Denmark’s tax authority sends thousands of 'friendly reminders' before Christmas

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Denmark’s tax authority sends thousands of 'friendly reminders' before Christmas
The Danish Tax Authority is to send thousands of 'friendly reminder' letters before Christmas to people who are due to make payments in January. File photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Ritzau Scanpix

Thousands of taxpayers in Denmark will receive a reminder letter in their mailboxes this week but they shouldn’t expect it to contain a Christmas greeting.


The Danish Tax Authority (Skattestyrelsen) is sending reminder letters in the days before Christmas to up to 152,000 people who pay B-skat tax or have outstanding tax payments (restskat) due for payment in January.

It sounds like a policy thought up by Ebenezer Scrooge himself, but the agency says the letters are part of new measures to help prevent late payments and smooth the process for people who are responsible for their own tax returns.


The reminder letters are sent either digitally to secure mailboxes or by physical post.

While people who are employed have income tax automatically deducted from their monthly wage, self-employed people and freelancers generally enter their earnings and pay tax themselves using the B-skat system.

The Tax Authority said in a statement that it hoped the timely letters would encourage more people to register for the direct betalingsservice via their online banks, meaning their monthly taxes are drawn automatically from their bank accounts.

The pre-Christmas letters are intended as a "friendly reminder -- a form of service letter" and are not a demand for immediate payment, Tax Authority deputy director Rikke Busk Ginnerup stressed.

“We hope sending the letters will give a closer dialogue with the public so we can help individuals along the way if they want to make repayment arrangements for outstanding taxes or with changes to their preliminary returns [forskudsopgørelse, ed.] in connection with payment of B-skat,” Ginnerup said in the statement.

READ ALSO: Forskudsopgørelse: Why checking your preliminary Danish tax return matters

The service letters are part of an overall campaign by the tax agency to improve assistance for taxpaying businesses and individuals.

Flexible payment options should also make it easier to pay taxes and fees on time, the tax agency said.

“These many letters are an attempt to help the public to do things correctly,” Ginnerup said.

“Tax isn’t easy for many people. We know this and that’s part of the reason why we’re here,” she said.

Outstanding tax, restskat in Danish, is the amount of tax that remains to be paid on an annual income. Final outstanding tax for the year can be seen in March, when the final tax return or årsopgørelse is published and accessible for all individual taxpayers in Denmark by logging into the website.

If too much tax has been paid throughout the year, this results in overskydende skat (surplus tax) as opposed to restskat, and the taxpayer receives an automatic rebate.

READ ALSO: Årsopgørelse: What you need to know about Denmark's annual tax return


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also