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News Link • TAXES: Federal

In Norway, everyone's tax info is just a click away

•, Pierre-Henry DESHAYES

The fact that a billionaire could take over the White House without providing his tax returns, or that a French presidential election frontrunner could be rocked by revelations that he paid his family handsome sums for suspected phoney work, are inconceivable scenarios in this Scandinavian country.

"In Norway there's a culture of openness on these issues, which makes it unlikely to get elected without being transparent about your tax situation and earnings," the head of the Norwegian Tax Administration, Hans Christian Holte, told AFP.

Each year, the tax agency publishes key information on all taxpayers -- including earnings, wealth, and tax payments -- on its website.

The thinking in this Protestant country is that there's more incentive to chip in your "two cents" to the communal pot when you see that everyone else is doing the same.