|SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR MARIE CURIE RESEARCH FELLOWS IN DENMARK
Part of the information provided in this guide comes from
1- "SHORT CUTS GUIDE" published and produced by Ungdomsinformationen - Youth Information Copenhagen (June 1996).
2- "STATUS OF E.U. RESEARCH FELLOWS IN DENMARK" by Bent Greve, Roskilde University, 4000 Roskilde Denmark.
SUMMARY OF STEPS YOU NEED TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT WHEN COMING TO DENMARK
1- Passport or ID card in hand, travel to Denmark.
2- Arrive, find a temporary place to live.
3- Visit your lab and meet your supervisor.
4- Contact the National Register for a temporary personal code number.
5- Go to the tax office with your personal code number and get a tax card.
6- Find a more permanent accommodation.
7- Contact Københavns Overpræsidium and apply for a residence permit on the basis of your job contract.
8- After receiving the permit, go to the National Register again for your official personal code number and choose a doctor.
9- You will receive your official security certificate (CPR) after 6 weeks "qualifying period".
10- Have a great time and ask for good weather.
1. General Conditions for the Community Provisions on Social Security
OBTAINING YOUR WORK PERMIT (see A) AND RESIDENCE PERMIT (see B). WHAT ABOUT HEALTH SERVICES (see C) ?
The addresses provided below are for the fellows staying in Copenhagen local council area. If you move to or live outside this area, you should contact the local police station for details on how and where to apply for the residence permit.
EU and Liechtenstein citizens do not need to apply for a work permit to get a job in Denmark. However fellows need a residence permit if staying more than three months (opholdsbevis). An EU residence permit may be issued to EU nationals once they have found paid work in Denmark or are self-employed. An application for a residence permit normally need to be accompanied by a contract of employment as a proof that the applicant is self-supportive.
EU residence permits are also issued to the spouse and children of EU nationals who have been issued with a permit on the basis the above rules.
Nationals from Nordic countries may enter Denmark and stay in the country for an unlimited period without a residence permit or a work permit. However before leaving you should obtain an Internordisk flyttebevis.
Nordic council of Ministers
Store Strandstraede 18
1255 Copenhagen K
33 96 02 00
A) HOW TO APPLY FOR THE WORK PERMIT (GETTING YOUR “OPHOLDSBEVIS”: “the blue-ID card”)
Nationals of EU states and Liechtenstein may apply for a residence permit (opholdsbevis) by contacting:
1267 Copenhagen K
Tel: 33 12 23 80
Monday- Wednesday: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
For personal visit it is recommended that you go between 9:00 and 12:00 AM (no appointment required).
You can ring for an application form to be sent, but you need to go into their offices with the completed form, 2 passport photos, your passport, and your employment contract. The application must be filled within 3 months of your entry in Denmark. For fellows with contract, you should be getting your permit by mail within a week. An application for a renewal needs to be filled within 15 days from the expire of the permit.
B) HOW TO BECOME REGISTERED (GETTING YOUR CPR NUMBER)
Folkeregistrer (the National Register)
1640 Copenhagen V
Tel: 33 66 60 95
Monday- Wednesday: 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Thursday: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM
You should phone and get an appointment (you will avoid having to wait a long period).
Researchers from EU, excluding Nordic Nationals:
Everyone who stays in Denmark for more than 3 months has to be registered in the Danish bureaucratic system. The following details apply to those living in Copenhagen Local City area (Københavns Kommune).
In order for non-Nordic citizens to become registered, you need a residence permit has a proof that you are allowed to stay in the country for more than three months. The next important requirement is that you need to have a permanent address (a poste restante address is not sufficient). You will then be issued with a personal code number - in Danish, personnummer or CPR nummer (they are the same thing). Your personal code number consists of your date of birth and a four-digit number. If you already have a job and a tax card you will have been issued with a personal code number. You will then at the later stage (see below on the health insurance) be issued with a social security certificate (sygesikringsbevis) which entitles you to free medical treatment.
While you are at the National Register (Folkeregistrer) you will be giving the opportunity to choose a doctor. You can look through a list of doctors within 5 kilometers of the area in which you live, and can see their age and sex.
Residents from the Nordic countries can go directly to the National Register (Folkeregistrer) on arrival. You need to take along your Internordisk flyttebevis in order to be registered. Nordic nationals can expect to wait up to above 3 weeks for a social security certificate to arrive through the post.
