Working across the Nordic countries

Proposal to simplify Nordic tax rules with a focus on increased mobility


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The Nordic countries want the Nordic Region to be the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. A natural part of this ambitious vision is an integrated Nordic labour market for companies and citizens. The Nordic Tax Treaty and its administration play a crucial role in this respect.However, the COVID-19 pandemic showed that there are obvious challenges with the application of the Nordic Tax Treaty as well as other bilateral agreements and national legislation. During the pandemic, employees working across a Nordic border risked incurring tax problems if they followed the recommendations to work from home. The challenges were highlighted by the Freedom of Movement Council, which urged the Nordic governments on several occasions to introduce exemptions for those who involuntarily worked from home during the pandemic. While the pandemic is over, the desire for hybrid or remote work is here to stay.However, the problems that companies and employees experience are not limited to taxation of salary payments in conjunction with remote work. For example, studies show that uncertainty, higher taxation and extra administration can arise in connection with contributions to and payment of pensions, as well as in cases where the same employer has to register and deal with tax rules, taxation dates and payroll administration in multiple countries.If the Nordic Region is to develop into a growth region with an integrated labour market with mobility for citizens and businesses, it is essential to have increased focus on citizens and companies, so that legislation and administration support their opportunities.Therefore, in 2022, the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Freedom of Movement Council – in co-operation with the Nordic Council – have launched a project to identify the key issues and recommend possible solutions. The purpose of this report is thus to provide the best possible basis for further political work to eliminate the current Nordic tax problems related to hybrid and remote work.
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