Norwegian taxation is fully transparent

  In Norway, if you want to know how much your neighbor or boss earns, you can find it on the Internet. Every citizen can retrieve the tax record on the tax bureau website, including the taxpayer’s name, age, address and the three core elements of tax declaration-taxable income, net assets and tax paid. Moreover, the media can also make lists such as national and regional income rankings based on this.
  Norwegians believe that transparent tax records are of great significance and can deepen people’s trust in the tax system and tax ethics. Hans Holt, Director of the Norwegian Tax Agency, explained: “We believe that transparency helps to build and maintain trust. Therefore, every citizen can see the main part of the tax declaration of others, how the tax system works, and how the taxation works. Society contributes.”
  Norway’s tradition of tax transparency can be traced back to the 19th century. At that time, Norwegians who were engaged in farming and fishing were working hard to establish their own country (Norway remained a Danish territory until 1814, then became Sweden, and became independent in 1905), but there have been public paper tax bills. . They are kept in government departments, and everyone can verify and view the amount of tax paid on record to ensure that everyone else, including officials and rich peasants, pays the tax.
  Many Norwegians say that there is nothing wrong with tax disclosure. Some people say: “It’s normal income, there’s nothing to look at.” Others emphasize the benefits of transparency: “Opening tax records can effectively detect corruption, tax evasion and other problems.” And just as used to it, “Transparent tax system is like naked After taking a bath, you will feel excited about it the first two times, and then the irritation will disappear.”
  In fact, the three Nordic countries value tax transparency. In Finland, all tax declaration information can be inquired on the computer of the tax bureau or by telephone. Newspapers will also report the tax status of high-income groups and celebrities as soon as the latest tax information is released. In Sweden, you can also get information about the income of others through the phone, and there are also private fee-based service providers that can apply to the state to transfer data and then process it. On the website, you can query the tax data of others, such as neighbors, and you can also see who is married, who has a dog, and what car you drive, and you can jump to the value of the car through a link.
  In Norway, the transparent tax system is not without controversy. Around 2001, many newspapers began to post complete paper tax records online so that everyone could view the personal information of neighbors, ex-husbands, colleagues, or mother-in-law as they wish. The Norwegian Data Protection Agency, the Taxpayer Union, and some conservatives and liberals criticized that this may violate human rights agreements, insult low-income people, and facilitate criminals to find worthy targets.
  In 2011, newspapers could no longer put the information database on the Internet in a completely transparent manner, and the tax bureau had this authority. In 2014, the Norwegian government introduced a new feature to protect privacy. All citizens can see the name, age, and address of citizens who inquire about their data. Since then, the total number of queries per year has dropped from 16 million to 1.6 million, completing the transition from “complete transparency” to “limited transparency”.
  The media can continue to analyze all the data and make the list. For example, the serious business newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv published a top 20 list of national and local income, taxes and assets on its website. Residents can enter their own data to see where their income, assets, and tax payments are among all residents.
  A 2014 study showed that people report their income more honestly out of fear of publicity than when they were in paper tax bills. In the first few years after 2001, the income reported by small business owners in tax declarations increased by three percentage points. Inland Revenue Commissioner Holt said: “We rarely conduct research on this, but we have indeed seen a completely positive effect. For example, we have received a lot of suggestions for violations of the Tax Law, with two to three thousand per year.”
  ”Citizens receive an electronic tax declaration form based on data from employers, governments, and financial institutions. They have already filled out an electronic tax declaration form. They only need to verify the amount and make corrections and supplements if necessary, such as unregistered information in the system, existing foreign Assets. Everything is perfect, and sometimes I even worry that the Norwegians trust the tax system too much.” Holt said. Too much trust! For the tax system! All this sounds like coming from another world.