Wealth tax ‘voluntary’ for the wealthy

Sweden's wealth tax is practically voluntary for the best-paid company directors, a new report by Swedish Radio claims to show.

Senior executives at companies including Securitas and Investor have declared falling wealth while their incomes were rising.

Securitas CEO Tomas Berglund declared 66 million kronor in income from capital in 2004, while declaring no taxable wealth. Investor veteran Claes Dahlbäck declared income of 77 million kronor in 2005, without declaring any wealth.

Of the 20 CEOs of Swedish listed companies looked at by Swedish Radio, five had declared no wealth. Ways of escaping wealth tax include investing in forestry or agricultural land, which is excluded from wealth tax calculations, or by buying certain types of wealth tax-exempt shares.

Tomas Berglund escaped Swedish wealth tax by being based in England, where the company had its headquarters.