I INTRODUCTION

Norway has a small but robust economy, and with a corporate tax rate of 24 per cent from 2017 (formerly 25 per cent) and a tax-exemption method that is among the most liberal within the European Economic Area (EEA), investors tend to find Norway to be an attractive country to invest in or through.

Norway does not impose withholding tax on royalties or interest in general, or on dividends paid to corporate shareholders in the EEA. Together with a wide range of double taxation treaties with low or no withholding tax, this makes Norway a suitable base for holding companies, especially when investing into the EEA.

To balance out the low rates for corporate taxation, Norway has an extensive anti-avoidance doctrine to control the use of innovative tax-planning techniques. Special tax regimes apply to income from the exploration of petroleum resources, shipping income and income from the production of hydropower.

II COMMON FORMS OF BUSINESS ORGANISATION AND THEIR TAX TREATMENT

There are two main forms of organising a business: entities with limited liability and entities with unlimited liability.

Limited liability companies may be incorporated either as a private limited liability company (AS) or a public limited liability company (ASA). Other entities with limited liability include foundations, cooperative societies, stock funds and mutual insurance companies.

The common types of entities with unlimited liability are the general partnership with joint liability (ANS/DA), the partnership with apportioned liability and limited partnerships (KS and IS).

Entities with limited liability are subject to corporate taxation, while entities with unlimited liability are transparent for tax purposes and taxed at partner level.

i Corporate

Private limited companies are the most common form of organising a business. Public limited companies will in general be used by larger, and for listed, companies. Both the AS and the ASA are companies where none of the shareholders has personal liability for the obligations of the company. The AS and the ASA are regulated by two separate laws that have similar structure and content.

Key differences between public and private companies are that only the ASA may be listed on a stock exchange and may turn to the public to raise capital. They are subject to stricter rules regarding organisation, the minimum board member requirement and restrictions on share classes. The required minimum share capital is 30,000 Norwegian kroner for an AS and 1 million Norwegian kroner for an ASA. Listed companies are in addition obliged to prepare and keep their company accounts in accordance with international financial reporting standards, as opposed to non-listed companies, which may use Norwegian generally accepted accounting principles.

As a member of the EEA, Norway has adopted the EC Regulation on European Companies (SE companies).2 SE companies are mainly governed by the same rules that apply to public limited companies (see Section III, infra).

ii Non-corporate

Business activities may also be organised as a partnership. The general partnership is distinguished by the partners being jointly and severally liable for all the obligations of the partnership. The general partnership with proportional liability is distinguished by each partner only being liable to the proportional share set out in the partnership agreement. The limited partnership is distinguished by having one or more general partners with unlimited personal liability, and one or more limited partners whose liability is limited to a set amount.

All forms of partnerships are considered transparent for tax purposes and taxed at partner level. The net result of the partnership is, however, calculated as if the partnership were a company, and then allocated to the partners and included in their ordinary income.

As a general rule, all income is included when the (net) result of a partnership is calculated. Income from dividends and gains on shares will, however, flow directly through to the partners and be taxed under their personal liability. A limited partner will not be able to deduct partnership losses against ordinary income from other sources. Such losses may be carried forward for deduction against future partnership income or gains upon the realisation of partnership interests.

As discussed below, dividends and gains on shares received by corporate partners will to a large extent be tax exempt under the tax-exemption method.

Distributions from companies and partnerships in low-tax jurisdictions are not covered by the tax-exemption method and will accordingly be taxed with the net result of the partnership.

III DIRECT TAXATION OF BUSINESSES

Limited companies and partnerships incorporated in Norway, and foreign companies with their effective management and control in Norway, are treated as resident and liable to 24 per cent corporate tax from 2017 (for partnerships, the tax depends on the partner’s tax status) on their worldwide income, including capital gains.

i Tax on profits
Determination of taxable profit

Norwegian-resident companies are taxed on their worldwide income (unless income is exempt under an applicable tax treaty), while non-resident and Norwegian branches are taxed on Norwegian source income only (see Section IV.ii, infra).

All kinds of income, interest, dividends, capital gains on the disposal of assets or ownership interests, and foreign-sourced income taxable in Norway are included in the taxable corporate income (i.e., ordinary business income); however, for resident limited liability companies or entities, the tax-exemption method is applicable for dividends and gains on shares and partnership interests (see discussion below).

