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Norway Considers Applying VAT to Cross-Border Non-Digital Services

Sam Wichman
April 25, 2022

The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has proposed to amend the Norwegian Value Added Tax (VAT) Act regarding cross-border business to consumer sales of non-digital services. The proposal would require purchases of remotely deliverable services from suppliers established outside of Norway to consumers located in Norway to be subject to VAT.

Current requirements in Norway

Since 2011, Norway has operated a simplified VAT compliance regime for foreign suppliers of digital services to consumers. Non-resident suppliers who sell e-books, streaming media, software, or other digital services to Norwegian consumers and meet the NOK 50,000 VAT registration threshold must register and collect VAT on these sales, the same as resident businesses.

Non-resident suppliers not established in Norway may use the simplified VAT On E-Commerce (VOEC) scheme for registration and reporting. Additionally, suppliers in Norway must pay VAT on all purchases of remotely deliverable services from businesses located abroad. Currently, however, foreign suppliers of remotely deliverable services, which are not digital, are not required to register and pay VAT on their sales of such services.

Proposal

The Norwegian tax authority is concerned about the competitive advantage of non-resident suppliers over resident suppliers when providing deliverable services to Norwegian consumers. The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has presented a proposal to amend the Norwegian VAT Act to require non-resident suppliers to collect and report VAT on remotely deliverable services to consumers.

Under the proposal, foreign providers of traditional services would have to charge VAT for consulting services, accounting services, and other cross-border services provided to consumers located in Norway. When the customer is a business or a public authority, or when the transaction is considered a B2B sale, the VAT would still be charged and collected by the customer via the reverse charge mechanism. Suppliers that are not established in Norway would be able to use the existing VOEC scheme.

Status and timeline

The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has submitted the proposal for amendments to the Norwegian VAT Act regarding selling remotely deliverable services from abroad to recipients in Norway for consultation. The deadline for submitting comments on the proposal is 8 July 2022. Please stay tuned for updates on if the proposed amendments are adopted in Norway and when the amendments will take effect should they be adopted.

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Author

Sam Wichman

Sam Wichman is a Junior Regulatory Counsel at Sovos. Within Sovos’ Regulatory Analysis function, Sam focuses on international VAT, global sales tax, and domestic sales tax issues. Sam received his B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his J.D. from Boston College Law School. Sam is pending admission to the Massachusetts Bar.
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