The tax authorities released a “binding advance ruling” (BFU / 17, 4 May 2017) regarding application of a domestic exemption from dividends to an Irish holding company. The judgment provides that the dividends paid by the Norwegian company to the Irish holding company are exempt from Norwegian withholding tax under the domestic exemption from Norway. To be qualified for the withholding tax exemption, the dividend recipient must be practically identical to certain non-individual assessable person according to the Norwegian Tax Act.
The withholding tax exemption applies to EEA resident corporate shareholders, but the exemption does not apply for the lowly taxed recipient. The shareholder must also be engaged in genuine business activity through an establishment in an EEA country. In addition, the shareholder must be the final recipient of the dividends. Furthermore, the exemption applies to non- individual dividend recipients comparable to Norwegian stock venture funds, associations, estates in bankruptcy, municipal and state-owned companies, shared insurance agencies and Savings Banks and other self-owned finance companies.