State to stop asking for wealth declaration

Residents of Sweden will no longer have to declare their wealth to the state after the abolition of wealth tax next year.

The government had initially proposed that the Swedish tax authority would continue to collect information about taxpayers’ wealth after the tax was abolished. Now Ingemar Hansson, state secretary at the Department of Finance, said the government was making a u-turn on the issue.

“We want to protect the legitimacy of the tax system. It is not the intention that the tax authority should be a public information gatherer or a Big Brother,” he told Sveriges Radio.

But critics have said that to do so would be an unnecessary invasion of privacy, as all tax details collected in Sweden are available to the public. It was also pointed out that continued collection of wealth details would make it easy for a new government to reintroduce the tax.

Jan Björklund, the new leader of the Liberal Party, was the latest leading government figure to criticize the plan to keep collecting wealth information. In his keynote speech to the Liberal Party conference, he argued that “the individual’s right to a private sphere should be protected.”

Next year is likely to be the last year in which Swedes are asked for details of their wealth.


Denmark suspects two Swedes over explosion at tax authority

Two Swedish citizens are suspected in connection with last week’s explosion at the Danish Tax Agency. One of the two is in police custody.

Denmark suspects two Swedes over explosion at tax authority
Copenhagen Police superintendent Jørgen Bergen Skov addresses the press. Photo: Philip Davali / Ritzau Scanpix

Copenhagen Police superintendent Jørgen Bergen Skov confirmed the arrests to press on Wednesday morning.

“Both individuals are suspected of carrying out the detonation at the Tax Agency,” Skov said.

One man, aged 22, was arrested in Swedish city Malmö on Tuesday and will be extradited to Denmark. Once he reaches Copenhagen he will appear for preliminary court proceedings, which the prosecution will request take place behind closed doors.

Swedish newspaper Kvällsposten reports the 22-year-old has no previous criminal convictions in the country.

The second man, a 23-year-old, is yet to be detained but an international arrest warrant for him has been issued, Skov said.

“During the night, we also searched several addresses in Sweden. We hereby confiscated what we believe to be a car used by the suspects,” he said.

“We have one suspect on the loose, which means we must be careful about what we say, out of consideration for the investigation,” he added.

The superintendent did not add any detail about how police were able to connect the two individuals to the August 6th explosion.

Skov also stressed that police do not believe the tax authority blast to be connected to a similar incident at a police station in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro neighbourhood in the early hours of Saturday.

“There is nothing to suggest (a connection),” he said.