• Sweden edition
 
Swedes shun tax havens in favour of amnesty
Luxembourg is a popular tax haven for Swedes

Swedes shun tax havens in favour of amnesty

Published: 28 Dec 2011 12:21 GMT+01:00
Updated: 28 Dec 2011 12:21 GMT+01:00

In 2011, nearly 1,600 Swedes opted to report assets from tax havens to the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) in order to avoid the prospect of still penalties for trying to avoid paying tax in Sweden.

“It amounts to about a billion kronor ($146 million) in tax," Göran Hägglund, an analyst at the tax agency, told news agency TT.

The figure marks a four-fold increase in the number of people taking advantage of the amnesty compared to 2010.

The rise in voluntary accounting of overseas assets comes as Swedish tax authorities have stepped up their information exchange with authorities in tax havens such as Switzerland, Monaco and Jersey.

“The network and the exchange of information between countries is increasingly close and keeping one's savings off the radar in Europe, or other parts of the world, is virtually impossible today," Kent Andersson, Head of Taxation at Bankaktiebolag Erik Penser, told Sveriges Television (SVT).

A few years ago, Swedish tax authorities estimated Swedes have about 300 billion kronor placed in accounts in tax havens abroad, primarily in Switzerland and Luxembourg.

But they believe the figure has shrunk somewhat since then.

In addition, new tax treaties have allowed the Tax Agency to identify and tax around 250 individuals and companies in the last two years, resulting in the collection of about 460 million kronor in taxes.

The Tax Agency said it is unlikely to penalize Swedes who have not yet declared their assets abroad.

“If you have money that you have not declared you have a right to make a correction of that, so long as we have not issued any type of control of your case beforehand," Hägglund told SVT.

Since the tax agency launched its programme focusing on Swedes' assets abroad in 2006, it has collected around 3.8 billion in taxes from 1,640 companies and individuals.

TT/The Local/js (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

13:46 December 28, 2011 by eppie
Another great way of supporting white collar crime.

If you are increasing cooperation with Switzerland etc. you can find these people and fine the hell out of them.

This method yields peanuts (124 million dollars....come on), and is another way of agreeing with tax evasion.
15:42 December 28, 2011 by Abe L
How about solving the actual reason as to why people put money abroad? The tax-pressure in Sweden is flat out retarded. Why do successful people get punished for making a living? And why do you need to pay taxes on money you've already payed taxes on when you obtained it?
17:03 December 28, 2011 by eppie
@abe L

-first it isn't retarded.

-Second you have a pretty good chance of becoming succesful in Sweden...you will still make a lot of money, and yes you pay some taxes. Your problem being?

-third the tax burden doesn't have to do a lot with the amount of evasion. Lot's of people evade taxes, americans, russians, europeans etc. Probably tax evasion in Sweden is among the lowest in the world.
02:39 December 29, 2011 by Larry Thrash
If the government wasn't so greedy and selfish perhaps they wouldn't have this problem. One's wages and wealth belong to one's self. Taking more than half is legalized theft.
10:51 December 29, 2011 by Lavaux
@Abe L

The tax pressure is retarded, but the better word is "regressive". To understand why Swedes punish financial success by taking it away, you only need to understand Jante Lagen, which can be summed up thus: Do not stick out. Rich Swedes stick out, making their fellow Swedes feel inferior, who respond by taking a big chunk of their income and wealth in taxes. It follows that the main aim of taxes in Sweden is to determine the amount of income and wealth that each individual Swede has after taxation and transfers. It's not about sharing the wealth or redistributing it or "social justice", although these arguments assuage the takers' consciences. Rather, it's about closing the wealth gaps between individuals so that none of them stick out too far from their fellows.

Wealth is freedom, so it's no surprise that rich Swedes save and invest their freedom abroad where there is far more of it. Note how the leftist Swedes respond to these facts. First they argue that Swedish taxes aren't too high. But if that were true, Swedes wouldn't evade taxes because the reward would be less than the risks. Second they argue that raising taxes doesn't change behavior or divert capital. But if that were true, why have they admitted that cutting taxes decreases tax evasion while increasing economic growth? Third they argue that Swedes are used to high taxes and enjoy paying them. But if that were true, why is it that the Swedes most in favor of high taxes pay the least in taxes while the Swedes least in favor of high taxes pay the most?

You're never going to convince most Swedes that their tax system is immoral or unjust or self-destructive, AbeL, as eppie's poorly reasoned and counter-factual response indicates. Worse, your objections to it will eat at you so long as you live in Sweden unless and until you accept it as a cost of living here akin to lousy weather, darkness, high prices for everything that could lead to fun, etc. Adapt to the bad by embracing and enjoying the good as much as you can.
23:38 December 30, 2011 by Kaethar
These arguments... tax evasion exists all over the world no matter the tax rate in the country in question. But as always people will feel the need to make up facts to support their own ideological bias.
20:52 December 31, 2011 by Grokh
how about making them pay for living in the country they live.
12:57 January 1, 2012 by franksfrank
how about learning about concepts such as voluntarism and the non aggression principle.

grokh You are to weak to put a gun to someones head yourself, but will do so just one step removed. your violence is abhorrent

"I didn't sign no damn social contract"!!! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Today's headlines
National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

Sport
Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games
The Swedish team in action. Photo: TT

Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games

Sweden's capital has missed out on a chance to host any Euro 2020 games, with Copenhagen the only Scandinavian city among the thirteen winning locations. READ  

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests
Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala, is the first woman to head the Swedish church. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests

A Swedish priest has been fired after telling his congregation that people who support female priests would be rejected by God - despite the fact that his own church is led by a woman. READ  

Analysis
Women set to dominate top post-election jobs
Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

National
Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions
A Gripen plane was scrambled to see off the Russian planes. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions

UPDATED: Sweden has summoned the Russian Ambassador for a dressing down after two Russian planes violated Swedish airspace last week. READ  

Elections 2014
'Good prospects' for Alliance co-operation

'Good prospects' for Alliance co-operation

UPDATED: Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven says he is positive that his party can co-operate with the former governing Alliance on some issues. READ  

Lifestyle
Introducing...Astrid Lindgren
Pippi Longstocking comes to live at the Astrid Lindgren theme park. Photo: TT

Introducing...Astrid Lindgren

The creator of Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren, is the most translated author from Sweden, and has filled children's imaginations since the 1940s. The Local finds out why her work has become a timeless classic. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

864
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN