Taxes and Accounting in Sweden

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Accounting Rules

Tax Year
Four tax years are possible: from 1 January to 31 December; from 1 May to 30 April; from 1 July to 30 June or from 1 September to 31 August.
Accounting Standards
Swedish accounting standards conform to IAS standards. 
Accounting Regulation Bodies
BFN, Bokföringsnämnden
Accounting Reports
The annual reporting must contain a profit and loss account, a balance sheet, notes and an annual report. Large companies and companies listed on the stock exchange must also provide a statement of source and application of funds.
Swedish accounting mostly conforms to the principles set out in the texts of the 4th Directive. However, some national particularities remain; some of them are allowed by the 4th Directive:
- the presentation of certain items (subscribed capital not paid up, equalization accounts, set-up costs, intangible assets, footnotes) corresponds to the specifics of the country
- it is the same for the distinction between distributable and non-distributable equity capital, and the separation into three parts of operating activities: production, distribution and administration.
On the other hand, some of them are not, as for example:
- un-taxed reserves
- depreciation allowances and appropriations to the reserve
- elements affecting accounting
- exceptional operations.
Publication Requirements
All joint-stock companies have to send a copy of their annual report to the legal authorities of the country.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
Foreningen Auktoriserade Revisorer , Institute for the accountancy profession in Sweden.
Bokforingsnamanden , Swedish Accounting Standards Board (in English)
Svenska Revisorsamfundet , Swedish Association of Auditors (in English)
Certification and Auditing
Companies have to seek a statutory auditor to conduct an annual audit of the financial health of their organization. You can contact the FAR SRS (professional institute for authorized public accountants and approved public accountants).
Accounting News
International Accounting news
EIN Northern Europe Accounting News

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
MOMS (mervärdesskart) - Value Added Tax (VAT).
Tax Rate
Reduced Tax Rate
Reduced rate of 12%: foodstuffs, hotel services, camp sites and imports of artworks.
Lowest rate of 6%: newspapers, passenger transport services and cultural events.
Other Consumption Taxes
Tax on energy products, several sorts of stamp duty (the highest is 2% and is applicable to real estate transactions), tax on the sale of shares and securities (30%), vehicle tax (it varies according to the weight of the vehicle and is higher for diesel cars), excise tax (very high, levied on alcohol and tobacco).
Find Tax Professionals in Sweden on

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
Resident companies are taxed on their global income while foreign companies are taxed on the profits they make in Sweden.
Capital Gains Taxation
Non tax exempt capital gain tax are included in business income and taxed at 26.3%.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credit
There is no professional tax.
Dividends paid to resident companies: with-holding tax of 30% if the shares are registered, giving a right to a tax credit chargeable to income tax according to a specific rate of 30%.
The rate applicable to profits distributed or not is a single rate of 25%; solidarity tax of 5.5% of the tax rate is added i.e. 26.37%.
A reduction of 25% for three years on the taxable total of salaries paid by Swedish companies (or stable establishments in Sweden of foreign companies) to people of other nationalities than Swedish and non-resident in Sweden.
Other Corporate Taxes
Property taxes: from 0.2 to 2.2% on commercial premises, and industrial properties.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Individuals pay both a municipal tax which rate is between 28.89% and 34.17% + the national income tax. The overall rate of income tax in Sweden is between 28.89% and 59.17%. For national income tax, the rate is between 0% and 25%.
SEK 0 to 380,200 0%
SEK 380,200 to 538,800 20%
SEK 538,800 and above 25%
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credit
Deductions for business travel expenses, rise in cost of living (rise in rent for example).
Special Expatriate Tax Regime
Tax reductions for certain expatriate management personnel (limited duration of 5 years). Flat rate reduction of 25%. This measure is only possible during the first three years of work and is reserved exclusively for people who do not have Swedish nationality.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
Consult the Swedish Tax Department
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 30%, Interests: 0%; Royalties:0%.

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Sources of Fiscal Information

Tax Authorities
Swedish fiscal administration
Other Domestic Resources
Information about taxes from Invest Sweden

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Find more on about Taxes and Accounting in Sweden.

Intellectual Property

National Organizations
The organization responsible for the protection of intellectual property in Sweden is the Swedish Patent and Registration Office. For copyright, it is the Copyright bureau. Patents are protected for an annual fee.
Regional Organizations
For the protection of patents: the European Patent Office
Governing trade marks, designs and models: the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patent Act
20 years Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Strasbourg agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification
Trademarks Act
5 years Trademark law treaty
Nice agreement
Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement
The Swedish Copyright Legislation
70 years after the death of the author Berne convention
Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models
Industrial Designs
20 years  

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
Judicial power in Sweden is totally independent.
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreign nationals can have an impartial trial.
The Language of Justice
Swedish is the language of justice, but English is commonly used.
Recourse to an Interpreter
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The legal system is based on a system of civil law influenced by common law. The main law is the Constitution of 1974. As Sweden belongs to the European Union, its national law must submit to the conditions of Community legislation.
Checking National Laws Online

Legal research on the web: Sweden
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National Standards Organizations
Swedish Standards Institute(Standardiseringen i Sverige)
Swedish organization for telecommunications standards
Swedish committee for electrotechnical standards
Integration in the International Standards Network
Member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
Member of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
Member of the International Electrotechnical Commission(IEC)
Member of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
Member of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)
Classification of Standards
ISO and IEC standards, as well as ASTM, DIN, BSI, ASME, SAE, IEEE, API, ANSI, UL, MIL
For further information, consult the SIS website.
Online Consultation of Standards
SIS catalog
SEK catalog
IEC catalog
Certification Organizations
Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment
SP Swedish institute for technical research
SEMKO-DEKRA (Quality and environmental certification).

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Business Practices

General Information
Official portal, very useful for knowing how to do business in Sweden.
Advice for business relations
Opening Hours and Days
Saturday and Sunday closed, or just Saturday afternoon and Sunday for shops. All-day opening.

Public Holidays

New Year's Day 1 January
Epiphany 6 January
Easter Monday March/April
Good Friday the Friday before Easter
Labor Day 1 May
Ascension Day the sixth Thursday after Easter
National Day 6 June
Saint John's Day a Saturday between 19 and 29 June
All Saints 1st Saturday of November
Christmas 24, 25 and 26 December
Holiday Compensation
When a public holiday falls on a Thursday, most Swedish people take the Friday off.

Periods When Companies Usually Close

Summer holidays July

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Experts Views (1)
  • EU VAT Guide

    With 27 EU Member States, each with their own VAT legislation to consider, VAT can be a time consuming and confusing task for international business.

    Accordance on 24 Jan 2012 related to Taxes and Accounting in Sweden

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