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Czech-Republic Norway

9 November 2005

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Details of the new Czech Republic-Norway income tax treaty, signed on 19 October 2004, have become available. The treaty entered into force on 9 September 2005 and will generally apply from 1 January 2006. From this date, the new treaty will generally replace the Norway-former Czechoslovakia income and capital tax treaty and protocol of 27 June 1979 in respect of relations between Norway and the Czech Republic. The treaty was concluded in the English language. The treaty generally follows the OECD Model Convention and is probably one of the first treaties to contain the text of the Exchange of Information article (Art. 25) in the form included in the 2005 OECD Model update. It should also be noted that the treaty deals with mutual assistance in the collection of taxes between the Czech Republic and Norway (Art. 26).

The maximum rates of withholding tax are:

15% on dividends in general and 0% if the beneficial owner is a company (other than a partnership) that holds directly at least 10% of the capital of the company paying the dividends;
-   0% on interest; and
-   10% on royalties in general (including software) and 5% on payments for the use of, or the right to use, industrial, commercial or scientific equipment. Artistic and literary copyrights, with the exception of those relating to software, are exempt.

With regard to the avoidance of double taxation (Art. 22), both states generally provide for the ordinary credit method. In some cases, however, the exemption with progression method is used.

The treaty makes no specific reference to special tax regimes in either state and it is assumed that it applies to entities qualifying for any such regimes.

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