Taxable profit is as a general rule based on the accounting profit adjusted for differences between the accounting rules and the tax accounting rules, mainly differences in the timing of income and deductions, and the size of the yearly depreciations.

Income is taxed on an accruals basis. Income derived under contracts will, with the exception of fixed price production contracts,3 be considered accrued when the taxpayer is entitled to the consideration from the other party under the contract (when the taxpayer has delivered his or her goods or services under the contract).

Tax-exemption method

Under the tax-exemption method, capital gains on shares are tax-exempt for all corporate shareholders. For dividends, 3 per cent of the dividends received are subject to the 24 per cent corporate tax (effective taxation on exempt dividend is 0.72 per cent). There are no requirements for participation in or holding periods for dividends and capital gains on shares of Norwegian or EEA-resident companies; however, companies resident in a low-tax jurisdiction within the EEA must be genuinely established and conduct genuine business within their state of residency (substantial business test). If the business is organised in a similar way as other local businesses of the same kind, and a tax-avoidance motive is not proven, the company will, as a general rule, be accepted as being genuinely established and conducting genuine business.

Dividends and capital gains on shares in companies resident outside the EEA, but not in a low-tax jurisdiction, are also tax-exempt provided that the shareholder has held at least 10 per cent of the shares and capital for a period of two years.

Intragroup dividends from Norwegian companies are not subject to taxation of 3 per cent of the dividends as discussed above if the shareholder owns and controls more than 90 per cent of the subsidiary, or the ultimate parent (provided that this is a Norwegian company) owns and controls, directly or indirectly, more than 90 per cent of the shares in both companies. This applies similarly to intragroup dividends from companies resident in the EEA if the dividends would qualify under the tax-exemption method.

In addition to limited companies or public limited companies and businesses treated as partnerships, the exemption method also applies to cooperative societies, foundations and associations. Insofar as the rules apply to Norwegian companies, they also apply to corresponding types of foreign enterprises liable to tax in Norway. A complete list of the type of enterprises to which the exemption method applies can be found in Section 2-38 of the Norwegian Taxation Act.

Capital gains on a partnership’s shares will, for a corporate partner, be tax-exempt if 90 per cent of the partnership’s investments in shares are in tax-exempt shares according to the aforementioned rules. Gains on the partnership share will not be tax-exempt if the value of the partnership’s shares that are not tax-exempt, at any time during the past two years, exceeds 10 per cent of the total value of shares owned by the partnership. Losses on the partnership’s shares will, for a corporate partner, be deductible only if the partnership’s non-qualifying shares have exceeded 10 per cent of the total value of shares during the previous two years (note that the tax rules regarding gains and losses on a partnership’s shares are asymmetrical, and the requirements could lead to double taxation if both the shares owned by the partnership that are not tax-exempt and the partnership shares are sold).

For corporate partners resident in Norway, this applies irrespective of where the partnership is registered.

Corporate partners receiving distributions from a partnership’s shares are, as for dividends from shares, liable to 24 per cent income tax on 3 per cent (effectively 0.72 per cent tax) of the distributions received (after a deduction for the partner’s tax on the partnership’s share).

Dividends and gains on shares in companies in low-tax jurisdictions outside the EEA are not tax-exempt, and losses on such shares will be deductible. With effect from 2016, distributions from companies for which the distributing company has been able to deduct the distribution will not be covered under the participation exemption method.

Expenses
Deductible expenses

When calculating net taxable income, the general principle is that all expenses incurred in connection with obtaining or securing income or an income source are deductible.

Research and development (R&D) costs (as described in Section V, infra) directly related to an asset must be capitalised. Otherwise, they may be deducted immediately.

In general, interest on debts is deductible, whether paid periodically or discounted.

Limitation of deductions for interest expenses to related parties

The interest limitation rule states that interest expenses exceeding interest income (i.e., net interest expenses) could be fully deducted only if the total amount of net interest expenses does not exceed 5 million Norwegian kroner during the fiscal year, or if the interest is paid to a non-related party. Otherwise, net interest expenses paid to a related party are deductible only to the extent that the internal and external interest expense combined does not exceed 25 per cent of taxable earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). Parties are considered related when there is ownership or control of 50 per cent or more of one party by another.

External loans guaranteed by a related party of the borrower (tainted debt) will be treated the same way as loans to related parties.

The interest limitation rule applies to limited liability companies, and similar other companies and entities. The rules also apply to partnerships, shareholders in controlled foreign corporations (CFCs) and foreign companies with PEs in Norway. Financial institutions are exempt from the interest limitation rule.

