He leads a government that has promised more transparency. But Jonas Gahr Støre will not “use his index finger” and demand that the unknown politicians behind 41 commuter housing tax cases should stand up.
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The case is continuously updated.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) received several questions about commuter housing tax at the Government’s semi-annual press conference on Friday.
The Labor Party has politicians in the line who have been notified of backlash from the Tax Administration.
In addition, Støre is head of the Prime Minister’s office – which he has received notice of backlash on the tax after the commuter housing case. The tax authorities have sent out a total of 45 notifications of commuter housing tax to politicians.
When asked by Støre whether the politicians should come forward and tell about their cases, Støre answers:
– It is wise to be open, but I do not want to point the finger at those who are not open.
Received notice of penalty tax
In a separate letter, the Prime Minister’s Office is informed by the Tax Administration that they must expect “increased additional tax” as a result of non-payment of employer’s contribution for 17 politicians’ commuter homes.
Additional tax is a penalty given to taxpayers who have “intentionally or with gross negligence” provided the tax authorities with incorrect or incomplete information that provides tax advantages.
The Prime Minister’s Office risks up to 20 percent penalty tax as a result of incorrectly reported information, the Tax Administration has previously announced. The Prime Minister’s Office can appeal the decision, as the Tax Administration has so far only sent one for
Will not require more transparency
Through several articles, Aftenposten has highlighted the lack of transparency surrounding the handling of the case of commuter housing tax.
45 politicians have been notified that the Tax Administration believes they have evaded taxes. But of these it is only four names that are publicly known.
The Støre government has openness as one of its mantras. Transparency is mentioned 13 times in the government platform.
But because tax is considered someone’s private matter in Norway, it is up to the politicians even if the voters are to know who has been notified of tax claims after the commuter housing cases. Only 4 of a total of 45 politicians have so far voted.
Støre is not critical of that.
– Relationships between individuals and the tax authority are someone’s personal relationships. That is why I do not want to stand here and say that all parliamentary representatives must appear in public with their case.
Støre also keeps the door open so that the Tax Administration’s demands will not stand.
– Now the tax authorities have come forward with their views. Advance notice has been sent, but these are not the tax authorities’ final views. A final decision will be made, Støre said.
Politicians from the Labor Party, the Conservative Party, the Christian Democrats, the Socialist People’s Party, the Green Party, the Liberal Party and the Socialist People’s Party have received a tax warning from the Tax Administration. But most names to whom this applies is still not something the public gets to know.
Among those who have reacted to the secrecy are Dagbladet.
– Keeping the tax card close to the chest in the hope of restoring confidence in the representatives of the Storting is a bad solution, the newspaper writes in a leading position.