This is an old post from Emigrant1-Norway, and I think it was so well written that it deserves translation. It has been posted on the Facebook pages of our Finance and Prime Ministers where it probably is not approved for viewing. It is also sent by email to Gahr Støre and Hareide, both members of our Stortinget, who both think that the (´Kildeskatt`), Withholding tax is such a good idea.
1) "It's very rarely I involve myself in discussions in forums like this. But I now think someone here exceeds all limits with their hateful posts against their fellow countrymen who have been living abroad in the sunset of their years.
I myself, a minimum pensioner with less than NOK 160,000, as income, living in a medium sized city in Southern Norway have a low pension due to the fact that I fell out of work due to congenital maladies. I have accepted that. But I am lucky that I live in Norway, one of the richest countries in the world. I receive monthly NOK 6,420 in housing support (my rent is today NOK 9950 per month), NOK 77,000 a year.
In addition, I am medically dependent but can live at home. In any case until now. But I receive medication on blue prescription for my heart disease (angina) and a previous infarct and also have diabetes type 1 and must have insulin 2-3 times a day. I manage to handle my medicine intake by means of doses that the weekly nurse administers day by day. Altogether, I consume medications which my doctor says amounts to NOK 28,000 a month, or NOK 336,000 a year. In addition, I have home help 2 times a week for cleaning and assistance to cook for me. (dinner for one week at a time). The value of this is estimated by the NAV office at NOK 2.800 per month, or NOK 33. 600 per year.
My minimum pension is thus not NOK 158.900 a year, but NOK 605 500! And I do not pay a penny in taxes, and I have not done so for as long as I can remember. I, therefore, have a low tax ability, have special grants and special allowances for services that I may have. As for ex. Sky TV and others for a normal life.
2) One of my neighbours moved abroad a few years ago, he had to sell his house and the car to get approved tax evacuation. His pension is NOK 246,000 a year. From this, it is now 20.3% in withholding tax and social security contributions (15% + 5.3%) It is 50 000 kroner. He has left 194,000 kroner. All elderly and disabled people living abroad must / should have health/hospital insurance. He is 66 years old and pays 43,600 kroner in insurance a year. He now has 150 400 kroner left. He is a social man who likes to be among people, but he lives very carefully in an apartment with one bedroom and a bathroom, living room, kitchen and balcony in an apartment complex. For this, he pays NOK 4200, including cable TV per month. It is 50 400 kroner a year. Thus his pension is now reduced to exactly NOK 100.000. Now he's going to start living his life ... "his last years in a hurry" desired by the envious section of this forum and elsewhere.
He has worked for the NSB (Norwegian National Railways) for 39 years before retiring, he is a little bothered with sleep and joint pain, I know he is. But he does not complain - and I know he sometimes uses sleeping pills.
He usually stays in Norway on holidays in the summer - the ticket costs approx. NOK 6.000. He usually rents an apartment where I live the 6 weeks he is here - and pays NOK 1.400 a week, that is NOK 8.400. Thus he now continues with NOK 83.600 a year. He has a family in the North of Norway, with children and grandchildren he sometimes visits, and of course, he sends Christmas presents and birthday presents, as our generation appreciates. This man who lives "his last years in a hurry" as the envious perpetrators call it, has now just NOK 80.000 - which is NOK 6.500 kroner per month which are approximately NOK 215.- per day.
Notice that he is not a minimum pensioner, but has a gross salary of NOK 246,000 a year. He is left with far less than the stock market speculators, and what I can often reveal are people employed by the NAV. Shame on you, damned officials that are sitting with your computers and waste time hatching out penalties for a small group of Norwegians who are no burden to society. They only represent 4% of the Norwegian senior citizens and disabled who have chosen to live abroad and carry their own expenses. To those writing insultingly about these people, I wish them to end up in MY situation. As a disabled, forced to live in Norway because of my illnesses. Had I had useful health, I would also have done so, my good friend, living my last years in the sun and warmth.
3) Could not help myself telling a little about MY own case as a minimum-pensioner, earlier also resident in ´Soerlandet´ before I got married in Norway in 2002 and emigrated to Brazil in 2003 as my wife would like to live in the vicinity of her parents. With a minimum pension of gross, NOK 130.000 a year, I would not have been able to survive in Norway with the high costs of living.
Which means that after deduction of 15% ´withholding tax`, I remain with NOK 112,000.- that will have to cover me and my wife with health insurance, medicines and all other usual living costs, or NOK 167.- per person, per day in a country that has almost as high a cost of living in Norway, if you do not live in a straw hut in the Amazonas, living off bananas. We live on the coast, close to the Mega city of Sao Paulo.
I do not even have a full minimum pension because I was "born too early", in 1933, the National Insurance Scheme not being founded before 1967. Therefore I will be deducted the period from 1949 to 1967, a total of 18 years.
This method of calculation may be ok for retirees with regular and high retirement pensions, but should certainly not be used for the minimum pensioners, which should be a minimum amount of money that it may be possible to survive on, thus, not calculated after pension contributions or years of residing in Norway. As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Norway ought to be generous towards those who for various valid reasons have not been able to work, granting them a liveable pension. We are today, every one of us, worth NOK 1.8 million each.
From this miserable pension, the tax authorities find it all right to deduct 15% ´withholding tax` because rich retailers in Norway lose the profits from the products I can not afford to buy abroad.
Had I lived in Norway, I would not have to pay the withholding tax and, moreover, I could have obtained many different subsidies and free membership in the National Insurance Scheme, as well as other additions when needed. None of the many grants mentioned under paragraph 1. are available to the minimum pensioners resident abroad.
As can be seen under 1) above, a pensioner can easily cost the government in excess of NOK 600.000.- per year, so pensioners deciding to spend their pension years abroad are in fact saving the government millions per year and should instead of deduction a 15% tax, on the contrary, CONTRIBUTE 15% towards their private health insurance which they have to pay privately in their new domicile. There are presently 43.000 pensioners living abroad, out of which, only 30% are ethnic Norwegians. (Perhaps therein lies the problem?)
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 5 years ago and had to pay a three-month stay in Sao Paulo without any help or grants from the tax authorities who refused to contribute in any way or delay the withholding tax for a few months. Since four years ago, I have been completely dependent on sleeping drugs due to permanent insomnia, and also on heart and rheumatism drugs which are not cheap.
Thanks to my stay-at-home wife under 65 who makes every effort for me and her mother who also lives with us since her husband passed away a couple of years ago. That's why I do not complain, I do not suffer from any acute medical problem and in better shape than most of my age, but I would like to give MY contribution to this sad tale, so that Norway, hopefully, in the future will no longer be called 'Uncle Scrooge' as one of the world's wealthiest countries.
"Skatteetaten ser skattebetalerne som sine fiender"