The Ministry of Finance has decided to postpone the introduction of new documentation requirements for reduced or zero withholding tax rate on dividend distributions to non-resident shareholders until January 1 2019. The decision is mentioned in a letter from the Ministry of Finance to the Directorate of Taxes dated December 5 2017.
The reasoning for the decision is that both the tax authorities and the financial industry would face significant practical challenges in implementing the new documentation requirements as of January 1 2018.
In addition, the postponement is meant to provide both the Ministry of Finance and the Tax Administration time to review the proposals for adjustments to the rules that has been put forward in the consultation process.
However, to demonstrate to the taxpayers that the new documentation requirements will come into play, the Ministry has asked the Directorate of Taxes to finalise the regulations promptly.
The postponement is good news for foreign shareholders, particular owning shares in listed companies and shares registered in the Norwegian Central Securities Depository. Introduction in 2018 could lead to severe challenges to get the right withholding tax or zero withholding tax rates on upcoming distributions. However, the introduction of new documentation requirements are just postponed and foreign shareholders should start preparing for this.
You will find more information about the new documentation requirements in this article.