Tax rules for gains/losses from realisations and share dividends

Dividends and gains over and above a risk-free return are taxable. Losses are deductible.

The deduction for risk-free return is a deduction that reduces your taxable share income so that you pay less tax. Find the risk- free return that indicates the amount of dividend or gain that you can receive tax-free.

It is set to a basis for risk-free return multiplied by a risk-free interest rate:

  • Basis for risk-free return x risk-free interest rate = risk-free return

A risk-free return for shares/holdings is calculated annually at the end of each income year.

Basis for risk-free return

The basis for the risk-free return is calculated per share and it will generally be the consideration what the shareholder paid for the share at the time (acquisition value), including expenses, which are directly, attributable to the acquisition, e.g. broker costs.

Risk-free return interest rate

The risk-free interest rate is assessed in January in the year after the income year. The risk-free interest rate is assessed based on the average three-month interest rate for treasury bills.

The risk-free return

The risk-free return is calculated for each share owned as of 31 December during the income year, and shows the dividend amount that can be received tax-free.

If the dividend is greater than the risk-free return, the excess will be taxed as ordinary income. In 2017, share income will be multiplied by 1.24 (24% x 1.24 = 29.76%).

In 2018, share income will be multiplied by 1.33 (23% x 1.33 = 30.60%).

If the dividend is less than the risk-free return in a particular year, the unused risk-free return can be used to reduce the future taxable dividend and/or gain for subsequent years (see the example below).

The risk-free return is linked to the individual share and cannot be transferred to other shares.

Read more about the rules in the shareholder model.

Trine owns a share that she bought for NOK 10,000. The acquisition value is therefore NOK 10,000.

In this example, the risk-free interest rate is set to 2 percent.

Year 1

The basis for the risk-free return for the share is NOK 10,000
Risk-free return = basis for risk-free return x risk-free interest rate
Risk-free return: 10,000 x 2 percent = 200

Trine receives NOK 500 in dividends in year 1.

Taxable dividend = Dividend –risk-free return
Taxable dividend: 500 – 200 = 300

Year 2

The basis for the risk-free return for the share is NOK 10,000
Risk-free return = basis for risk-free return x risk-free interest rate
Risk-free return: 10,000 x 2 percent = 200

In year 2, Trine receives NOK 100 in dividends.

Taxable dividend = Dividend – risk-free return
Taxable dividend: 100 – 200 = -100

As the risk-free return exceeds the dividend amount received, the taxable dividend in this case will be zero. Trine therefore has an unused risk-free return of NOK 100, which can be carried forward to next year. Any unused risk-free return must also be included in the calculation of the risk-free return for the following year by adding it to the basis for the risk-free return.

Year 3

The basis for the risk-free return for the share in year 3 is the acquisition value + unused risk-free return from year 2.
Basis for risk-free return: NOK 10,000 + NOK 100 = NOK 10,100

Risk-free return =  basis for the risk-free return  x  risk-free interest rate
Risk-free return for the year: 10,100 x 2 percent = 202
Remaining risk-free return from year 2 = 100
Total risk-free return in year 3 = 202 + 100 = 302

In year 3, Trine receives NOK 400 as a dividend.

Taxable dividend = Dividend – risk-free return
Taxable dividend: 400 – 302 = 98