Rushing to declare

Monday was the last day for submissions of tax declarations, and in time-honoured fashion panic and confusion reigned with traffic chaos in Stockholm as thousands battled to make the deadline.

“Whatever you do, don’t take the car to the tax office on Magnus Ladulåsgatan.” This was the firm advice Monday’s DN gave to its Stockholm readers. On the Sunday there was a queue several hundred metres long to the single envelope drop. The paper reported that frustrated declarers then got lost in the maze of one-way streets in the area.

Things were different in Gothenburg, with a “party atmosphere” outside the office in Rosenlund, according to Monday’s GP. Two hardened tax officers were out on the street, gladly taking receipt of declarations from citizens on foot and bike.

“It’s a fun day. People are very grateful that we stand out here taking their forms,” Ingela Johnson told the paper.

There was particular interest in the number of tax payers who had used alternative methods of declaring over the internet and via a text messaging service.

Monday’s Svenska Dagbladet looked at the numbers who had declared electronically. On Sunday evening, the figure stood at 900,000, only a small rise from last year and “well under half the number the Tax Agency had been hoping for”.

One explanation for the poor result was offered by Wednesday’s GP, which pointed out that problems with registering travel deductions on the new technologies may have put off commuters.

The Tax Department stands to save 12 crowns for every internet declaration. Eva Myrin, in charge of the internet operation, told SvD: “There’s been a big information campaign this year, so we’d been hoping around 1.4 million would take advantage of the various options.”

Hang on, 1.4 million? Surely 900,000 is more than “well under half” of 1.4 million? With maths like that, The Local sincerely hopes that someone checked SvD’s declaration.