Residents in Denmark may earn a certain amount of money each year before having to pay tax.

If you earn less than this specific amount, a tax exemption card is the right tax card for you. If you earn more, a primary tax card and a secondary tax card are right for you.

We call all three types for tax cards. They are available online and find your tax card in E-tax (TastSelv).

Understand your tax card

Use your tax exemption card if your expected income within the year is less than the amount of money you are allowed to earn before you have to pay tax. Typically, you use your tax exemption card when you are young and start your first job or when you receive the state education grant (SU) while living at home and having no job.

You only start paying tax once you have earned as much as your tax exemption card allows you to. If you work and earn a salary, however, you will have to pay labour market contributions (AM-bidrag) of 8% of your entire salary - even in you have a tax exemption card.

Your tax exemption card may be used by multiple employers or providers (state education grant for example). Once you have earned what corresponds to the amount on your tax exemption card, your employer/provider will withhold tax according to the withholding rate stated on your preliminary income assessment. Your employer/provider will automatically be informed of the withholding rate by the Danish Tax Agency (Skattestyrelsen).

At the end of the year, you will normally receive a new tax exemption card. However, please check your preliminary income assessment to see if it has been generated.

How much can you earn without having to pay tax?

It varies from person to person how much a person can earn without having to pay tax. It depends on your deductions and allowances which again depend on a number of personal matters.

At the top of your preliminary income assessment you can see the amount relevant for you. If you have a tax exemption card, it is stated as a so-called tax exemption amount which is the amount you are allowed to earn for the year without having to pay tax. If you have a primary tax card, the number stated tells you how much you may earn per month or per two weeks without having to pay tax.

Irrespective of the amounts stated in your preliminary income assessment you always have to pay 8% of your salary in labour market contributions (AM-bidrag) (however, this does not apply to the state education grant (SU), unemployment, sickness and parental leave benefits (dagpenge) or pension).

If you earn more than what your tax exemption card allows you to, you will get a primary tax card and a secondary tax card.

You need to inform your employer, the state education grant administration or, for example, your pension provider whether to use your primary or secondary tax card.

Primary tax card

Your primary tax card is used for your primary income (your job or the state education grant (SU), for example). Your primary tax card should only be used by one employer/provider.

Your primary tax card states both your withholding rate and your monthly tax-free deductions and allowances. When you employer/provider pays your salary, tax is only withheld on the amount exceeding your monthly tax-free deductions and allowances.

So, if more than one employer/provider uses your primary tax card, you may end up paying too little tax resulting in outstanding tax the following year.

Secondary tax card

You only use your secondary tax card if you have more than one employer/provider (if you have a job and receive the state education grant (SU) at the same time, for example). You may use your secondary tax card for multiple employers/providers.

You secondary tax card only states your withholding rate. When your employer/provider pays you, tax is withheld on the entire amount.

See who uses which tax card

See who uses your primary and secondary tax cards by logging on to E-tax and clicking ‘Søg i indkomstoplysninger' (Search income information)

The Danish Tax Agency (Skattestyrelsen) automatically generates a tax exemption card for you the year you turn 15.

If you want to generate a tax exemption card yourself, you need to log on to E-tax (TastSelv). If you are under 15, you need to log on using an E-tax password (TastSelv-kode). Order E-tax password. If you are older than 15, you need to log on using NemID. Order NemID

Generating your tax exemption card

  1. Log on to E-tax (TastSelv)
  2. If a tax exemption card amount already appears on your preliminary income assessment, your tax exemption card has been generated and you do not have to do anything further.
  3. If there is no tax exemption card amount, you need to enter your expected income in field 201. If you cannot see this field, click 'Nyt job' (New job) under 'Oftest tilføjede felter' (Frequently added fields) and select 'Lønindkomst' (Earned income).
  4. Enter the date of your first working day in field 366.
  5. Click 'Beregn' (Calculate) at the bottom of the page and check that you have entered the correct amount.
  6. Click 'Godkend' (Accept).

Your tax exemption card is now being generated. You can see it (various figures) at the top of your preliminary income assessment. You do not need to do anything further.

If you are a parent WHO wants to help you child, you need to log on to E-tax using your child's E-tax password or NemID.

It may happen that your employer or whoever pays your salary, student grant or pension uses the wrong tax card. If so, you need to ask the relevant party to retrieve the correct tax card electronically from the Danish Tax Agency (Skattestyrelsen), as you are unable to do it yourself.

  • Inform your employer etc. whether it is your primary or secondary tax card that should be used.
  • When your employer etc. has retrieved the new tax card, he can correct the payment you receive.
  • If you have paid too much tax, you will receive a refund the following year.

If your employer etc. experiences problems retrieving your tax card, he will need to contact the Tax Agency on (+45) 72 22 28 24.

Please see our legal guide (in Danish) for further legal information.