Norwegian word of the day: Skatt

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norwegian word of the day: Skatt
Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash and Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

You'll be hearing a lot more about this Norwegian word in the spring.


Skatt is the Norwegian word for tax. The word can perhaps even be as strongly associated with spring in the country as gåsunger (catkins- tiny buds on trees considered the first sign of spring). 

The reason for that is that Norway's tax declaration season begins in March. If you have worked and earned money in Norway in the last year, you can log on to the Norwegian Tax Administration's (Skatteetaten) online portal. 

On March 7th, the Norwegian Tax Administration begins sending people in Norway their tax return, or skattemelding.

Not everyone will receive their tax return for 2023 at the same time, and the returns will not be sent out until March 20th, so if you don't receive it immediately, you should know that it will almost certainly come eventually.

April 30th is the main deadline you need to be aware of for submitting your tax return. You will need to submit your main tax return by this date. Alternatively, if you need more time to get your affairs in order, this is the deadline for applying for an extension. 

Norway has a mix of progressive and flat tax rates. Income tax (inntektsskatt) is set at 22 percent. Then there is a trinnskatt (bracket tax). The bracket tax is progressive and is based on how much you earn. 


But skatt is not only used to talk about taxes.

It also means treasure, both in the sense of an actual treasure (jeg har funnet en skattekiste – I have found a treasure chest) and figuratively to talk about a loved one (min kjære skatt - my darling/beloved treasure, or hun er skatt - she's a real treasure).

Skatt comes from the Old Norse term skattr and the even older proto-Germanic word skattaz, which had a variety of meanings, including wealth, property, cattle, money, and goods.

It's easy to see how the two meanings of modern Norwegian skatt developed from here, and you'll also find the word skatt in Danish and Swedish. 


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