Non-deductible expenses

Charges having no relation to normal business are not deductible; this includes excessive entertainment expenses, excess depreciation charges (financial reporting depreciation exceeding tax amortisation), appropriations of profits, donations, income taxes, and bribes or similar payments.

Dividends distributed are not deductible in computing taxable income.

Depreciation and amortisation

The amount of tax-allowable depreciation is determined by the tax legislation and may differ from the accounting rules. There are two alternative methods to determine the deductible amount:

  • a the declining balance method (which in general applies to tangible assets and goodwill – the rates vary from 2 to 30 per cent); and
  • b the linear method (which applies to intangibles that are not covered by the rules under (a).

Land and plots are not depreciable.

Capital gains and income

Capital gains are considered as ordinary income for tax purposes.

As previously mentioned, gains on shares and partnership shares will to a large extent be tax-exempt under the tax-exemption method.

Losses

Tax-deductible losses may be carried forward indefinitely and set off against future profits without limitation in time. When a company is liquidated, any loss may be carried back for the two preceding years.

In principle, the tax position of a loss carried forward will survive a change in ownership unless the predominant motive is to exploit the tax position, for example through a group contribution; in these cases, the tax position of the loss may be lapsed.

Losses on intragroup loans (between companies where the lender has more than 90 per cent ownership) are not deductible.

Rates

The corporate income tax rate is 24 per cent from 2017 (formerly 25 per cent).

Administration

As a general rule, the income tax year follows the calendar year. Companies must file tax returns electronically by 31 May in the year following the income tax year. Companies may apply for a deviating tax year, but a tax year may never include more than 18 months.

Penalty tax will be imposed where the company gives misleading or incomplete information about its income and this result in – or could have resulted in – an underassessment. The penalty tax will normally be 20 per cent, but is raised to 40 per cent if misleading or incomplete information was filed intentionally or due to gross negligence.

Companies must pay advanced tax by 15 February and by 15 April in the year following the income tax year.

The statute of limitation period for reassessment to the detriment of the taxpayer will be five years from 2017, but 10 years if the taxpayer has given misleading or incomplete information about his or her income intentionally or due to gross negligence. The statute of limitation period for changes in favour of the taxpayer is three years.

Advance rulings may be obtained from the Directorate of Taxes and from local tax inspectors in respect of direct taxes, social security contributions and VAT. These rulings will be binding for the tax authorities, but optional for the taxpayer.

Tax grouping

If a resident company holds more than 90 per cent of the capital and votes of another resident company, the two companies will constitute a tax group. Each company within a tax group is, as a general rule, treated as a separate entity, and assets, dividends, interest, income and deductions cannot be moved between companies. However, in a tax group, the participating companies may make tax-deductible group contributions and intragroup transfers of assets without immediate realisation of latent gains (i.e., the taxation is deferred).

A permanent establishment (PE) of a company resident in either the EEA or in a state with which Norway has a tax treaty may also qualify for the tax benefits previously mentioned.

ii Other relevant taxes
Value added tax

VAT of 25 per cent is imposed on the sale of goods and services. Certain goods and services enjoy reduced rates. Norway applies VAT as a net consumption tax calculated according to the indirect subtraction method, which means that suppliers of goods and services are entitled to deduct from the amount of VAT due on their supplies (output tax) the amount of VAT incurred on their purchases (input tax).

Taxpayers must remit the net amount of VAT (balance of output and input tax for the tax period) to the tax authorities or, if input tax exceeds output tax for the tax period, taxpayers are entitled to reclaim the balance. All companies with annual turnovers that exceed a certain threshold (at present, 50,000 Norwegian kroner) must register with the Norwegian VAT Register.4

Since taxation (including indirect taxation) is not explicitly covered by the EEA Agreement,5 Norway is not required to harmonise its VAT law with EU VAT law. Movements of goods are treated as traditional exports and imports with the required customs formalities and paperwork.

Stamp tax

The registration of transactions involving immoveable property in the Land Registry is subject to a stamp duty of 2.5 per cent of the accepted value of the property at the time of the registration.

There are no other stamp duties in Norway.

Customs duties

Imported goods may be subject to customs duties depending on the country of origin and the type of goods concerned.

Real estate tax

Individuals and companies that own immoveable property may be subject to municipal real estate tax regulated by an immoveable property tax law.6

The petroleum tax system

All petroleum-related income on the Norwegian continental shelf is governed by the Petroleum Tax Act; however, the general tax legislation will also apply.

