Tax gap for Norwegian funds savers is closing
You are in a hurry if you want to save tax by moving the funds you have invested in mutual funds and shares to a stock savings account. The authorities close the tax gap in the new year.
There is still time left to move your shares and mutual funds into stock savings account without having to pay taxes on unrealized gains. But in the new year, the opportunity for what many refer to as a tax gap – in real life, probably a week or two before that – because it takes some time for the company you employ to handle stock savings to complete the operation.
Shares, mutual funds and equity certificates trigger taxes on realisation. From September 1st last year you have been able to move these into a separate equity savings account without incurring taxes. As long as you keep your stock-based savings activities within this account, you can buy and sell without incurring taxes.
The scheme also allows you to withdraw the original deposit without having to pay taxes. If you collect the return on your investments, you will have to pay tax. Only shares and mutual funds with a shareholding above 80 per cent may be in a stock savings account. This means that combined funds and the interest funds are excluded from the scheme.
Rare tax gift
– I’m pretty sure that this «tax amnesty» will not return. The possibility of relocation is referred to by the financial industry as a «tax amnesty» and a «tax gift» to mutual funds and shares savers. The Ministry of Finance is not known for habitually giving such tax gifts to the Norwegian public, says Savings Economist in Nordnet, Bjørn Erik Sættem.
– From January 1st, the transfer of free shares and mutual funds into share savings accounts will incur tax on the profits, he points out.
If you plant to move shares and mutual funds from one company to another, the deadline is Tuesday, November 30th. The deadline is set four weeks before the new year because the industry knows that the move takes some time. This allows customers to be sure that the move will be registered before the new year, according to Nordnet.
You must check with your own company what final deadline applies. A stock savings account can be offered by banks, securities companies and mutual fund management companies.
More than NOK 61 billion moved
From the start in September 2017 until June 30th this year, a total of NOK 61.4 billion in equity funds was transferred to share saving accounts. The value of single shares moved comes on top of that, according to figures from the Norwegian Central Securities Depository (VPS).
– We estimate that 440,000 equity savings accounts now have been set up, and this number will increase every day until the end of the year, says Manager for Customers and Sales in VPS, Sveinung Dyrdal, to Finnansavisen according to E24.
Thus, up to NOK 88 billion in equity funds has not yet been transferred to equity savings accounts. Figures from VPS show that the proportion of shares transferred to equity savings accounts is even lower.
– Securities with losses are the exception. You should probably not move those, but rather sell them to get a deduction for the loss, and then place the money into a share saving account, says Sættem.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today