Reduced taxes for researchers special taxation for cross-border commuters – University of Copenhagen

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International Staff Mobility > Taxes

Taxes help finance the Danish welfare system

The majority of the Danish welfare system is financed via taxes. The general rule is that foreign employees are covered by social security in Denmark and, therefore, pay taxes incl. social contributions (e.g. labor market contributions and special schemes) in Denmark. Foreigners working in Denmark are usually covered by the Danish social security legislation as soon as they start working. There is, however, certain fixed waiting periods for some services. Depending on your country of origin, special rules apply for some services.


When you work and live in Denmark you must pay taxes to the Danish State. Taxes help pay for the Danish welfare system, such as health care, child care and education. When you work and live in Denmark, you benefit from the Danish welfare system.

The Danish Income tax consists of

  • National tax
  • Municipal tax
  • Health care contribution
  • If you are a member of the Evangelican Lutheran Church in Denmark, you must also pay church tax

For more information about the Danish Tax system, please visit SKATs website (in English)

Reduced taxes for researchers

There are several ways in which you can be taxed. When you gain employment in Denmark, it is important that you investigate which tax scheme you will be covered by. There is a special taxation scheme for researchers and key employees who are recruited abroad and who are employed by a Danish company or research institution.
Researchers who are recruited from abroad have, under certain circumstances, and for a period of five years, the possibility of being taxed 26 % (plus 8% labor market contribution) of their income.  You can read more about the researcher tax in this folder by ISM.

Click here to make a calculation of your researcher´s tax

You must be approved by both the University and the tax authority. The head of your institute will, on behalf of the University, assess and approve both your employment in a research position as well as your qualifications (at least PhD-level = position as Postdoc/Assistant Professor or higher grade). 

The Personnel Department will send a request for registration under the 26 % tax scheme to Skattecenter Tønder. Skattecenter Tønder usually confirms the registration within a few weeks. No tax card is needed in these cases. 

For more information about tax for researchers and key employees:


Special taxation for cross-border commuters

If you commute over national borders and maintain residence in a foreign country, special limited tax obligations apply. Please see guidelines: Living in Sweden and Working in Denmark (pdf).  Every year, Øresund Direkt arranges information meetings with SKAT Øresund and Skatteverket on how to fill in the Danish annual tax return (årsopgørelsen). Please follow this link to see the dates for this year.

Social security contributions

Social security contributions consist of an 8% labor market contribution paid on wages and benefits.

For more information about Danish Tax you can download the brochure "Tax in Denmark - An Introduction for New Citizen"