The petroleum tax regime is characterised by a very high marginal income tax rate (78 per cent), which to some extent is offset by relatively generous tax deductions, such as the immediate expense of all exploration costs, fast tax depreciation, an uplift allowance for special tax purposes and a tax deduction for financial costs related to upstream business activity.

Income tax from 2017 comprises the ordinary 24 per cent corporate tax rate and the 54 per cent special tax rate.

There are no field operation ring-fencing arrangements on the Norwegian continental shelf, and all exploration costs may be deducted. Companies may, however, no longer deduct exploration costs abroad from the Norwegian income. Companies in a loss position may choose between a cash refund of the tax value (i.e., 78 per cent) of the exploration costs or to carry the cost forward with interest. When winding up the business on the Norwegian continental shelf, a company will receive the tax value (78 per cent of exploration cost and 24 per cent of all other cost) of any unused losses the company may have.

A norm price, set by a separate norm price board, replaces the actual sales price when calculating the taxable gross income from the sale of crude oil (regardless of the actual sales price being higher or lower).

There is no dividend withholding tax on distribution from profits subject to the 54 per cent special tax.

Tonnage tax system

For shipping companies, the tax on corporate profits may be replaced by a tax based on the tonnage operated by a company.

Elaborate ring-fencing arrangements limit the benefit of tonnage tax on the operation of ships, and companies within the regime may not carry on any other business.

Employers’ social security contribution

The rates range from zero to 14.1 per cent depending on the tax municipality of the employer.

An employer resident abroad is required to pay social security contributions in respect of employees working in Norway, but is subject to a possible exemption under the EEA or other social security treaties.

IV TAX RESIDENCE AND FISCAL DOMICILE

i Corporate residence

Limited companies and partnerships incorporated under Norwegian law and registered in the Norwegian Registry of Business Enterprises, and foreign companies whose effective management and control at board level are carried out in Norway, are considered tax-resident in Norway.

For foreign-incorporated companies to avoid tax residency in Norway, the board meetings and other decisions beyond the day-to-day management of the company must take place outside Norway.

ii Branch or PE

Norwegian tax legislation does not define a PE and, as a general rule, a foreign incorporated company conducting or participating in business in Norway will be considered as having a taxable presence in Norway.

The allocation of income between a foreign head office and the taxable presence in Norway, a Norwegian PE or branch should be calculated according to the arm’s-length principle.

Gains on shares realised by non-resident corporate shareholders are not liable for tax in Norway unless the foreign shareholder has a PE in Norway, and the shares effectively connected to the PE or the taxable income or presence and are not covered under the tax-exemption method.

Most Norwegian bilateral tax treaties are based on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Model Tax Convention.

Activities on the Norwegian continental shelf related to petroleum resources will constitute a taxable presence as a PE after a certain number of days of activity, often as little as 30 days within a 12-month period.

V TAX INCENTIVES, SPECIAL REGIMES AND RELIEF THAT MAY ENCOURAGE INWARD INVESTMENT

i Holding company regimes

Under the tax-exemption method, corporate shareholders’ net income from gains on shares is taxed at a maximum rate of 0.72 per cent and dividends are tax-exempt. The tax-exemption rule, an extensive network of tax treaties and a tax credit system that allows unused tax credits to be carried forward ensure the avoidance of double taxation and make the Norwegian holding regime one of the most favourable in Europe (see Section II.ii, supra).

ii IP regimes

There is no special IP tax regime in Norway.

A tax relief may, however, be granted according to the rules of SkatteFUNN related to R&D (see below).

Norway does not impose withholding tax on royalties (see Section I, supra); accordingly, Norway mainly has tax treaties that impose low or zero per cent withholding tax on royalties.

iii State aid

Norwegian authorities offer a wide range of state aid for investments, R&D (see below), and development and exports through a regional development fund (Innovasjon Norge) supporting businesses establishing in Norway and abroad.

iv General

SkatteFUNN is a scheme that entitles all enterprises subject to Norwegian taxation to a tax deduction of expenses related to R&D, provided that the research programme has been approved by the Research Council of Norway.

VI WITHHOLDING AND TAXATION OF NON-LOCAL SOURCE INCOME STREAMS

i Withholding outward-bound payments (domestic law)

Outbound dividends paid to a non-resident shareholder or owner are subject to a 25 per cent withholding tax unless an exemption or lower tax rate applies under a tax treaty.

