Årsopgørelse: How to check whether you are due money as Denmark releases tax returns

Monday March 13th is the release date for this year’s annual Danish tax return, the ‘årsopgørelse’.

Årsopgørelse: How to check whether you are due money as Denmark releases tax returns
Denmark's annual tax returns were released on March 13th. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish Tax Authority, Skattestyrelsen, opened access to the årsopgørelse or annual tax return on Monday morning.

As is always the case when the yearly tax statements are released, there is heavy traffic on the website so some queuing and waiting will be likely throughout the day for taxpayers logging on to the platform to check their returns.

Annual tax returns (årsopgørelser) in Denmark cover calendar years. They are released in March and finalised in late spring, meaning taxpayers have this period to correct the information on their tax returns from the previous calendar year.

The returns account for income over the preceding tax year as well as deductions and taxes paid.

Too much tax paid during the preceding year (without adjustment of the preliminary tax return, forskudsopgørelse during the course of that year), can mean the tax payer is due a tax refund. This will show on the annual return on its release in March.

The reverse applies if less than the correct rate has been paid for that person’s individual circumstances, meaning money might be owed to the Danish tax system. Repayments must be made by July 1st.

Once you have logged on to the platform, you can click on ‘årsopgørelse’ to see your return for 2023. Money due to be repaid to you will display as a green figure. If you have to pay money back, the number will be in red.

The annual tax return can be manually adjusted, such as by changing information relating to income or deductions, until May 1st.

For example, journeys of more than 24 kilometres to and from workplaces are eligible for a transport deduction, kørselsfradraget in Danish. The number of days in which you travelled to work, and the distance travelled, can be entered manually and corrected on the annual return if it is too high or too low. This can be relevant for people with flexible work-from-home arrangements.

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

Normally, around three in four people receive money back from the tax authorities once the return is finalised. The amount paid back varies and depends on individual circumstances.

Rebates from the tax system are automatically paid back, usually beginning in April.

I’m a Danish taxpayer. What do I need to know about this and what should I do?

The annual tax overview, årsopgørelsen, shows your income, deductions and what you have paid in taxes in the last tax year.

The annual statement is released annually in March, when you can see if you are owed money back or if you paid too little in taxes during the preceding year. In most cases, rebates are automatically deposited into your bank account.

In 2023, you can view and correct your 2022 annual statement from March 13th.

Most of the information in the annual statement is provided automatically by your employer or bank. If the information is correct, you do not need to take any further action.

However, you may need to enter some things into the report yourself, depending on your income type and whether you are entitled to any deductions.

These include deductions for transport (kørselsfradrag), child support (børnebidrag) and work clothing and equipment. You also need to enter details of income from shareholdings and properties you own.

More in-depth detail on how these deductions and declarations work can be found on the Tax Agency website (in Danish) with some detail also provided on the website’s English language version.

The Danish Tax Agency can be contacted via telephone in case of queries regarding your annual return. The telephone number to contact the agency is 7222 2828.

READ ALSO: Does Denmark really have the highest tax in the world?

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Danish government to increase tax break for trade union members

The Danish government says it wants trade union membership to be made cheaper by increasing tax subsidies given on membership fees.

Danish government to increase tax break for trade union members

The tax subsidy for trade union membership fees would be increased from 6,000 kroner to 7,000 kroner per year under the government plan.

“We are doing this to strengthen the Danish [labour] model and it obviously will also give a tax break to many Danes,” Social Demlcratic tax minister Jeppe Bruus told financial news outlet Finans.

“The Danish model depends on a high grade of membership for both trade unions and employer organisations. We are giving a helping hand in this regard,” he said.

Danish tax rules allow reductions on taxable income for membership fees paid to both trade unions and unemployment insurance providers termed A-kasser.

READ ALSO: Four ways to (legally) lower your tax bill in Denmark

A similar proposal was tabled in parliament by the previous, single-party Social Democratic government and had a majority backing, but was not adopted in time for last November’s election.

The Social Democrats have since supported their current partners in the coalition government, the Liberal (Venstre) and Moderate parties, to support the plan.

The Liberals were reported to oppose the move as recently as November 24th, when they were still in talks to form the government.

The new proposal to increase the tax break on trade union membership comes after the government successfully abolished the Great Prayer Day public holiday, effective from 2024.

The Great Prayer Day abolition was strongly opposed by trade unions, who accused it of being an attack on the Danish labour model.

But the new proposal will not soften the blow of losing the public holiday, the leader of trade union HK said in comments to Finans.

“If the government thought this, they certainly have a quite different target to me,” HK chairperson Anja C. Jensen told Finans.

Jensen meanwhile praised the proposal for being a “recognition of the role of trade unions in the Danish [labour] model”.