This article was produced and financed by The Research Council of Norway
Record number of companies seeking tax deduction for innovation projects
The figures show that innovation activity among Norwegian companies is on the rise.
The Research Council of Norway
In the last year, the number of applications to the Norwegian SkatteFUNN R&D Tax Incentive Scheme has risen by 20 per cent.
The SkatteFUNN scheme received a total of 2 291 applications from 1 870 Norwegian companies by 1 September, representing a 20 per cent increase from 2013 and a total increase of 46 per cent compared with 2012. Applications submitted by 1 September are guaranteed to be fully processed by the end of 2014.
“We see these figures as a sure sign that more companies have understood the value of investing in research and development,” states Anne Kjersti Fahlvik, Executive Director of the Division for Innovation at the Research Council of Norway.
She also points out that the Council’s efforts to simplify the scheme and to make it more visible have also played a role in the increase.
Measures implemented by the Research Council to encourage more companies to apply for a SkatteFUNN tax deduction include a simpler application form and improved webpages. The Research Council and Innovation Norway have conducted active communication activities by organising the SkatteFUNN school, open house events throughout the country and providing information to companies through channels such as trade organisations, knowledge parks and accountants.
Prioritised by the Government
The current non-socialist coalition Government and its predecessor, with the Norwegian Labour Party in the majority, have both given priority to the SkatteFUNN scheme. As of 1 January 2014, there has been an increase in the framework for tax deductions on in-house research and development and the maximum hourly rate for the use of company R&D personnel.
“These improvements have made the scheme more relevant to a wider range of companies,” says Fahlvik.
“The SkatteFUNN scheme plays an important role in achieving the long-term goal of increasing the competitiveness of Norwegian trade and industry through greater focus on research and development,” she adds.
Translated by: Carol B. Eckmann and Glenn Wells