I love paying taxes (in Norway)

I love paying taxes here in Norway. Seriously, I love it.

I take pleasure in paying my share not because I am some kind of masochistic ideologue but for rational and pragmatic reasons.

I love paying taxes because the tax code and laws are straightforward and simple. Every year the government automatically calculates my taxes for me and sends me a completed return digitally, which I can amend. Usually my taxes are done within 30 minutes online, no expensive accountants needed.

I love paying taxes because the system is relatively progressive and fair, the budget process is generally transparent with substantive discussions about priorities and policies. Transparency extends to everyone - in Norway, an individual’s income and taxes paid are public information, accessible to all, all the time. Any citizen can look up the Prime Minister's income and taxes. (@DonaldTrump)

THE GUARDIAN: When it comes to tax transparency Norway leads the field

I love paying taxes because I enjoy the benefits of living in a society with a big, healthy middle class. I know that my taxes contribute to a society where virtually everyone, regardless of class or income, can send their kids to college, take a summer vacation, take months off to care for their newborns, get the medical care they need, and participate fully in society. Taxes help pay for roads, bridges and public transportation which are generally in good condition, enabling safe and convenient access to even remote and sparsely populated places throughout the country.

I love paying taxes because I know all those good metrics related to education, income, health, happiness, etc (which Nordic countries have been dominating for over 15 years in a row) are in large part due to pragmatic social policies and taxation.

I love paying taxes because I get to live in a society where equality of income, wealth and opportunity is a value and a goal shared by the overwhelming majority of voters, even most of those on the “right.”

I love paying taxes because, as a top bracket tax payer, I know my success was not completely of my own making. I benefited from the society I live in and the contributions of everyone which made opportunities (and a good life) possible. I want the same for others and for my own children.

So at least for this American expat living in Norway, I welcome tax season with open arms. As it turns out, I’m getting a small refund. I'll be wishing my fellow taxpayers and citizens Happy Tax Season. Cheers!

Income and taxes paid are public information, accessible to all Norwegians.


Income tax brackets are higher than in the U.S. but lower than that of Sweden and Denmark. A significant portion of tax revenue comes from value-added taxes (VATs) or sales taxes. Source: Wikipedia


Filing one's taxes is digital and quick.

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