On 12 April 2023, the Norwegian Ministry of Finance launched a public consultation on proposed amendments to the country's interest limitation rules, which generally limit the deduction of related party interest expense that exceeds 25% of EBITDA if annual net interest expense exceeds NOK 5 million. For consolidated groups, there is a higher interest expense threshold of NOK 25 million, but the deduction limitation applies for both related and unrelated party interest expenses.
For the purpose of the rules, the Ministry proposes that the term interest be expanded to include costs of financial leasing agreements (lease agreements, which in reality can be compared to loan financing). The proposal is in line with the OECD's BEPS recommendations and would be a mandatory feature of the interest rate limitation rules if Norway was obliged to follow the EU's Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD). Further, the Ministry proposes adjustments in the regulations relating to adaptation options that exist in the current rules, including the adjustment of which interest costs are covered by the EBITDA rule between related parties and the adjustment of the types of group contributions to be deducted from the deduction limit.
The proposed amendments are to be implemented with effect from the income year 2024.