Norway's finance minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum estimates that the new 25% tax on salmon and trout farmers will generate NOK 2.5 billion or more this year. The tax is backdated to 1 January, 2023.

2023 salmon tax income will be at least NOK 2.5bn, says Norway finance minister

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Norway’s recently approved salmon tax will add at least NOK 2.5 billion (£182 million) to the state’s coffers this year, although that figure will increase if prices for the fish stay high, finance minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum has said.

The figure was contained in Vedum’s written answer to Conservative Party MP Helge Orten, who asked the finance minister for his updated revenue estimates for, respectively, the 25% salmon tax agreed by the Storting (Parliament) and the 35% tax that had previously been proposed by the government.

In his answer, Vedum said that the proceeds from the salmon tax - officially called the ground rent tax - for a single year will vary with the salmon price and cost level, among other things.

He pointed out that the ministry had shown that the government’s proposal for a ground rent tax on aquaculture with an effective tax rate of 35% would have generated revenue of an estimated NOK 3.5bn, based on past salmon prices and costs.

Trend to higher revenue

“The decision on ground rent tax in the Storting of 31 May 2023 means that the effective tax rate will be set at 25%. This gives a revenue of an estimated NOK 2.5bn with the same historical data base,” wrote Vedum.

The finance minister pointed out that salmon prices at the beginning of 2023 have been higher than in 2020 and 2021.

“If prices remain at this high level, there will be a trend towards higher revenue from the ground rent tax,” wrote Vedum. “At the same time, costs have also increased, among other things as a result of increased inflation, a weaker krone exchange rate, and biological conditions.”

47% tax on profit

He added that he would return to the revenue estimates for 2023 when he looked at the state budget for 2024, which will include the income this year’s salmon tax.

“Since the companies pay tax in arrears, the income from the basic rent tax for 2023 is booked in the state budget for 2024,” said Vedum, a member of the Centre Party that is part of Norway’s Labour-Centre government.

The 25% ground rent tax, currently applied to salmon and trout farmers but not to more recently established aquaculture companies such as cod farmers, is added on top of 22% corporation tax, making a total 47% tax on profit.