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Home sale duties boost Swedish tax revenues

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Home sale duties boost Swedish tax revenues
10:14 CEST+02:00
Rising housing prices have been a boon to Sweden's treasury, as income from duties levied on real estate transactions has doubled in the last eight years.

In major cities, purchasers of new homes can pay more than 100,000 kronor ($15,600) when buying a home, according to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Everyone who purchases a house in Sweden must pay a stamp duty (stämpelskatt) on title deeds and the issuance of mortgage deeds (pantbrev).

The tax is based on how much the house costs and the size of the purchaser's mortgage.

In 2000, the state earned 4.6 billion kronor from title and mortgage deeds. Handling charges (expeditionsavgiften) generated an additional 250 million kronor, bringing the total revenue up to 4.8 billion kronor.

Last year, the Swedish state earned 9.2 billion kronor, and during the first six months of 2008, nearly 5 billion kronor have flowed into the state's coffers.

Mortgages are responsible for the largest percentage increase in income. When taking a home loan, the owner must pay 2 percent of the total amount of the loan as a tax on the mortgage deed.

The national association of homeowners (Villaägarnas Riksförbund) is critical of the stamp duties. They want to see the tax abolished, but because such a move is unlikely, the group would like to see another system which also taxes the purchases of apartments.

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