Norway's VFF highlights benefits of equity savings account as tax deadline looms

Jonathan Boyd
clock • 2 min read

Norway’s akjesparekonto regime has been highlighted by the Norwegian Fund and Asset Management Association (VFF) ahead of a deadline to make best use of the tax efficiency that the account wrapper offers Norwegian individual investors.

So far, some 373,000 accounts have been established as of 31 October, 2018, encompassing some NOK64.5bn (€6.68bn) of managed assets. However, VFF notes that more than half the relevant capital remains outside the regime, and the deadline for shifting assets into an account without being taxed is nearing.

That means that  some NOK84bn (€8.7bn) of additional capital remains to be shifted, and is at risk of being taxed from 1 January 2019 – applicable to any assets that are shifted into an account from that date onwards.

The key benefit of holding assets within an account as defined by the regime, is that purchases and sales of equities and equity funds can be made without triggering a tax payment. Tax is only applied once the assets are removed from the account. This makes it of benefit particularly to long term investors, who may wish to change the funds they hold over time, VFF notes.

The Association has also published an outline of current allocations per provider of akjesparekonto accounts

History

The akjesparekonto regime was adopted by Norway’s Parliament as part of its Budget for 2017, and came into effect on 1 September 2017.

The government decided to adopt a transition period to facilitate the transfer of existing direct equity and equity fund holdings into accounts through 2018, without requiring tax to be paid on relevant realised gains. The objective of the regime is to make it easier for individuals to save in equities and equity funds. Money put into the account can be used to invest in listed equities and equity funds domiciled in an EEA country.

VFF has also published an online quiz (in Norwegian) about the regime for those who wish to find out more.

Jonathan Boyd
Author spotlight

Jonathan Boyd

Editorial Director of Open Door Media Publishing Ltd, and Editor of InvestmentEurope.