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EFTA Approves Norway's Tax Scheme For Share Options

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

15 December 2017


The European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority (ESA) has approved a new aid scheme for the deferred taxation of employee share options in Norway.

The ESA announced in a decision published on December 15 that, following an assessment, the scheme is considered state aid, but not incompatible with the functioning of the European Economic Area Agreement.

Under the scheme, the taxation of an employee's income will be deferred when employees are remunerated in the form of share options, and employees will be taxed at the moment of realization of the shares and not when the shares are purchased. The employer's liability for corresponding social security contributions will also be deferred.

The measure is intended to help young and small companies, which are often not in a position to offer competitive wages, to recruit and retain employees.

The scheme applies to companies that have not operated for more than six years, have fewer than ten employees, have an annual turnover not exceeding NOK16m (USD1.9m), and that partly pay their employees in share options.

The scheme is expected to produce tax benefits for small companies and employees of NOK350m a year.

TAGS: tax | employees | Norway | social security | Europe

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