Norwegians who may have stashed funds in Panama, to avoid taxes in Norway, suddenly face an uncertain future after news this week that authorities in both countries were agreeing to exchange financial information. The Norwegian authorities’ goal is to uncover money they claim should be subject to tax in Norway.
The Norwegian authorities have been striking deals in recent years with a long list of countries known for being so-called tax havens. Newspaper Aftenposten reported that Panama is the latest to agree to release financial information to Norwegian and other Nordic tax investigators, and state secretary Roger Schjerva in the Finance Ministry called it a “breakthrough.”
“This has been a hard nut to crack,” Schjerva told Aftenposten. “Only the US had managed to obtain such an agreement with Panama, but they have a bit more muscle than we do.”
He said the tax authorities will now be able to obtain information on funds transfers. for example, as they do in 39 other tax havens around the world. Norwegian and Nordic authorities continue to negotiate with their counterparts for similar access to financial information in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Jamaica and Botswana.