There is no withholding tax on royalties, interest or other payments such as service and management fees, rents or lease payments.

ii Domestic law exclusions or exemptions from withholding on outward-bound payments

The participation exemption method applies to corporate shareholders within the EEA provided that the shareholder meets the substantial business test; see above.

iii Double tax treaties

Norway currently has tax treaties covering 90 countries.

The withholding tax rate on dividends is normally reduced to 15 per cent, and to 5 per cent in parent–subsidiary situations, under a tax treaty. For dividends under the tax-exemption method (within the EEA) there is no withholding tax. Norway does not impose withholding tax on royalties or interest in general, and some tax treaties, in particular relating to royalties, interest or other payments, provide for a withholding tax rate of zero.

iv Taxation on receipt

The tax-exemption method applies to private and public limited companies and other companies treated equally for tax purposes. Dividends paid to, and capital gains from, the sale of shares by such entities are tax-exempt (see above).

If the tax-exemption method is not applicable, dividends will be fully taxable. In such cases, the Norwegian parent company is entitled to a tax credit for foreign withholding tax, and (on certain conditions) may claim tax credit for underlying corporate tax paid by the foreign subsidiary.

Royalties, interest and other payments, such as service and management fees, rents and lease payments, are taxable as corporate income.

VII TAXATION OF FUNDING STRUCTURES

i Thin capitalisation

Norwegian tax legislation contains no specific statutory or regulatory prescriptions of thin capitalisation, but refers to the arm’s-length principle. All interest paid to an unrelated party is, as a rule, deductible. The interest limitation rule (Section III, supra) applies to net interest expenses paid to a related party that exceeds 5 million Norwegian kroner during the fiscal year. Under the interest limitation rule, intragroup interest expenses are deductible only to the extent that internal and external interest expenses combined do not exceed 25 per cent of the taxable EBITDA of the company.

ii Deduction of finance costs

Interest costs on business debt (see above), issue expenses and commissions on loans are tax-deductible. The same applies for interest charged for late payment of debt. Even under the tax-exemption method, companies may continue to deduct interest on debt incurred to finance acquisition of shares giving rise to tax-exempt income.

Excessive interest or business profits paid to the parent company or a related company may, depending on the circumstances, be regarded as dividend distributions and thus not deductible (see discussion above).

Financial acquisition costs may not be deducted from the company’s taxable income, but have to be capitalised together with the cost of the acquired shares.

iii Restrictions on payments

Dividends may be distributed several times during the year, but only if the company has sufficient net assets to cover the share capital after the distribution of dividends.

iv Return of capital

Equity may be repaid on a tax-neutral basis through a reduction and return of capital.

VIII ACQUISITION STRUCTURES, RESTRUCTURING AND EXIT CHARGES

i Acquisition

Gains on the transfer of shares to corporate shareholders are tax-exempt (see discussion above), and losses are not deductible. The acquisition cost is not deductible even if the transaction is aborted, and any allocation of acquisition costs to the target company is regarded as illegal financial aid.

Asset deals are, for tax purposes, regarded as selling all the company’s possessions separately, and gains are taxable and losses deductible.

ii Reorganisation

Mergers and demergers are, subject to certain requirements, allowed tax-free if all the companies involved are resident in Norway. Mergers will, if they are carried out in accordance with the Norwegian Tax Act Chapter 11, have continuity for tax purposes and thus maintain the tax positions of the parties under the merger or demerger.

Cross-border mergers between companies within the EEA may be carried out tax-free if the transaction is carried out pursuant to principles for fiscal continuity applicable in the state where the assigning company is resident. However, if the transferring company is resident in Norway, the company’s assets must be kept in Norway. If the assets are moved out of the Norwegian tax jurisdiction the assets will be liable to tax upon exit (see below).

Corresponding rules apply for a demerger of a limited liability company resident in an EEA state if the acquiring company is resident in Norway.

Cross-border mergers and demergers will not be tax-exempt if one or more of the companies taking part in a merger or demerger are resident in a low-tax country within the EEA, and if the company or companies do not fulfil the substantial business test.

iii Exit

A company can relocate only by moving the actual or effective management and control at board level from Norway (whether on purpose or not).

