Share savings account (ASK)

As a personal taxpayer, you can set up a share savings account (ASK) for stock-exchange-listed shares and mutual fund holdings.

What is a share savings account?

An account that enables you to buy and sell shares tax-free. Gains are not taxed and losses are not tax deductible. You can withdraw your cost price tax-free at any time (deposited amount). If you withdraw more than the cost price, the excess reduced by the deductible risk-free return will be taxed after deduction for any risk-free return.

The tax rate for 2018 is 30.59 percent and 31.68 percent for 2019. Dividends you receive on the shares or mutual fund holdings (that are held in the share savings account) are taxed as before, at the time the dividend distribution is approved by the annual general meeting. Any loss can only be tax deducted when the share savings account is closed. If you receive dividends in 2019, see "new for 2019".

You can have as many share savings accounts as you wish, with the same or different providers.

Share savings accounts can be offered by banks, securities companies and mutual fund management companies.

New for 2019:

Dividend deposited in a share savings account (ASK)

The ASK scheme is expanded to include deferred taxation of dividend. That means dividend from shares and mutual funds are not continuously taxed upon pay-out, but that they are deposited in a share savings account and taxed only when withdrawn from this account.

Transfer of shares and mutual funds between share savings accounts

You can transfer securities in an ASK account from one share savings account to another without having to pay tax. The same applies to transfers between accounts from the same provider, and between accounts from different providers. The transfer must have fiscal continuity. For such transfers, a share of your deposit and unutilised risk-free return from previous years is transferred simultaneously on the paying account to the receiving account. The deposit and unutilised risk-free return is transferred proportionally to the transfer of values from the paying account.

Transfers to heirs’ share savings account upon distributing the estate. Transfers to spouses’ share savings account upon divorce

The transfer can be performed without incurring tax. The transfer must have fiscal continuity. For such transfers, a share of your deposit and unutilised risk-free return from previous years is transferred simultaneously on the paying account to the receiving account. The deposit and unutilised risk-free return is transferred proportionally to the transfer of values from the paying account.

What securities can you have in a share savings account?

Funds in a share savings account can only be used to invest in listed shares funds in companies domiciled in the EEA and mutual fund holdings and companies domiciled in the EEA. A mutual fund means a mutual fund with a minimum 80 percent share component at the start of the year.

You can have cash in a share savings account, but you will not receive interest on it.

Which securities can you not have in a share savings account?

You cannot have a pure money market fund in a share savings account. Also be aware that some of the companies registered on the Oslo Stock Exchange are not domiciled in the EEA area and are hence not qualified.

Shares and funds which, after acquisition, no longer fulfil the conditions for being held in a share savings account

Shares and funds which fulfil the conditions for being held in a share savings account at the time of acquisition can continue to be held in a share savings account. This is true even if, for example, the company or fund no longer meets the requirements for being established in the EEA area, or the requirements concerning the ratio of shares in the fund are no longer fulfilled.

Example 1:

A purchases shares in company B, which, at the time of acquisition, is a Norwegian company. The company moves to the USA; this does not mean that the share has to be removed from the share savings account, nor does it have to be sold. When the share is eventually realised by the shareholder, gains/losses shall be treated as if the company was still within the EEA area.

Example 2:

In 2018, A purchases units in a mutual fund with an 89 percent share component. At the start of 2019, the composition of the fund had changed and the share component is 0 percent. A can still hold the units in the share savings account and, when realised/distributed, they will be taxed in the same way as units in mutual fund.

Deduction for risk-free return for share savings accounts

This is a deduction that reduces your taxable share income (read more about this deduction at skatteetaten.no under "The shareholder model"). The deduction is determined by multiplying the basis for the deduction for risk-free return by a risk-free interest rate.

For shares/units in a share savings account, the basis for deduction for risk-free return originates from the account holder's deposits into the account, i.e. the total of deposited cash, shares and mutual fund units. This is considered simpler than the risk-free return rules applying to shares not held in a share savings account. For securities held in the share savings account, it is not necessary to calculate risk-free return per share/unit or to take account of the FIFO principle (under which the first acquired shares/units are recorded as being sold first).

The calculated deduction for risk-free return can be deducted both in the event of taxable withdrawals and taxable dividend distribution before 2019.

