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Aktiesparekonto – strengthening investment culture in Denmark

Following a political decision, citizens living in Denmark now have access to a new form of savings account – the Aktiesparekonto. This investment savings account provides the opportunity to invest in listed shares at a more favourable level of taxation than with regular investment of investable cash.

With the Aktiesparekonto, the Danish Parliament has given citizens living in Denmark an alternative way of saving.

The purpose of the new savings method, which was introduced at the beginning of 2019, is to strengthen investment culture in Denmark – thereby supporting growth in society – by allowing all citizens to invest DKK 50,000 in listed shares and share-based mutual funds with a tax rate of 17% on the return. Tax will be paid according to the Danish rules on taxation of unrealised gains on securities (lagerprincippet). The tax rate on standard equity investments is between 27% and 42%, depending on the return.

Over five years, DKK 50,000 can be transformed into:

*Requirements: After year five, the shares must be sold through “the standard investment” so that the tax falls due. Until then, shares may not be traded (buy and hold strategy). No dividends are paid out on the shares. The investor must be unmarried. The investor may not have shares or losses carried forward outside the Aktiesparekonto. The model is based on a fixed annual return of 5% and therefore does not take into account that the return may be different or that there may be negative returns during or at the end of the period. The benefit of using an Aktiesparekonto depends on the final investment return received. If  the return is negative, investing via an Aktiesparekonto may have been disadvantageous.

I hope that people who normally don’t invest will be motivated by the Aktiesparekonto to start thinking about investing in something that could be interesting. Many people in Denmark have a lot of money sitting in a zero-interest account. There may be many good reasons for this, but for some people, the money is just sitting there gathering dust because they haven’t thought about how and when to use it. And it’s especially this group of people for whom I hope that the Aktiesparekonto will seem like a good opportunity to be more active about how their money should be invested – even if they end up choosing another investment solution.

Louise Aggerstrøm 

Private Economist, Danske Bank

With the right investment via the Aktiesparekonto, an investment can be transformed into a lot of money over time – both compared to other investment  types and also compared to having idle savings in a bank account earning almost no interest.

In fact, because inflation erodes the purchasing power of money over time, idle savings can become a real loss-maker. Investing is not just about making savings grow, but it is also about protecting savings against inflation and preserving the value of the money.

Facts about Aktiesparekonto

  • Consists of a deposit account and a custody account
  • Can be used only for investable cash and not for pension or company funds 
  • Maximum deposit in 2019: DKK 50,000 
  • One Aktiesparekonto can be opened per person
  • Investments can be made in listed shares and share-based mutual funds, which are taxed as share income 
  • Tax rate of 17%, which is calculated at the end of the year according to Danish rules on taxation of unrealised gains on securities (lagerbeskatningsprincippet)