Danes Worldwide critizes new restrictive tax bill meant for Danes abroad

Corrected on the 18th of April at 10:50 a.m. See below

In the beginning of March the Danish government launched a new tax bill with the purpose of ‘modernizing the rules of full tax liability’ for Danes living abroad.

The bill can be summarized to this: If Danes living abroad owns a house that is “suitable for permanent habitation,” (this also includes houses build for vacationing) and that they have been staying in Denmark for more than 90 days (currently 180 days) within 12 months, then they are to pay full taxes in Denmark, and possibly the country of residence as well.

This has been met by harsh criticism by the organisation representing Danes living abroad, Danes Worldwide, in a public letter to the government.

Concerning the cut from 180 to 90 days, Danes Worldwide describes it as a seemingly random cut without it being followed by proper arguments:

“There aren’t noted any arguments for such a substantial cut pruning of the time that Danes have with with their family and friends in their home country. It is just noted that it is inspired by the model used by Norway (…) and that is among the reasons that many Danes abroad see this as a arbitrary.”

The fact that the bill makes it more complicated for Danes abroad from owning a vacation home (cottage) in Denmark without being eligeble to pay taxes in Denmark has also been met with criticism. Apparently homes like that is something a lot of people use to strenghten the bond to the home country:

“Many people still active in business – either self employed or wage earners – maintains the bond to Denmark through their vacation homes. Vacation homes in Denmark are often a crucial point for international Danes, whereas the children also maintains their cultural connection to Denmark,” the statement reads.

Danes Worldwide also notes that they have received letters from several “very concerned” Chambers of Commerces around the world, including Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.

The full statement can be read here (in Danish).

The bill can be read here (in Danish).

Correction: It was stated that the new rules would be implemented if one of the criterias were met. That is not true. For the new rules to take effect, both criterias must be met. We apologize for the mistake.

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