Preparation,  Skatteetaten,  to-do-list

TO DO – Norways tax-agreement with the US!

Tax-agreement with the US

Article 15 of the tax agreement with the US gives tax-exemption for US stays for up to two years. You should send an application to the tax office before you leave.

The most important criteria for getting the tax exemption is that there must be an INVITATION. The invitation should be “OFFICIAL” and must be in hand before the trip. The invitation must specify that it is a RESEARCH- OR TEACHING STAY. The invitation must also imply some sort of DUTIES ON BEHALF OF THE INVITER. PhD students will normally satisfy the demands, but some times, only partial tax exemption is given (article 16).

Other things that Finance Ministry emphasizes is:

  • Was the invitation present PRIOR TO THE TRAVEL or at the early stages of the stay? Or was it attained after arrival?
  • To what extent does the invitation specify a CONCRETE AND DEFINED research project and what goods or privileged are given the researcher?
  • To what extent will a cooperation with the resources the said university offers be necessery for the work that is going to be done? Will the researcher be part of a research team? (in my case – I am part of the Sustainable Fisheries Group at UCSB).
  • To what degree will the reseracher perform independent work like in the collection of data or other research material, and the work on this?
  • What are the researchers professional qualifications in relation to the work that is going to be done?
  • Does the research have a scholarship tied to the work? (like I have Fulbright and a NFR scholarship – not sure if this is good or bad – will let you know when I know)
  • What will be the following research results

If a tax exemption is granted, you will get a new tax slip (skattekort) with a lower tax percentage. Your tax is NOT ZERO because you will still pay 7,8% social security taxes (BECAUSE YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR MEMBERSHIP!!!). The tax slip is also for a calendar year, so that the tax percentage is in relation to how much of your yearly income that is going to be tax “free” (so if you go for an ACADEMIC year – like I will – you will need two tax slips I guess – I will let you know when I know).


  • Kristin Wergeland Brekke

    Etter at vi hadde søkt Skatt Midt-Norge om skattenedsettelse under forskningsfriår i USA, fikk vi brev fra Skatt Midt-Norge med et skattekort på 10 % for høstsemesteret. Skatt Midt-Norge gjorde oppmerksom på at det automatisk tilsendte skattekortet for kommende år ville være feil og at vi måtte søke om nytt skattekort og referere til brevet vi fikk fra dem som bekreftet skattefritak i forbindelse med forskningsopphold i USA.

  • PhD student

    I would like to find out about tax exemption for Americans in Norway under the treaty (was offered a university position). However, Skatteetaten does not answer my emails to any of their general addresses. Do you have a contact to suggest? Thank you for your help.

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