Foreign shareholders resident within the EU, Liechtenstein and Iceland (together the European Economic Area - EEA) may claim a refund of certain Norwegian withholding taxes previously levied on dividends distributed by DNO ASA in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has acknowledged that withholding taxes on dividends imposed under Norwegian law on EEA-resident corporate shareholders in 2003, and on EEA-resident individual shareholders in 2003, 2004 and 2005, were not in line with Norway's obligations under the EEA-Treaty. In a letter to the Directorate of Taxes of March 6, 2006, the Ministry of Finance has accepted that withholding taxes levied during the above mentioned periods will be refunded upon application to the tax authorities.
Corporate shareholders resident within the EEA have been exempt from Norwegian withholding tax on dividends with effect from January 1, 2004. Withholding taxes may nonetheless have been levied on dividends distributed after this date and shareholders may be entitled to a refund with regard to such withholding taxes.
A three year time limitation applies for the application. Accordingly, refund applications regarding dividends distributed in 2003 must be filed no later than December 31, 2006, applications regarding dividends distributed in 2004 must be filed no later than December 31, 2007, and applications regarding dividends distributed in 2005 must be filed no later than December 31, 2008.
Shareholders resident in the new EU member states (Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, and the Slovak Republic) may only apply for refunds in respect of dividends declared from May 1, 2004, the date of their accession to the EU.
Shareholders applying for refund should address the application to the Central Tax Office - Foreign Tax Affairs, P.O. Box 8031, N-4068 Stavanger. The application must at least contain the following information:
- Name of distributing company, number of shares held, date of dividend declaration, gross amount of dividends (before deduction of withholding tax), amount of tax withheld
- Information enabling the Norwegian tax authorities to establish beneficial ownership to the dividends (e.g. individual or corporate shareholder not holding the shares on behalf of any other person or entity; company shareholder subject own tax liability as opposed to its members being tax liable; etc.)
- Documentation evidencing amount of dividends received and amount of withholding tax drawn
- Certificate of tax residency
November 27, 2006