Going to the next stage:
If you have got as far as securing residence permit, you've got beyond the worst of it. Now on to the next stage.
Your personal code number can open a number of doors for you, so it is important to get registered as soon as possible, once you have secured a residence permit (see Obtaining residence and work permit section). As mentioned above, it means that you will be issued with a social security certificate; it also makes using libraries and other public facilities a lot easier, and it is used in many other situations. For example it is required at most languages schools if you want to register on a Danish course. You can either ring or make an appointment, or just go to the above address. You need to take along your residence permit and passport or ID card. If you are married or divorced, you need to take documentation of this as well.
Change of address:
If you move you need to notify the National Register (Folkeregistrer) as soon as possible (preferably within 5 days). You can do this by picking up a blue notice of move out form (flytteanmeldelse) from a post office or bank and sending it to the above address. You will then be sent a new social security certificate with your new address on it.
C) HEALTH SERVICES
Everybody is entitled to free emergency treatment in a Danish hospital in acute situations. Medicine prescribed at the hospital in emergency situation is free of charge.
Once you have a resident permit and have registered at the National Register (Folkeregistrer), you will after a period of 6 weeks, be issued with a social security certificate (sygesikringsbevis: “the yellow, plastic card”). These 6 weeks are referred to as the "qualifying period". The qualifying period is considered fulfilled if you can provide evidence of period of insurance, employment, or residence in another EU Member State. To do this you need to submit a form E104 which you should get from the health service/insurance institution in your home country before leaving. Nationals from other countries waiting for a social security certificate need to have their own private health insurance to cover them for this period.
When you receive a social security certificate through the post, you should take it with you when you visit your doctor. It is a yellow plastic card and is also used in libraries and other public facilities where it is necessary to be registered on their computers.
d) Pension Schemes
3. General Rules of Taxation: income and council tax.
b) Tax liability
c) Income Tax
d) Tax Allowances and Relieves (by Roderick Murray-Smith)
Normally people pay a lot of tax in Denmark, but Marie Curie Fellowships fall nicely under the Danish paragraph 48 tax scheme for foreign specialists (udenlandsk specialist). If you get into this scheme you pay 25% tax + your 8% ABM for up to 36 months (no fradrag allowed, nice and simple). You can't have worked before in Denmark (although you can apply for the rate once you have started your existing contract), and your contract must be for 36 months or less. Any income from abroad or investments etc is taxed according to normal rates.
The way to get it is to fill in a form from the Forskningsraad (research council) where they will recognise your project as being suitable for it. http://www.forskraad.dk/ has further info. In general you have to prove that you are essential for the success of the project. As all TMR projects are in the name of the researcher, this is pretty essential! You also have to be working at a Danish research institute/uni.
Once you have that stamped by the research council you send it in to the university's finance people, and they sort out the details. There is an information leaflet by Told & Skat http://www.toldskat.dk which gives all the info (order it by e-mail!) in Danish its "Om valg af 48E-beskatning" and there is an English version of it.
You can extend your contract a further 48 months where you pay normal Danish tax, but if you are still in Denmark after that, you have to pay it all back and pay the normal rate for the full 5 years! So be sure about your plans!
f) Council Tax
4. Conclusion: practical administrative steps to take when arriving and leaving DENMARK
a) Arrival in DENMARK
b) Leaving DENMARK
5. The Host Institution and the Contract
6. Sources of further information in Copenhagen Area:
On the following internet address, you can find all the movie program:
b) Going out
You can find events, entertainment, culture, restaurants, hotels and essential tourist
information for Copenhagen at the "Copenhagen This Week" site:
Annex 1: Useful information about accommodation
finding a place to live
Annex 2: List of useful documents and addresses
Annex 3: TMR national Contact Point in DENMARK
Annex 4: Example of letter to claim tax allowances
Status of E.U. research fellows in Denmark. In particular, assessment of legal conditions, including social and fiscal treatment, offered by research institutions to fellows in compliance with the "General conditions governing research training fellowship.
Bent Greve, Roskilde University, 4000 Roskilde Denmark.
