Denmark in brief

Amended disclosure requirements for listed companies, major share- holders and the Danish FSA

The Danish parliament has adopted a bill implementing the Transparency Directive Amending Directive. Get an overview of the most important amendments and new features in respect of the disclosure require- ments for listed companies, major shareholders and the Danish FSA, coming into force on 26 November 2015.

New Danish government

Following the Danish election held 18 June 2015, the reigns of Den- mark’s new minority government have been handed over to Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who has replaced Helle Thorning-Schmidt as Prime Minister. The new cabinet team is made up solely of members from Løkke Rasmussen’s own Liberal Party despite it holding only approx. 20% of the votes. The main election winner was the populist Danish People’s Party, which became Den- mark’s second largest party receiving more than 21% of the votes.

Temporary suspension of Danish dividend withholding tax reclaims processing due to suspected tax fraud

The Danish tax authorities an- nounced in August that they had filed a report with the Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic Crime on suspected tax fraud amounting to approx. DKK 6.2bn (approx. EUR 0.8bn). The report filed was based on information received from undisclosed foreign tax authorities in July and early August indicating that approx. 2,123 dividend withholding tax reclaims covering the period 2012-2015 were fraudulent. The preliminary investigation conducted by the Danish tax authorities shows that the tax fraud presumably involves businesses reclaiming withholding tax paid on dividends on Danish shares, which these busi- nesses have untruthfully and falsely claimed to own.

The Danish tax authorities will focus on medium-sized and large businesses

On 17 February 2015, the Danish Tax Authorities published its 2015 activity plan (aktivitetsplan for 2015) under the heading “Enforced com- pliance within tax”, reusing the title from last year.  From the newly published 2015 activity plan, it is evident that medium-sized, large businesses and multinational groups are still a focus area of the Danish tax authorities.

Industry news

New bill amends exit tax, deductible interest and the parent/subsidiary  directive

The Danish Parliament adopted bill no. L98. L98 brings about a harmoni- sation of the legislation concerning exit tax as individual business owners are now entitled to a deferral scheme on payment of exit tax. The newly adopted Bill also amends the statute regarding companies’ limita- tion on deductible interests. Further- more, L98 implements taxation on dividends from a subsidiary within the EU to a parent company if the subsidiary is entitled to deduct its payment of dividends. The provision became effective on 1 March 2015.

One step closer to the new per- sonal data protection regulation

The final phase of the adoption of the personal data protection regulation has now commenced. On 15 July 2015, the Council of the European Union announced its proposed amendments to the European Commission’s draft personal data protection regulation, which was tabled in January 2012. In the period from September 2015 to December 2015, the bodies will finalise the negotiations about the remaining content of the regulation. Conse- quently, it is realistic to live up to the objective of final adoption of the regulation before the end of 2015. The regulation will take effect two years after its adoption.

IMO tightens rules governing ships operating in Arctic waters

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted stricter requirements for ships operating in Arctic and Antarctic waters. In terms of environmental protection, the IMO has introduced a total ban on the discharge of oil and chemicals along with stricter requirements for the discharge of sewage and waste in polar waters. This marks a historic milestone in the IMO’s work to protect ships and people aboard them and the en- vironment of the harsh waters sur- rounding the two poles. The Polar Code is expected to enter into force for newly-constructed ships on 1 January 2017.

Danish Veterinary and Food Administration’s future control campaigns

In the months to come, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration will be conducting control campaigns in the area of products, websites and sites on social media to check whether they comply with Danish food regulations. In addition to its regular inspections of food establish- ments, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration targets its focus on other issues of interest on a cur- rent basis, carrying out detailed con- trol campaigns in selected areas: use of nutrition and health claims by retail, wholesale and e-commerce, misleading marketing and finally, import of non-animal food products