During an income year, there may be many deposits to and withdrawals from the account. The basis for the deduction for risk-free return is set at the lowest deposit balance on the account over the year, with unused deductions for risk-free return from previous years added to this.

When opening a share savings account, it may be difficult to transfer funds, shares and cash all at the same time. A certain amount of discretion can be given to allow these transfers to be seen in context to one another in the event there is a short time lag between the order to transfer and the transfer itself.  

Withdrawals from the share savings account

When shares/units are transferred from the share savings account to the account holder, this is treated as a withdrawal from the account. The withdrawal is set at the market value of the share/unit at the time of transfer. The withdrawal will not be taxed until the amount exceeds the amount you deposited into the account (total cost price). Withdrawals reduce the basis for the deduction for risk-free return.

Taxed dividends that go straight into the share saving account (only applicable for 2017 and 2018)

Dividends that go into the share savings account are treated as deposits and increase the basis for deduction for risk-free return.

Transitional rules for 2017, 2018 and 2019

When shares/units are transferred from an account holder to a share savings account, they are taxed as if they have been realised (sold). The shareholder will then be taxed on gains and will be able to deduct any losses. The transfer will be considered as a deposit to the account. The size of the deposit will be set at the value of the share/unit used for calculating the gain.

To simplify the transition to the share savings account scheme, transitional rules have been adopted. These allow personal taxpayers in 2017, 2018 and 2019 to transfer share and mutual fund units with tax continuity. This means that the transfer is not taxed. 

Reporting in the tax return

Providers of share savings accounts are responsible for reporting these accounts on their tax return. Dividends, gains, losses and capital value will be pre-filled on your tax return. You must check that the amounts on the tax return are complete and correct. 

Withdrawals

Example 1

Peter has a share with an input value of NOK 10 and fair market value of NOK 20. He transfers this share to a share savings account in 2018 with full continuity, untaxed.

The input value on the share savings account is NOK 10 (this can be withdrawn tax-free). He then deletes the share savings account and takes over the shares again. Peter will then be taxed on  the shares he withdraws from the share savings account. He receives a NOK 20 asset and is taxed on a gain of NOK 10.

The new input value of the share which is now in the Tax Administration's Register of Shareholders in the normal way will be NOK 20.

Example 2

Peter owns 1 share A with an input value of NOK 10 and fair market value of NOK 20. Peter also owns 1 share B with an input value of NOK 100 and fair market value of NOK 100.

These are placed in a share savings account with untaxed continuity and the total input value of the share savings account will then be NOK 110 (this can be withdrawn tax-free).

Peter then transfers share A to a separate account. He withdraws a NOK 20 asset, but is not taxed.

The new input value of the share savings account will be NOK 90 (this can be withdrawn tax-free).

The new input value of share A in the register of shareholders will be NOK 20.

The gain Peter made on share A will be taxed when he settles the share savings account or withdraws assets beyond the remaining input value of NOK 90.

The basis for deduction for risk-free return is set at the lowest deposit balance on the account over the year

Example 1

What will be the basis for deduction for risk-free return here? A person makes these deposits in 2018

January: NOK 500

April: NOK 500

July: NOK 500

September: NOK 200

And these withdrawals

May: NOK 300

December: NOK 300

The basis for deduction for risk-free return here will be NOK 500 since that is the lowest deposit balance over the year. After the deposit in April, he has deposited NOK 1,000. After the withdrawal of NOK 300 in May, the remaining deposited total is NOK 700. NOK 500 is therefore the lowest total.

Example 2:

What is the lowest deposit balance on the account if an account with one provider is transferred to an existing account with a different provider?

Date

01/09/2017

01/10/2017

30/11/2017

Minimum value during the year

ASK 1

  50,000

  30,000 

  90,000 

30,000

ASK 2

  90,000  

150,000

  40,000

40,000

Total

140,000   

180,000

130,000

70,000

Here you need to look at the lowest deposit balance for each individual account before the transfer. The basis for deduction for risk-free return here will be NOK 70,000.

FAQ

Can shares with assessed exit tax be transferred to an ASK account without triggering tax?

Yes, the transfer can be performed without incurring tax, if the transitional rule is used. The transitional rule means that from 2019, personal taxpayers can transfer such shares etc. to an ASK account without realisation tax.

Can shares with assessed exit tax in an ASK account be realised without triggering extra tax?

No, this means the final taxation/payment obligation is triggered when realising the shares on the ASK accounts. This is because the shares are no longer “intact”, a requirement of the exit rules to avoid tax on latent gains

Can a share savings account be pledged as security?

The special rules concerning share savings accounts do not prevent this.

Is it possible to have subscription rights on the share savings account?

In the Tax Administration's experience, it is convenient to acquire subscription rights through shareholdings and in some cases these are closely related to the shares. We have no objections to subscription rights being held on a share savings account, but from a tax point of view they are held completely outside the scheme.

What happens when a share savings account owner dies?

In the event of death, the share savings account can be taken over by the heir with tax continuity. A surviving spouse can also retain the share savings account undivided with tax continuity. The entire share savings account must be transferred.

What happens in the event of divorce?

The spouses can decide that the share savings account is to be transferred to the one the account is not registered to. The transfer must then take place with tax continuity. The entire share savings account must be transferred.

Transfers to heirs’ share savings account upon distributing the estate. Transfers to spouses’ share savings account upon the event of divorce from 2019 inclusive:

The transfer can be performed without incurring tax. The transfer must have fiscal continuity. For such transfers, a share of your deposit and unutilised risk-free return from previous years is transferred simultaneously on the paying account to the receiving account. The deposit and unutilised risk-free return is transferred proportionally to the transfer of values from the paying account.

Can a share savings account be given as a gift?

A share savings account can be given as a gift if this is done with tax continuity. The entire share savings account must be transferred.

Is it possible to transfer parts of a share savings account to another share savings account?

Share savings accounts that are transferred between providers must be transferred in their entirety. It is not possible to transfer part of the holding. If a taxpayer already has a share savings account with the provider that the account is being moved to, he can choose whether to transfer to a new account or into an existing account (account merger).

Loan of shares from a share savings account - Is it possible to lend shares from a share savings account without this being deemed a realisation?

No, in the event of a loan, the lender is no longer the civil law owner of the shares. Loans of shares from a share savings account follow the rules for withdrawals from a share savings account.

Can a share savings account be jointly owned?

No, a share savings account is a personal account and cannot be jointly owned.

How do we report coupon tax/withholding tax on ASK from 2018?

In a case where the company is paying NOK 100 in dividends, but the Norwegian shareholder receives NOK 85 after having been deducted NOK 15 in withholding tax, reporting ASK will be as follows:

NOK 100 is to be reported as taxable dividend
NOK 85 is to be treated as a deposit in the ASK account, which can later be withdrawn tax-free
Investors must themselves claim a credit deduction for NOK 15

Can I choose continuity for some shares and not for other shares when transferring? For instance to choose continuity for shares with gain and discontinuity for shares with loss?

-In accordance with the transitional rules, taxpayers can choose which shares should be transferred with continuity, and which shares should be transferred with discontinuity. Taxpayers can therefore choose to transfer shares with unrealised gains with continuity, while the shares with unrealised loss can be transferred with discontinuity. When transferring shares with loss/units with discontinuity, the loss will be considered as realised, and the taxpayer is entitled to a deduction for the loss when transferring to ASK. The shares/units’ input value for ASK in cases of discontinuity will be the market value upon transfer.

Do we get share discounts when calculating the tax value of cash held in a share savings account?

-The assets in the account is subject to wealth tax in the same way as cash, shares, equity certificates and units owned outside the scheme, see the guide Skatte-ABC (in Norwegian only) and the topic “Aksjer – formue” (shares – wealth), point 3.4 and the topic “Verdipapirfond” (securities funds), point 2. This means that cash in the account is not eligible for a wealth discount, but is included in it’s entirety as a part of the total wealth. Shares and mutual fund holdings are eligible for a wealth discount as if they were owned outside the share savings account.

Do we always have to follow the FIFO principle when transferring shares to the share savings account, including when some of the shares are transferred with continuity and some with discontinuity?

-Yes, the FIFO principle must always be followed when transferring shares to the share savings account.