1. Legal issues
1.1. Information on legal definitions
1.2. Danish contact points
2. Fiscal Regime
2.1. Information on fiscal residence
2.2. Information on the tax-regime of research fellows
2.3. Possible tax-allowances
2.4. Danish contact points
3. Social Regime
3.1. Information on the social regime
3.2. Information on compulsory social contributions
3.3. Information on voluntary insurances or social contributions
3.4. Information on the transfer of individual rights
3.5. Information on social benefits
3.6. Information on fringe benefits
3.7. Danish contact points
4. Other important legal obligations
4.1. Different information
4.2. Danish contact points.
5. Breakdown of the income for EU-research fellows
5.1. Breakdown for category 30 (post-doctoral) fellowships
5.2. Breakdown for category 20 (doctoral) fellowships
6. Empirical survey
The intention of this report is to give research fellows, coming to Denmark, an overview of his/her position in relation to the relevant social and tax-regime applicable. In order to present the points clearly there will be some overlap between different sections of the report.
This report would not have been completed without support from public institutions, a reference group established by the Ministry of Research, and help from Tine Rostgaard and Vibeke Kovsted. The author takes full responsibility for any remaining errors and unclear phrases.
I hope the report, and, the short summary will be valuable in increasing the international mobility of research fellows, which would be of significant impact for the European Development in the sense that mobility will be increased.
Roskilde November 1994
1. Legal Issues
1.1. Information on legal definition
A person working in Denmark paid by the Human-Mobility and Capital-Programme will, in principle, have the same rights and obligations as other persons working on the Danish labour market. They will be legally employed as individuals for a fixed period with their salary based on the collective agreement between the relevant trade union and the Danish State.
A person´s legal position concerning employment does not alter according to whether he/she is employed by a state organization, public organization, private organization or an international (or intergovernmental) organization when it comes to the status of the person employed.
A contract stating the conditions and length of employment has to be made between the person and the organization concerned.
Principally these arrangements will not differ from contracts on the Danish labour market. The contract will normally state the wage and pension conditions which apply in this collective agreement.
In all other aspects the research fellow will have the same status as a worker in Denmark and can receive residence and work-permits in accordance with EU-rules, as long as they are employed to do research activities in accordance with the contract.
Category 20 level fellows will normally in Denmark be considered as researchers as in the description in the "Human-mobility and Capital" programme emphasise that they shall do research and work as research assistents and doing so in accordance with a contract issued by the European Community. This means that if they are here in order to carry work out as research assistants they will be considered as having a work on the Danish labour market and employed in accordance with collective agreements.
If on the other hand they are registred as ph.d. students at a ph.d. programme and following the courses in relation hereto and they are here as part of their ph.d. study they will be looked upon as students and payed in accordance with the Danish legislation on ph.d. students.
As the human-mobility and capital programme emphasisis the research activities, and the research is part of the expected outcome of the work, it would be assumed that most of those coming to Denmark will be considered as working in Denmark. They will then be employed as research assistents on a contract with a wages in accordance with collective agreements and the correct level of wages will be dealt with in an agreement between the institution and the research fellow. The lump sum (besides wages or ph.d. grant) from the EU-commissions programme will be used to cover expenses such as travelling expenses and attendance to conferences, publication expenses etc.
In relation to the social and fiscal regime this division has mainly an impact on coverage of different types of social benefit. It also effects if and how fellows could use the specific taxation of foreign researchers in Denmark, cf. section 2.2. A person considered to be student would have a less coverage and would not be able to use the specific tax for foreign researchers, as this is confined to researchers only.
The geographical scope of application of EU-directives is limited to Denmark.
1.2. Danish contact points
The researcher should first make contact with the Danish laboratory involved in the project, as these will often know the best way to get in contact with different public authorities. A survey carried out in relation to this study shows, in general, that there have been no big problems for Danish institutions when receiving a research fellow paid by the Human- Mobility and Capital programme.
The Danish embassy in the country where the individual comes from will also be a good starting point for operational information workpermit and permission to stay in Denmark.
Work and recidence permits: Ministry of Interior (Indenrigsministeriet) , Christiansborg Slotsplads 1, 1218 København K., 33923380 or Department for Foreigners (Direktoratet for Udlændinge), Ryesgade 53, 2100 København Ø, 31393100
Ministry of Research(Forskningsministeriet), H.C. Andersens Boulevard 40, 1553, Københan V., 33114300.
2. Fiscal regime
2.1. Information on fiscal residence
A person who is not a resident of Denmark is, in principle, not liable to pay Danish tax.
