• 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
Sport
Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Sweden's top scorer in history. PHOTO: TT/Maja Suslin

Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recovering well from the nagging heel problem that has stopped him playing for Sweden during its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. READ  

International
Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir
A shot from the video on YouTube.

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir

Two sisters from Södertälje near Stockholm are celebrating getting more than 1.3 million hits on YouTube, with a video calling for peace in war-torn Syria. READ  

Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison
A 2013 image of Svartholm Warg. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison

Swedish "hactivist" Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking crimes. READ  

Royal family
Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Princess Madeleine at a previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

970
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