Tax Act. Among other things, the rules for apportioning financial items have changed.
As from 2019, companies that pay financial tax are identified as companies within a specific tax regime and are not considered land-based companies.
When filling in the tax forms, the taxpayer can make errors. Errors can also occur when the data are being registered and processed at tax offices and Statistics Norway. Amounts that are not used in the assessment of taxes, like negative income (losses), are, compared with tax bases, encumbered with greater uncertainty. The examination of the data is mainly concentrated on significant errors having a large impact on the total amounts. As a result, less significant errors, which have no impact on the total amounts, may not be corrected.
The tax authorities’ Register of Non-Personal Taxpayers is continually updated. Owing to complaints and requests for changes lodged with the tax offices after ordinary assessment, changes will occur in the Register of Non-Personal Taxpayers after Statistics Norway has obtained it. Such changes are not taken into consideration when the tax statistics are published.
Organisation number is used as the key when information form the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises is being linked. Therefore, if taxpayers are registered with the wrong organization number, the information got from the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises will not be correct.