Call to simplify tax declarations

The Swedish tax authority has demanded simpler rules for tax declarations, after it emerged that large numbers of people filled in forms incorrectly last year

More than half of those who declared earnings from the sale of homes or shares filled in the forms incorrectly, the tax authority said. Tax deductions claims for travel to and from work and for other costs were also wrong in more than 50 percent of declarations.

Last year, the tax authority made 1.3 changes to peoples tax declarations following checks or following new information from the taxpayer in question. The amounts involved were often small, and in one third of cases the changes worked in favour of the taxpayer.

In order to reduce the number of faults in this year’s declarations, which must be handed in by 2nd May, the tax authority has published tips on its website on how to avoid the most common mistakes.

The survey of declarations from 2006 found faults in 53 percent of all reports of share sales. A total of 74 percent of those who declared the sale of a home made mistakes in their forms. Half of these faults, if left undetected, would have led to the taxpayer paying more.

Some 56 percent of all deductions claimed for travel to and from work were incorrect. In most cases people had made mistakes in the distances declared and the number of travelling days.

Some 91 percent of people made errors in their claims for other expenses. Most frequently, people were unable to back up their claims or were making deductions for offices and working clothes that were not permitted under the rules.