In order to pay tax in Denmark, you need a personal registration number (CPR number). You apply for this in a slightly different way depending on whether you are commuting or moving to Denmark.
If you move to Denmark, you can read more about the Central Person Register.
If you are commuting to Denmark, you need to get your employment contract before applying for the CPR number. In such cases, the Danish tax authority (SKAT) can accept a preliminary contract as long as it contains the necessary information.
You can fill in the application for the CPR number either online or on a physical form. The form can be found on SKAT's website.
In addition to the employment contract, you must attach:
- Passport or national ID card
- Residence or work permit (If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU / EEA)
- Personal certificate or family certificate (if you are married)
You cannot get a CPR number if there is more than 21 days left before you start your Danish employment. In addition, you cannot start the application process if there are more than 60 days until your work start.
Fully or partially taxable
Whether you choose to move or commute will have an impact on the tax level in Denmark, as you will be fully or partly taxable in Denmark.
In general, you are fully taxable if you:
- Live in Denmark permanently
- Staying in Denmark for at least 6 consecutive months
- Is posted for a stay abroad by a Danish authority, municipality or state
You are subject to limited tax liability if you:
- Work in Denmark for a Danish employer, but live in another country (in this case the income from the Danish employer in Denmark is taxed when the work is carried out in Denmark).
Remember that even though you have limited tax liability in Denmark, you are very likely to have full tax liability in another country. In this case, the country where you live permanently. In this case you are expected to declare your Danish income in your tax return in eg. Sweden or Norway.
Calculation of tax and deductions
Your taxable income in Denmark is both personal income such as salary, pension, valuables and various personal assets, capital income from interest or rental of property. You can also get deductions for fees paid towards trade union membership and unemployment insurance fund, as well as expenses in connection with work trips.
Read more about deductions here.
Apart from the already stated information, your tax is calculated on the basis of information from your employer, mortgage-credit institutes and your own information provided in the Tast-Selv function on the SKAT website. Remember to adjust your information if your prerequisites change - for example, home purchase, marriage, etc.
When you get a job in Denmark there are a number of things you should get done as soon as possible. It can also be a good idea to keep an eye on the order in which they are to be done. A rule of thumb is to follow the order below:
Employment contract: The Danish authorities require you have this in place before you apply for your Danish social security number, which you need to be able to pay tax in Denmark. Remember to read more about what the contract says about a number of circumstances such as working in several countries, pensions and parental leave.
Apply for tax card and personal registration number: In Denmark, the personal registration number is referred to as a CPR number (Centrale Personregister). You use the same form to apply for your personal registration number and tax card, and this is also where you enter your work and income conditions. Should your situation change, you can always change the information you have provided.
Health card: When you move to Denmark and apply for a CPR number, you can get a Danish health card that you use when you go to a Danish doctor. If you commute to Denmark for work, you must apply for a special health card to gain access to the health service in Denmark. Do it here.
- Bank account and NemID: In order to have your salary paid, you need to set up a Danish bank account or alternatively a specific commuter account with your Swedish bank. You must also remember to register your account as a "NemKonto", which is an account type that the Danish authorities can make public transfers to. NemID acts as a digital signature that you can get through your Danish bank when you create your account, through Citizen Service or International House Copenhagen. NemID is also used to log in to various public authorities’ computer systems.
- Unemployment insurance fund: If you work in Denmark you should register for a Danish unemployment insurance fund. Please make sure that you are enrolled in a unemployment insurance fund from your first working day. If you are unsure which unemployment insurance fund you should choose, you can see the different options here. If you live in Sweden and work in both countries, it may also be necessary for the Swedish Social Insurance Agency in Sweden to make a statement that you must be socially insured, so remember to notify Försäkringskassan in Sweden about your employment in Denmark.
To be able to receive unemployment benefits when you become unemployed, you must comply with the Danish rules that require you to:
Be registered as a job seeker at your local job center from the first day you are out of work
Be a member of an unemployment insurance fund for at least one year
Have been employed as an employee for at least 52 weeks during the past three years (if you are full-time insured), or has been employed as an employee for at least 34 weeks during the past three years (if you are part-time insured)
Be available for the labor market (eg you have to apply for a job and be able to accept job offers)
Confirm job searches every week on jobnet.dk
Read more about unemployment benefits in Denmark at borger.dk.
