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Swedes pay 70 percent of salary in taxes: study

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12:35 CEST+02:00
Swedes who earn a salary on par with the average municipal worker contribute the equivalent of 70 percent of their monthly salaries in taxes, a new study has found.

Workers who earn 25,000 kronor ($3,810) per month end up paying 69 percent, or 17,200 kronor per month, in taxes, according to an analysis carried out by Swedbank.

According to Statistics Sweden, the average salary of a municipal worker in Sweden in 2011 was 25,000 kronor.

Meanwhile, two-child households earning 55,000 kronor per month contribute 38,000 kronor in taxes, Swedbank found.

The sum includes taxes deducted from one's paycheck; value added taxes paid on consumption; as well as payroll taxes paid by employers.

All told, taxes account for Swedes' largest monthly expense by far.

"Taxes visible in our paychecks are one thing, but when you include taxes on consumption and payroll taxes, taxes end up being three times as high," Maria Ahrengart of Swedbank's Institute for Personal Finance (Institutet för Privatekonomi) said in a statement.

In 2011, Swedes paid a total of 1.56 trillion kronor in taxes.

According to Swedbank's analysis, which traced exactly where Swedes' tax money is spent, municipalities and the pension system consume most of what Swedes pay in taxes.

"It's good to know what the money actually goes to and how tax money is divided," Ahrengart told the TT news agency.

Of the 17,200 kronor in tax generated by a monthly salary of 25,000 kronor, 6,100 kronor or about 35 percent, goes to municipal taxes, while the pension system receives 4,300 kronor, or about 25 percent.

Taxes paid directly to the state account for just under 20 percent of the worker's tax bill, or about 40,000 kronor per year.

Of that sum, about 1,700 kronor goes to help pay Sweden's European Union membership fee, with an equal amount going toward foreign development aid.

About 3,000 kronor is spent annually on education, compared with 2,500 kronor on defence and 4,200 on children and family programmes.

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Meanwhile, of the 73,000 kronor paid in local taxes annually, elderly care consumes the largest amount -- 14,000 kronor, or about 19 percent -- while childcare and education account for about 30,000 kronor, or 41 percent.

"Much of what we pay in, we get out again in different ways," Ahrengart told TT.

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