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From 15 March 2021 you can check your 2020 tax notice

Want to find out if you will be getting any kroner back from your 2020 pre-tax payment? Or worse – that SKAT wants you to pay more? And did they get your deductions right?

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By Bente D. Knudsen

In a digital society, data, and most importantly correct data, is key.

As of 15 March 2021, you can check your tax assessment notice for 2020; it is a summary of your tax for the past year, showing your income, deductions, allowances and tax paid.

In Danish it is called the årsopgørelse.

It will show whether you are entitled to a refund of overpaid tax,or if you have paid too little tax.

It is important to check the 2020 tax assessment notice and make any changes to it before the end of the deadline on 1 May 2021 (for some expats there may be longer notice, for instance if you run your own business, then the deadline is 1 July 2021).

In a country, where the individual tax payment is high, tax deductions, which everyone with an income are entitled to, are important; having deductions means that you can earn a certain amount of money without having to pay tax.

If you are married, and do not use all of your deductions and allowances, they (or what is left of them) are transferred to your spouse.

If you, or your spouse, has no income, the deductions can be transferred to the one who does, so always check that a spouse’s unused deductions have been transferred to the one who works.

DID they get your deductions RIGHT? Find out below

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Transport deductions:

Danish tax experts recommend that you always check the figures SKAT has used to calculate your deduction for transport between home and work. For every km above 24 km per day (calculated as more than 12 km for each trip (that is home to work and work to home), you can deduct a fixed amount.

The actual transport expenses and the means of transport are irrelevant.

However, SKAT may have used what is called the “fugleflugtslinie”, a “bird’s flight distance” from your home to work, which may be shorter than the actual distance you have either when driving or taking the train.

It is always possible to contest SKAT’s calculation – and change it in your tax assessment notice to the actual km you have measured you use for work related transport.

The 2020 deduction per km per day for a distance of 25-120 km is DKK 1.96 per km and less for the km above 120 km (DKK 0.98 per km)

Also,  SKAT uses an average number of working days – maybe yours are different – so check how many working days they used in their calculation. Also most importantly, if you have changed to a home office due to the epidemic, you need to correct the amount of days you took your car to work.

Special service deduction
The service deduction (håndværkerfradrag) for work and services performed for you in your home is an amount each person can deduct for work performed in the home – notice the amount is an individual amount – so for married couples remember you have the double amount.

Unfortunately, SKAT has no information in English about it on their website – Danish only.

The deductible amount in 2020 is DKK 6,200 per person for services and DKK 12,500 for certain improvements in your home (rented or owned).

It is only possible to get a deduction for wages, not for materials and other supplies and the type of work done must be on the list of approved services.

It should have been paid for before 28 February 2021.

Take note that in 2020 the total amount of DKK 18,700 is split into DKK 6,200 for house/gardening help and DKK 12,500 for work on your home (for instance painting, change of old windows etc).

In Danish the first are called serviceydelser and the second håndværkerfradrag.

The list is quite long and is independent of whether or not you own or rent, however, you must be responsible for maintenance of the home you are renting.

For instance, you can deduct wages from a person, or business, who has cleaned your house, helped with washing of clothes, curtains or carpets, polished your windows, done gardening or been babysitting.

Notice that help with homework cannot be deducted!

A condition, to use this deduction, is that the payment has been made digitally directly to the person or business’s bank account – so cash payment is not accepted as a base for deductions; any person employed must be above the age of 18 and have made a declaration of employment to you with full CPR number and address.

You cannot deduct wages for people living in house – so the cost of an au-pair does not count.

For regular maintenance and repairs of your home, such as painting or other renovations, only wages from people employed by a business entity with a CVR number can be deducted.

Check the list on SKAT’s homepage called håndværkerfradrag

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How to pay or get money back?

If you are entitled to a tax refund, then SKAT will automatically pay the refund amount into your NEM account. If you need to pay more taxes, you will get a notice of when and how to pay it.

You can find your  tax assessment notice in E-tax (TastSelv), here you can check the information SKAT has about you, it is also here you can correct the information.

Take note of the difference: the tax assessment notice is for the past year, in this case 2020.

Find out why it is important to check your preliminary tax statement for 2021 below

Check your 2021 preliminary tax statement as well

You can also check and correct your 2021 preliminary tax statement online at tast selv, in Danish forskudsopgørelse. It is also ready and available at skat.dk.

If you are new to the Danish tax system, the preliminary tax statement is a kind of running budget of your income and thus taxes for a year.

It is a preliminary calculation of your expected income, your tax deductions, it states your personal calculated tax (tax percentage) for the current year and is the percentage ,which your employer will take from your salary and pay to SKAT for you.

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If you are earning more than what SKAT knows, or have bought a house (or sold one), or in any way have changed your income, this will affect your tax payment.

If you are paying too much, you will only get it back at the end of the year, however, if you are not paying enough, you might get a surprise extra tax at the end of year.

In order to avoid this, the Danish tax authorities at SKAT urge all citizens to check their preliminary tax statement and to update any incorrect data.

When you correct your preliminary tax statement, a new tax percentage is calculated automatically and sent to your employer, who will use it for the withheld tax on your 2021 salary.

Remember that you can correct your preliminary tax statement all year.

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