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Forskudsopgørelse: Five tips for your preliminary Danish tax return

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Forskudsopgørelse: Five tips for your preliminary Danish tax return
It will soon be a good time to start thinking about the preliminary Danish tax return or "forskudsopgørelsen". Photo: Signe Goldmann/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark’s ‘forskudsopgørelse’ or preliminary tax return is issued to taxpayers in November. Here are five tips to help you make sure your income and deductions information is correct.


In the middle of November – on the 14th in 2023 – the Danish Tax Authority, Skat, releases the preliminary tax return or forskudsopgørelse for the following year. These are accessible via the self-service tax portal. 

That means the preliminary tax returns to be released this month will eventually form the basis of the final tax return, årsopgørelse, which is released in March and finalised by May.

As such, the preliminary return carries information over from the preceding tax year (the current year at the time of release). Tax years in Denmark follow calendar years.

By ensuring the preliminary return contains correct information, taxpayers can ensure they do not have to pay a tax deficit when the returns are finalised the following year.

This means that if your circumstances have changed this year – your job, commuting situation or home ownership, for example – then it’s worth correcting information as soon as the preliminary return is released.


This helps to make sure your monthly payments don’t leave you with a deficit that will have to be paid later (or conversely, to guard against overpaying, which would result in having to wait for a tax rebate).

The Tax Authority advises all taxpayers to check their preliminary returns.

A range of deductions can be applied to Danish income tax and you can check whether you qualify for these and enter information using the forskudsopgørelse. Deductions can be given for pensions contributions, donations to charities, unemployment insurance and trade union membership and commuting costs among other things.

Prior to the March publication of the annual return, you can check how much tax you’ve paid or are due to pay during the course of the year and edit your income and deductions details on the preliminary version of the return, the forskudsopgørelse. 

Deficits or rebates are notified to taxpayers once the annual return is finalised, based on the tax you have paid throughout the year compared to the calculated amount due on the tax return.

The following steps can be followed once you can access the forskudsopgørelse:

Check your income information is correct

A number of factors can affect the amount that is registered as your annual income. A change of jobs, freelance work for which you pay “B-skat”, and the results of your company if self-employed are all potential factors. The amount should be correct to ensure an accurate final tax return.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What is Denmark’s B-tax and who has to pay it?


Check additional income is included in your total income

People who are self-employed or work as freelancers and submit invoices for services rendered, termed honorarmodtagere in Danish, do not have tax on this income regularly deducted through their employer ("A-skat"), and will instead have to keep track of "B-skat" tax payments on this income, making sure to include it in their tax return.

Therefore, income of this type should be included in your tax return and the resultant tax or “B-skat” payments thereby kept updated.

If you are an employee, income subject to B-tax can include perks given by your company for private use such as a company car or phone, or accommodation.

Check interest from earnings or losses

These may be taxable or tax deductible and should therefore be correct, and are subject to change due to outside factors as well as changes to your own personal situation.

For example, if you have restructured your mortgage, your interest situation will have changed and this will affect how much tax you will be liable for in relation to interest.

Tax can be applied to interest on both profits and losses.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to restructure and reduce your mortgage in Denmark


Have you been on parental leave?

If you’ve had a child and taken parental leave this year, firstly congratulations, but secondly check your preliminary tax return once you’ve caught up on a bit of sleep.

Social welfare received while on parental leave (barselsdagpenge) counts as income and is taxed, so you'll need to add it to your forskudsopgørelse even if you don't expect to be earning any other money in the coming tax period.

While Denmark’s social welfare system has generous parental leave provisions, barselsdagpenge or parental leave payments do not normally match the income from your job 1:1, so the income information drawn from your employer by Skat may not reflect changes related to your parental leave.

READ ALSO: What benefits are you entitled to if you have children in Denmark?

Check your commuter deductions

Commuter deductions or befordringsfradrag can be applied to your tax if you travel anything more than 24 kilometres to and from work each day.

If you work from home intermittently or regularly, if you have moved or changed jobs, or if you have switched between office and remote working, the amount you qualify for will change.

The commuter deduction is calculated based on the length of your journey to work and the number of times you made the journey throughout the year – details which can be entered into the forskudsopgørelse.

READ ALSO: Danish government wants higher commuter tax deductions in rural areas


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