A person is considered a resident of Denmark, if the person has hired or bought or a house or flat or if he/she has a right to use a house or flat. When a residence is established, the person will be subject to full Danish tax liability. Full Danish tax liability implies that the person is taxable on his global income - also income earned in other countries. If the person remains a resident of the country from which he came, the Danish taxation may be reduced in accordance with the double taxation agreement between this country and Denmark.
Even without being a resident of Denmark and subject to full Danish tax liability a research fellow who besides the work under a EU-contract takes up work or receives other income in Denmark will be subject to Danish tax liability of the wages or other income in accordance with Danish taxation laws and a double taxation agreement between his/her home country and Denmark. It has to be borne in mind that a Human-mobility and Capital researcher only is eligible for a grant when “receiving no other income from research activities”.
This means that research fellows coming to Denmark will, in principle, have to pay Danish income tax and the new social security contribution from the time of starting up the project and receiving the salary in accordance with the EU-contract.
Table 1 presents a short description of taxation in accordance with Danish double taxations agreements with the other EU-countries.
Table 1. Different groups covered by double taxation or not
Students Professors Professors
only teaching teaching and/or
UNITED KINGDOM YES NO NO
GERMANY YES NO NO
BELGIUM YES YES YES
FRANCE YES YES NO
GREECE YES NO NO
EIRE YES NO NO
ITALY YES YES YES
LUXEMBOURG YES NO NO
NETHERLAND YES YES NO
PORTUGAL YES NO NO
SPAIN YES YES YES
Note: A YES means that a person will have to pay tax in their home country in accordance with the double agreement, a NO in Denmark.
Denmark has given notice that its agreement with Portugal will be terminated on the 1st January 1995.
The rules talk about professors, but it is similar for research fellows
Source: Danish double agreements with the EU-countries
For students the condition in the double agreements is that they are present "solely for the purpose of his education". If they are present solely for this purpose they will not have to pay tax to Denmark on income received in order to cover expenses for study and living costs. This applies only to income received from outside Denmark. Students coming from Spain and Portugal are furthermore free from paying tax on income from work in Denmark if it has relation to their education or is necessary in order to live here. When staying in Denmark for less than 365 days in a period of two years the student will not be subject to full Danish tax liability and therefore exempted from paying Danish tax on income earned in other countries.
Research fellows coming from Italy, Belgium and Spain can be exempted from paying tax in Denmark on the condition that their stay does not exceed one year, and further that they can document that they are paying income tax to their home country.
Fellows coming from all other countries will have to pay tax in accordance with Danish tax-rules, cf. section 2.2..
The table can further be read as stating the position for a Danish research fellow travelling to one of the member states, i.e. a Danish research fellow leaving for Italy, Belgium and Spain will have to pay tax to Denmark.
2.2. Information on the taxation of research fellows in Denmark
Two different possibilities exist - one follows the normal tax-rates and deductions in Denmark, the other is to pay a specific tax for foreign researchers in Denmark. This last possibility requires that the research fellow's work is scientifically accepted by the research councils in Denmar, i.e. a high quality project implying that the specific project is depending on the specific researchers etc.. It it therefore of importance for the foreign research fellow that he/she in collaboration with the Danish host, makes sure that the stay is confirmed and accepted by the research councils. It is the Danish institution which will have to apply to the Danish Research Councils.
If the research fellow is not accepted as being eligible for paying the specific tax for foreign researchers then the normal tax-rules apply. This is especially the case for level 20 persons, which can, cf. the introduction, be looked upon as researchers and will therefore have to pay tax in accordance with Danish tax-rules unless they are covered by double taxation agreement between Denmark and the country involved, cf. section 2.1.
This means that he or she will have to pay income tax based on the salary received. All income in Denmark is in principle tax-liable. This tax depends on the municipality(kommune) and county (amt) the person lives in, as the Danish tax-system builds upon a combination of state, regional and local income tax. There is an ordinary personal relief for the person. Expenditures necessary in order to carry out the work and earn the money are deductable. This includes normal transport costs above 24 km pr. day and payment for membership of trade union and unemployment insurance. Interest paid on debt - also debt in foreign countries - can be deducted. In specific circumstances and wihtin a maximum for a two year period extra cost for continuing a household in the country of origin (called double household in Denmark) can give right to a certain deduction. This depends on the specific case and will therefore have to be discussed with the local tax-authorities. Only a few other expenditures can be deducted as there are tight rules concerning what is accepted as necessary in order to earn a salary.
