About tax - for people resident abroad and working in Denmark

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Deductions from income and allowances from your employer

You may be able to offset certain deductions and allowances against your Danish income before tax is calculated, for example personal allowances. You may also be entitled to deductions for expenses which you have paid in connection with your work in Denmark. If your employer has paid the expenses, you cannot also claim a deduction. Below is an outline of the most common deductions and allowances.

Personal allowance
The personal allowance is a general allowance to which all salary and wage earners are entitled.

The allowance is DKK 43,400 in 2015. You are only entitled to the full allowance if you work in Denmark for the full year. If the period is shorter, you can have your income converted to full-year income and thus become entitled to having a personal allowance deducted from the full-year income. You need to contact SKAT if you wish to use this calculation method.

Transport between home and work
You are entitled to a deduction for transport between your normal residence in your home country and your place of work in Denmark. You are also entitled to a deduction for transport between where you are living in Denmark and your place of work. You are entitled to the deduction regardless of which means of transport you use and regardless of whether you drive alone or with others. The deduction is calculated on the basis of fixed rates which depend on the distance to your place of work. You can always see the applicable rates on SKAT's website.

The rates are fixed for one year at a time.

You are normally entitled to a further deduction if you cross the Great Belt Link or the Øresund Bridge, or if you have to travel by ferry between where you normally live and your place of work in Denmark. Your local municipality's Citizen Service (Borgerservice) and the tax centres can provide more information about the bridge and ferry deductions. For more information, please visit skat.dk/English. Click 'Working in Denmark' - 'Deductions and allowances'.

Please note that if you travel long distances, SKAT may ask you to document your travel expenses.

If your employer pays for your transport, you are not entitled to a deduction for transport  between where you are living and your place of work.

Special rules apply as to when a residence is considered your normal residence.

Food and accommodation
When working temporarily in Denmark, your expenses for food and accommodation are regarded as expenses connected with your work if the distance to your normal residence is such that you are unable to spend the night at your home. Your employer can therefore pay your food and accommodation expenses without you having to pay tax on it. The employer can also choose to pay out tax-free allowances to you to cover the expenses. Allowances for food follow certain standard rates and can be paid out for a maximum of 12 months while you can receive allowances for accommodation as long as the work is on a temporary basis. The allowances can only be paid out when the journey has lasted 24 hours and are only tax-free when they do not exceed the following standard rates:

  • Overnight accommodation
    If you pay for accommodation yourself, in 2015 your employer can pay you a maximum tax-free amount of DKK 202 per night.
  • Food and drink
    For each day that you stay in Denmark, in 2015 your employer can pay you a maximum of DKK 471 per day to cover food and drink without you having to pay tax on it.

Note that special rules apply as to when work is considered temporary and when a residence is considered your normal residence.

The allowance calculated for each journey you make to and from your place of residence in your home country, and is calculated for whole days and for each commenced hour. However, this does not apply to days off where you are able to spend the night at your home in your home country.

SKAT can require to see your employment contract, certificate of residence and family certificate, if any.

If you pay for food and/or accommodation yourself, and your employer does not pay you any tax-free allowances, you are entitled to deduct DKK 202 per night and DKK 471 per day; however no more than DKK 25,900 annually (2015). The rates change every year. You can see the applicable rates on SKAT's website.

Union or unemployment fund membership
You can normally deduct the membership fees you pay to a union or unemployment fund which is associated with your work in Denmark, if they are not deductible in your home country. In 2015 the deduction cannot exceed DKK 6,000.