Denmark

Corporate - Tax credits and incentives

Last reviewed - 19 February 2020

Foreign tax credit

According to Danish tax law, relief is generally available to credit foreign tax paid on non-Danish source profits against the Danish tax on the same profits. As Danish companies are not taxed on income from foreign PEs or properties, the rules have limited application.

For shareholdings of 10% or more of the share capital in foreign companies, Denmark has further rules allowing ‘underlying’ tax relief in respect of foreign dividends, so that tax suffered at lower levels can be relieved where dividends flow to Denmark via a chain of companies. As Danish tax law, as a main rule, exempts dividends from companies resident in countries with which Denmark has a tax treaty in which the Danish recipient company holds 10% or more, this rule, as well, has a limited application.

Capital expenditure incentives

A small variety of tax incentives are available in the form of deductions for capital expenditures.

Danish tax law allows for an immediate write-off of capital expenditures for R&D. Alternatively, the taxpayer may choose to take tax depreciation in the same year and the following four years on a straight-line basis. Costs incurred in connection with the exploration for raw materials may also be fully deducted in the same year.

Companies in a lossmaking situation may not benefit from an immediate write-off of R&D costs. However, companies have been granted the opportunity to apply to the Danish tax authorities for a payment equal to the tax value (22%) of negative taxable income. It is a condition that the negative taxable income relates to R&D costs. The rule does not cover costs incurred in connection with exploration for raw materials. The negative taxable income is calculated on the total negative income of the companies participating in the joint taxation, thus the company incurring the R&D costs does not need to have negative taxable income to request for the payment, as long as the joint taxation income is negative.

Tax payment according to this rule cannot exceed an amount of DKK 5.5 million, corresponding to a tax loss relating to R&D expenditure of DKK 25 million. For companies participating in joint taxation, the limit applies for all companies in total.

Costs related to purchase of patents and know-how (including rights/licences to utilise patents or know-how) may either be fully expensed in the year of acquisition or amortised over a seven-year period on a straight-line basis.

Furthermore, the Danish Parliament has introduced an increased deduction for R&D costs gradually increasing from 100 pct. to 110 pct. over a period of 8 years.

Year 2018-2019 2020 2021-2022 2023-2025 2026
Deduction rate in % 101.5 103.0 105.0 108.0 110.0

In relation to the above-mentioned tax incentive scheme only the actual incurred R&D costs may be included in the request for the cash payment from the Danish tax authorities. The remaining deduction exceeding the 100% will be a negative taxable income that will increase the net operating loss carried forward.