The progressive tax-scale will also apply to a foreign citizen paying tax in Denmark. The new social security contribution (5 % i 1994 and gradually increasing to 8 % in 1998) will have to be paid out of gross income without any possibilities for deductions. A person who claims to be under social security legislation in the home country in accordance with EU-directive 1408/71 and pays social security contributions to the country of origin can be exempted from this contribution, but the person will then not be covered by Danish social security, but by the country of origin. If this is the case the rules described in section three will not apply to the person in question. The person has to inform his/her employer and give evidence accepted by the Direktoratet for Social Sikring and Bistand (Department of Social Security and Assistance).
Taxation of income is withhed in connection with the payment of that income, i.e. the tax-system builds upon immediate payment. At the end of the tax year the amount of tax that has been paid is compared to the tax which should have been paid in accordance with the ex-post declaration of income and tax. If this amount is less then the person will have to pay the difference, if it is more the person will be paid this amount back.
If the person is not in Denmark for the entire tax-year (running from 1st January to 31st December) then proportional personal relief will be used, and proportional brackets for the progressive income tax will also be used.
Specific tax for researchers
Denmark has a specific tax rate for foreign researchers. It is voluntary and it only applies to income from employment at a specific research project. One of two conditions has to be fullfilled in order to be accepted under these rules.
The one possibility is that the income is above 43.500 Danish kroner pr. month in 1995 (the amount will be changed each year in accordance with special rules for how to deal with inflation in the tax-system). This will not be the case for the research fellows in the Human-Mobility and Capital programme and it is therefore the second possibility which is of importance. If the person or the research project has been accepted by one of the research councils in Denmark, then the specific tax-rules for foreign researchers will apply.
This means that from 1st August 1994 the person will have to pay 25 % in tax of the gross-income received from the contract - minus the paid social security contribution, which is less than the average tax-rate and well below the highest marginal tax-rate which can be above 60 %. Any other income than that from the project will be subject to normal Danish tax-rates.
There will not be any personal relief or right to deduct any expenditures. Still in most cases a taxation of 25 % and paying the social security contribution will mean that from 1997 the total gross tax will be 31 %. This will still be less than paying normal income tax in Denmark. The person can only be taxed in accordance with this tax rate for a period of between 6 and 36 months. If the period of stay exceeds 3 years, but is less than 5 years, then the person will pay normal income tax for the fourth and fifth years. If the stay exceeds 5 years the normal income tax will have to be paid for the entire period.
2.3. Possible tax-allowances
The main possible tax-allowances - for those paying normal income tax - have been described in the previous section - ordinary personal relief. Besides there might, after a reduction for the first 3500 Danish Kroner per year, be a right to deduct expenditures connected to the work. These might include buying literature, computers, fees to be paid to conferences etc. It is not possible to make a full list, as part of the right is based on discretionary judgement on the part of local tax authorities about whether or not the expenditure is necessary in order to achieve and secure the income. The practice in Danish courts and tax-courts is very tight, indicating that only very few expenditures can be expected to be deductible. The same will apply for expenditures paid out of the lump-sum received by the European Commission at the host institution.
Also transport costs - based on the number of kilometers above 24 kms pr. day to the work-place and with fixed kroners pr. kilometer are deductible. This is also the case for payment for membership of trade unions and unemployment insurance. Interest payment can also be deducted.
Payment for pension purposes can, within certain limits, be deducted before paying income tax in Denmark under the condition that the company the contribution is paid to has to pay real-interest tax in Denmark.
The amount of money received in order to travel to Denmark is not taxable as it is regarded as expenditure for the purpose.
In Denmark there are not specific tax-allowances in relation to the family situation, but on the other hand the person can( cf. section three) be eligible for child benefits, which are paid from the Ministry of Taxation (Skatteministeriet).
It has to be stressed that the above mentioned allowances are not applicable when paying the lower research tax as mentioned in section 2.2.
2.4. Danish contact points.
The central authority is the Ministry of Taxation (Skatteministeriet) and its department: Told- og Skattestyrelsen, Amaliegade 44, 1256 København K. 33157300.
The research fellow must - shortly after arrival - contact the local municipal tax-office (kommunale skattekontor) and fill in the necessary forms in order to ensure a proper tax-payment from the beginning and also to get a tax-demand note ("skattekort") which has to be given to the employer. Otherwise the employer is obliged to deduct 60 % of the gross income.