When the company ceases to be resident in Norway for tax purposes and relocates to a state outside the EEA, or a low-tax jurisdiction in the EEA in which the substantial business test is not met, all business assets and liabilities are regarded as realised at marked value, and are subject to tax or tax deduction. If the company relocates to other states, tax on tangible assets except for merchandise may be deferred upon certain conditions.

When assets are moved within the EEA, the tax payable on tangible assets (except for merchandise) may, subject to certain conditions, also be deferred. The exit tax for tangible assets is then annulled if the asset is not realised within five years.

For intangible assets and merchandise, the exit tax is definitive and is payable on the day of exit.

IX ANTI-AVOIDANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT LEGISLATION

Norway has substance over form rules. In general, these rules apply to any transaction or structure whose primary motive is to achieve tax benefits and is deemed ‘disloyal’ to the tax legislation.

i General anti-avoidance

A Norwegian special anti-avoidance rule states that if the ownership of a company with a certain tax position changes by merger, demerger or other transactions with the predominant motive of exploiting that position, the tax position is void.

In addition, a general anti-avoidance doctrine has been developed by the courts. Transactions with little or no purpose other than avoiding tax may under certain circumstances be disregarded for tax purposes.

Norway’s anti-avoidance doctrine is often described as one of the most expansive.

ii CFCs

The CFC taxation rules imply that the shareholder of a company is taxed on a yearly basis for its proportionate share of the income in the company, whether distributed or not. The rules apply to shares in companies incorporated in a low-tax jurisdiction controlled by Norwegian shareholders (Norwegian control, directly or indirectly, over at least 50 per cent of the shares or votes).

A low-tax jurisdiction is defined as a country with an effective income tax rate lower than two-thirds of the effective tax rate in Norway for the same type of business (the Ministry of Finance has published a non-exhaustive ‘white list’ and ‘black list’).

The CFC legislation does not apply to companies that are established in an EEA country and that meet the substantial business test (see above).

If the company is resident in a Norwegian tax treaty country, the CFC legislation only applies if the company’s income is predominantly of a ‘passive’ character (financial or rental income, royalty, etc.).

iii Transfer pricing

Intragroup transactions are to be priced in accordance with the arm’s-length principle.

If the income of a Norwegian-resident company is reduced due to transactions with a related party, the tax authorities may adjust the income of the company in accordance with the arm’s-length principle.

If the connected party is resident abroad in a state outside the EEA, the burden of proof is on the taxpayer.

Reporting documentation requirements apply, and group companies must, in their tax return, give information on intragroup transactions. The taxpayer must be prepared to file transfer pricing documentation (type and volume of the transactions, functional analysis, comparable analysis and a report of the transfer pricing method used) within 45 days of a written notice from the tax authorities.

X OUTLOOK AND CONCLUSIONS

Under Decision No. 731 of 31 May 2016, the parliament accepted ‘Better Taxation – A Tax Reform for Transformation and Growth’, which is the government’s white paper on a new tax reform. The white paper includes proposed changes to the current corporate income tax system and other adjustments to the tax system in general.

Parliament agreed with the main principles suggested in the white paper, and will thus reduce the current corporate income tax rate to 23 per cent from 2018. The reduction would diminish distortions related to the corporate income tax system, including the favourable treatment of debt financing. The reduction should be accompanied by other measures aimed at reducing profit shifting in light of the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting project. The key proposals include the following, and will be adopted by 2018:

  • a extending the application of domestic interest deduction limitation rules to interest paid to third parties;
  • b increasing the tax on shareholder income (dividends and capital gains);
  • c introducing a withholding tax on interest and royalties;
  • d amending the rules on residency for companies;
  • e minor amendments to the depreciation rules; and
  • f introducing VAT into the financial sector.

In connection with the budget for 2017, the parliament has reduced the corporate tax rate to 24 per cent from 2017.

The parliament has also adopted a new tax for the financial sector under which enterprises defined as financial institutions will have a 5 per cent tax imposed on their total salary costs. In addition, the corporate tax rate for enterprises defined as financial institutions will remain at 25 per cent even if the ordinary corporate tax rate is reduced to 24 per cent.

Footnotes

1 Thomas E Alnæs is a partner and Erik Landa is a senior lawyer at the law firm Grette DA.

2 Council Regulation 2001/2157/EC of 8 October 2001 on the Statute for a European Company.

3 The profit element of these contracts is recognised as taxable income according to the completed contract principle.

4 See Section XI, infra, for proposed changes.

5 Article 1(2).

6 Law of 6 June 1975, No. 29.