Tuesday, 13 September 2016
Statkraft, the Norwegian energy company, is said to have avoided paying millions of crowns in taxes in Norway through its Belgian affiliate, informed Tuesday the Aftenposten newspaper of Norway. The company stated, at the time of the latest publication of its finances, that the Norwegian tax office had sent it a notice stating that the company was obligated to rectify its taxes on income for the fiscal years from 2008 to 2014. The Norwegian tax authority points to the Belgian affiliate, Statkraft Treasury Centre NV, located in the same building as the Norwegian Embassy in Brussels. According to the company, there is no legal basis for a recalculation and the notice is of a “provisional nature”.
Statkraft, according to Aftenposten, established a fiscal structure through which money borrowed in Norway was placed in the Belgian affiliate in order to later be distributed to activities in Norway and other countries. Thanks to this “internal bank”, and to the “favourable fiscal environment” of Belgium, the company presumably avoided millions of crowns in taxes. The next step for Statkraft will be to respond to the Norwegian tax office notice. The head office of the company will then decide regarding the regularization.
The company could then accept the decision, seek legal action against the Norwegian tax authority, present a grievance before the ad hoc committee, or request that Norwegian authorities negotiate with those of Belgium on the matter. The newspaper indicated however that Statkraft considerably reduced its banking operations in Belgium in the past two years and that the company has decided to move its “internal bank” from Brussels to Norway.