Similar to Sweden, the Danish pension system consists of several different types of pension. In general, the public part of the pension is smaller in Denmark, and it is not customary for the employer to contribute to a occupational pension. On the other hand, it is more common for private pension savings to be considerably higher. Remember to examine what your employment contract contains when it comes to retirement so that you can adjust your private pension savings in case you want to get closer to the Swedish model.
Read more about pension in Denmark here.
In Denmark, the most common types of housing are rental housing, cooperative housing and condominium.
Rental housing is available through both general and private landlords who comply to different legislation.
Cooperative housing means you buy the right to live in a given apartment. The housing complex is run by an association and as a shareholder, one must pay a monthly fee that goes to the association's operation every month. Generally, co-operatives are cheaper to buy as the price is not determined by the market, but is somewhat more expensive when it comes to monthly fees.
When you buy a condominium you also become part of an owner's association, but this association's primary task is to pay for the joint expenses such as renovation, and, contrary to the cooperative housing association, have less influence on the members. When it comes to the price, a condo is usually more expensive to buy, but has a lower monthly fee than a cooperative.
Your Danish employment contract should include:
- Employer's name and address
- The name and address of the new employee
- Work title or description of tasks
- Start date for employment
- The employee's rights - eg pay and holiday terms
- Rules for termination
- Salary, allowance, pension, time of payment
- Working hours and possibly an agreement regarding overtime
- Possibly a collective agreement
- Other important factors that may affect employment
In Denmark, the agreement between the social partners is negotiated for the individual industries and typically runs between 1 and 4 years. As a starting point, the employer must also follow the rules of the agreement when it comes to possibly non-organized employees.
Many people who work in Denmark are employed according to the Salaried Employees' act (funktionærloven) which contains legislation regarding employment conditions when it comes to matters such as termination, illness, parental leave as well as competition and customer clauses.
When it comes to pay, this can be determined in different ways. Partly individually, between you and your employer, and partly through collective agreements with your union. In general, full-time employment in Denmark involves a 37-hour working week, with a maximum limit of 48 hours.
Your employment contract may contain paragraphs on working in several countries. In this case, you may be asked to sign that you may not take part-time work in Sweden while you are employed in Denmark. The reason for this is that your Danish employer is subject to Swedish social insurance legislation if you also work in Sweden. Therefore, the employer can be forced to pay Swedish employer tax on your salary.
Read more about this on the Øresunddirekt's website.
If you move from Sweden to Denmark you must register in the Danish Central Person Register at a citizens service centre and report your transfer to the Swedish Tax Agency. This must be reported within five days after you have moved to Denmark as long as you meet the conditions for being registered.
If you are a citizen of another Nordic country and move to Denmark from another Nordic country, you must be registered in Denmark if you are staying in the country for more than six months. You also have the right to be registered in Denmark if you are staying in country for at least three months.
To be registered in Denmark, you must go to International House Copenhagen or Citizen Service in the municipality you are moving to. Here you apply not only for a CPR number, but also a health card and a European health insurance card (blue), which shows that you have the right to health care outside the country.
If you are moving from a Nordic country you must bring:
- Passport or other identification
- Your personal idenity in the country you are leaving
- The address you are moving from
- Your Danish address
When you work in Denmark you might want to consider joining a Danish Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). There are a large number of UIF’s in Denmark with different prices and offers to choose from. The best thing you can do is to decide which UIF best suits your preferences. You will find an overview here.
Keep in mind that when switching from one UIF to another - also across national borders - it is important that there is no gap in membership between the UIF periods.
If you live in Sweden but are a citizen from a country outside of the EU/EEA, you do not have the automatic right to work in or move to Denmark.
Generally, if you have lived in an EU country, such as Sweden, for five years, you can get a status of "long-term resident", which means that you are able to move on to another EU country to work. But it is important to be aware that these rules on "long-term residents" do NOT apply to the following countries: Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Find out more here.
If you have further questions about what applies to third country citizens living in Sweden or Denmark who want to work in the other country as a cross-border worker, you can contact the Øresunddirekt information centre in Malmö for more information.
Contact the Øresunddirekt information centre.
Many years of experience helping young jobseekers
Since 1985 we have helped young jobseekers find employment in another Nordic country through the exchange programme Nordjobb. Through this work, we have acquired extensive experience that will benefit you as a participant, so that you can get the best possible start in your new home country.