Norwegian VAT Rules

It was announced today that the Norwegian government is imposing a tax on any online service, even if it's outside Norway (we've so far been exempt from VAT during online digital purchases of content such as ebooks, online services like servers and backup solutions and so forth). The new rule will be effective starting January 1st 2011 and will add 25% to all prices on any purchase made online by Norwegians.

How will this reflect on the linode payment plans?

As it stands the government is imposing this 25% increase on the following online services (quoted by a news agency);
* Image services such as Flickr, Picasa, ImageShack etc

Backup solutions such as Dropbox, Jungledisk and Mozy


Subscriptions to online sites

Software purchases

Subscriptions to online games</list> 

Now, servers aren't listed explicitly, but judging by the statements made, they will be included in this as it's a recurring subscription to an online service.

They also mention that the customer has nothing to do in this situation and that the service provider is required to send reports to the Norwegian government of any transaction made by a Norwegian.

Has Linode heard anything concerning this at all?

13 Replies

Has the Norwegian government written to every corporation and tax-registered sole trader in the entire world, informing them of this? Big corporations will collect the tax for them (Apple do it for all of the EU), but small corporations who have no physical presence in Norway are not going to know or care about this.

Linode is not subject to Norwegian law. How is Norway going to make Linode charge VAT?


…that the customer has nothing to do in this situation and that the service provider is required to send reports to the Norwegian government of any transaction made by a Norwegian.

Erm. Required by whom? The Norwegian Government? I can only speak for myself but as a Brit I couldn't care less what the Norwegian Government requires as I'm not a Norwegian and I don't live in Norway.

I can't really see that the rest of the planet is going to send reports to help the Norwegians collect Norwegian taxes - most people probably don't even know or care where Norway is. :)


Yet another ignorant government trying to own the Internet. Let them collect whatever what they want to collect from their own citizens and corporations, but please leave the rest of the world alone!

Maybe the OP, as a law-abiding Norwegian citizen or corporation, should pay their taxes directly to their government, instead of asking foreign companies to collect it for them? (I'm not sure if this is even possible. Stupid governments!)

PS. I have nothing personal against Norway. Every government on Earth displays varying degrees of the same type of stupidity.

What a coincidence - I charge a $50 USD fee to read about Norwegian laws. Who's the contact in Norway for me to find their billing address?

Oh, haha, this is just soo stupid.

I haven't read all the news about the new budget, because, well, it's more of the same crap, but so I have to come to this forum to find out that our government did something utterly stupid and not possible to enforce.

BTW, the news papers in norway wrote: INTERNET PORN IS GETTING MORE EXPENSIVE, well, I thought, I can't care less. But if I have to pay more for servers etc, well, then I care a good deal.

But anyway, I don't see how they can enforce that. It's impossible, luckily. Stupid.

No, Linode has NOT heard about this immense stupidity. In the beginning, when the multi-nationals now charging Norwegian VAT (MVA) struggled with this issue, they simply closed their online stores to Norwegian IPs. Problem solved. Easier to drop a few customers than deal with an uppity tax man. Photoshop was a cardboard box, not a download, a lot longer here. Maybe the OP read this in The Onion and mistakenly posted some news in the wrong forum?

Here in the UK we regularly get charged VAT on foreign web transactions. For example Fictionwise charge UK VAT on any eBook purchase from the UK, even thugh they are a US corporation.

Whether this just gets added to their profits, or if they really pat it over to HM Customs, I don't know. I suspect that the US has some trade agreement with the EU and corporations that dont' tow the line get sent to Guantanomo Bay for corrective treatment.


Nope, I didn't read it on The Onion… And it's started enraging a lot of people.

I will be amused when the WoW addicts realize this means they'll have to pay more, hahaha!

This should not effect your Linode pricing at all since Linode has no legal presence in that country. Although if Norway wanted they could ammend that law and make it so that all Norwegian providers are required to block traffic to sites/merchants etc that do not collect VAT but I doubt that will ever happen.

Likely only affecting the Norwegians means they pay this tax if they employ such services.

Yeah that is a bit stupid. However whilst most companies will ignore it, the big companies probably have to tred more carefully if they ever want to have a presence (even just for marketing) in Norway, Apple etc..


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