Will KrF, Venstre and Sp support Norwegian business by voting for transparency?

Ap, Sp and Mdg want transparency on mailbox empires and accumulation of capital in tax havens. Parliament will vote on a proposal on transparency on Wednesday 12/12.

Norwegian companies meet an unfair tax competition against global companies that can easily move surplus around. This reduces Norwegian tax revenues.

So-called “Extended country-by-country reporting” is a measure that will set a light on unwanted tax adjustments. With which companies can become equal and get equal competitive conditions.

Businesses want extended country-by-country reporting

The demand for extended country-by-country reporting got massive support at a hearing in December last year. Around 80% of the consultative bodies responded positively to have the demand implemented, among them Finans Norge, Den norske Revisorforening (Norwegian auditor association), Mediebedriftenes Landsforening (media companies national association), Norsk Redaktørforening (Norwegian editorial association), Norsk Journalistlag (Norwegian journalists), Norsk Presseforbund (Norwegian press association) in addition to a number of Norwegian organizations.

Parliament wants extended country-by-country reporting

A collected Parliament wanted to put in place extended country-by-country reporting in 2015. Then leader of The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, Hans Olav Syversen (KrF), presented a petition resolution which stated that Parliament`s objective was to make transparent unwanted tax adjustments and make sure relevant information tied to CBCR reporting from daughter subsidiaries and support functions in third countries is being presented in the accounting.

Ap, Sv og Mdg 

Currently the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs members from Ap, Sv and Mdg have submitted a proposal where they ask Parliament to change the amendment concerning country-by-country reporting. The proposal will ensure that where extended information will be given, they are given in line with annual accounts and independent of the materiality limit. Only then will the amendment become an extended country-by-country reporting and function according to its intent.

This is important because last year the Ministry of Finance accepted PWYP Norway`s demand for extended country-by-country reporting (investments, retail income, production volume, and expenses) in the amendment concerning country-by-country reporting according to the Accounting Act §3. In the current amendment it is §4, paragraph 3 which will ensure that relevant information also emerges from tax havens. But the Ministry of Finance made sure to “lock” this “tax haven clause”. The consequence is that the tax haven section contains the demands in extended country-by-country reporting, but is placed in a Sleeping Beauty slumber in §4, paragraph 3, so that it becomes inert. The Tax haven clause §4, paragraph 3 is locked behind a padlock which is named §4, section 2. The purpose of the padlock is to control on what terms extended country-by-country reporting is to be given.

Read: The tax haven clause in Sleeping Beauty slumber

The recommendation referred to a notice on NRK on March 21, 2018 which refers to several consultative bodies that have reacted to the cited materiality limit which permits companies to not report from tax havens and that there need not be any connection to the annual accounts. Among those who reacted where Finans Norge, KLP, and Økokrim. That also caused Ap to react.

Read opinion piece in DN: Should report on mailbox empires (September 13, 2018)

Transparency rule in Sleeping Beauty slumber for a full year

Arbeiderpartiet`s fiscal spokeswoman Rigmor Aasrud announced to NRK March 21, 2018, in the case “Will have new rules for Norwegian companies in tax havens ()”, that she supports the demand from those who call for more transparency:

- I am noticing that many consultative bodies are puzzled that you must have paid NOK 800,000 in taxes before having to report on the individual countries where they have businesses. It ought to be the opposite. If you neglect to pay taxes, it is of course of interest to us in Norway, states Aasrud

It would be odd if KrF, V and Sp oppose this demand for transparency when it comes to a vote in Parliament. However, KrF has voted against extended country-by-country reporting every time it has come up for processing in Parliament. Now KrF gets another chance to vote for what they claim to support.

Which parties voted for the various initiatives for ECBCR?

PartiesThe proposals in the revised national budget, 2014 (In Norwegian)The proposals in the revised national budget, 2015 (In Norwegian)Representative proposal, 2017 (In Norwegian)


Not in Parliament

Not in Parliament


Not in Parliament


  • PWYP Norway has worked for ten years to introduce the amendment Extended Country-by-Country Reporting. The amendment would make apparent where mailbox companies are registered and capital is built up. All the requirements in the amendment are now introduced, but six words are missing before the amendment can work..
  • All background on ECBCR is systematized with a timeline for all our political input (In Norwegian)
  • What are the consequences of missing legislation? Opinion piece in DN September 13, 2017: Should report on mailbox empires explains the consequences of the current inconclusive amendment.
  • What is the current status of the amendment? Opinion piece in Klassekampen November 18, 2017: Tax haven clause in the Sleeping Beauty slumber explains how the “tax haven clause” is locked up and how it can be freed.
  • The case is now processed in The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs and the adjustment is submitted. The case awaits consideration in Parliament and will be up for debate Wednesday 12.12.18.
  • Link to Parliament`s website and case status here: Taxes, fees, and customs 2019, Prop. 1LS (2018), Innst. 35. (2018-2019) (In Norwegian)



Publish What You Pay Norway believes that this is a matter of equality before the law.

  • This demand concerns equality before the law. Transparency is critical for countries built on the principle of equal worth, and the principle that all humans have equal rights and equal opportunities.  In order to have equal opportunities one must have information – whether this concerns equal opportunity for access to authorities` exercise of their business practices, or equal opportunity for access to companies` exercise of their business practices. A lack of transparency allows for unequal information and thereby unequal rights and unequal opportunities. For businesses inequality of information is downright distortive, states Mona Thowsen, General Secretary of PWYP Norway.
  • Journalists, human rights activists, and regular residents in many countries, who attempt to access this type of information in their countries, they are more and more often exposed to harassment and death threats. It is high time that KrF, Venstre and Sp now vote for the amendment to function so that humans don`t have to risk their lives in order to get this information, states Mona Thowsen, General Secretary of PWYP Norway.