Bookkeeping obligation

Bookkeeping obligation is the duty to maintain accounts in accordance with the bookkeeping regulations. In short, this means you must keep track of your income and expenses.

What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping means keeping accounts. All purchases and sales which affect the business must be entered in the business's accounting system. Bookkeeping is also sometimes called registration or posting.

The Norwegian Tax Administration on bookkeeping and accounts (in Norwegian only)

What is an bookkeeping obligation?

The bookkeeping obligation means that you must keep accounts in accordance with the bookkeeping rules. These rules are set out in the Bookkeeping Act and the Bookkeeping Regulation. The bookkeeping rules will give you answers to questions such as: What kind of information should an invoice contain? What are the requirements concerning other vouchers? How long should I retain my vouchers for? What requirements are imposed on accounting systems?

Who is subject to the bookkeeping obligation?

Anyone who engages in business activity and is obligated to submit the tax return and/or tax returns for VAT to the authorities is subject to the bookkeeping obligation. Anyone who is subject to the annual accounts obligation under the Accounting Act is also subject to the bookkeeping obligation. The term accounting obligation means that you must prepare and submit a complete set of annual accounts to the Register of Company Accounts. The accounting obligation depends on both the organizational form and the size of the turnover.
Most people who run their own commercial enterprise must therefore keep accounts in accordance with the bookkeeping rules. You should be aware of the difference between the bookkeeping obligation and the accounting obligation.

The Bookkeeping Act on bookkeeping obligation (In Norwegian only)

How often must the accounts be up-to-date?

You must ensure that you have registered all your vouchers so that the accounts are correct before the deadlines for submitting the various statements to the authorities. If you are registered for VAT and submit tax returns for VAT every other month, you must therefore be up-to-date six times a year. If you are not subject to VAT, under the bookkeeping rules you must be up-to-date every four months.

If you have fewer than 600 vouchers and are not registered for VAT, you can defer your bookkeeping until you are due to submit the tax return. However, it is recommended that you do this regularly. A well-organised system for managing your vouchers on an ongoing basis is always an advantage in any case.

The Norwegian Tax Administration on Best practices for daily operations

Bookkeeping Act (in Norwegian only)

Bookkeeping Regulation (in Norwegian only)

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