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TAX EVASION

Attempted tax dodge ends up costing Swedish firms dearly

Several hundred Swedish companies will have to pay back a total of half a billion kronor ($70 million) in back taxes after having moved funds to Cyprus in order to evade taxes, reported Swedish Television (SVT).

At the suggestion of unscrupulous tax advisors, many Swedish entrepreneurs have been lured into transferring their profits to a holding company in Cyprus and then borrowing an equivalent amount back home in Sweden.

During a raid of the consulting office by the Swedish Tax Authority (Skatteverket), authorities discovered information that revealed that more than 400 individuals had used the same scheme.

Since it has come to light that their companies in Cyprus were just a smokescreen, the companies involved have been slapped with back taxes.

“Most of them are flimsy set ups without any real business behind them. In those cases, we suspect that it might be a question of tax evasion,” Jan-Erik Bäckman, head of analysis at Skatteverket, told SVT.

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NAME

Swedish woman applied to change name to ‘Nazi’

A 28-year-old woman in Sweden has been refused permission to change her first name to 'Nazi' after the authorities deemed the name 'unsuitable', a regional newspaper reports.

Swedish woman applied to change name to 'Nazi'
According to Skånska Dagbladet, the name was rejected because of its association with Germany's National Socialist Party. Photo: Bengt Olof Åradsson/Wikimedia Commons
The woman, from the village of Tyringe, which is known more for its medieval church than far-right activity, made the application earlier this year. 
 
Ingegerd Widell, the development officer at the Swedish Tax Agency in charge of registering new names, said she could not confirm the story without knowing the name of the woman.  
 
“I would be extremely surprised if anyone would get that name,” she said. 
 
The Swedish Tax Agency, which handles Swedes' applications to change their name, only accepts new names if they do not cause problems for the holder or cause discomfort to others. 
 
According to the agency, before approving a name, its officials check if it could “cause offence, be presumed to cause discomfort for the individual or for some other reason are unsuitable”. 
 
According to the Skånska Dagbladet newspaper, which first reported on the case, the application was rejected because “the word Nazi is a short form of National Socialism and is associated with supporters of Nazism”. 
 
 
Last year, the agency turned down a 26-year-old man who wanted to change his first name to 'Prince', on the grounds that it was “not a word associated with a name”, and in 2011 a man's bid to have 'His Majesty' added to his name was turned down because it could lead to “misunderstandings”.
 
Another man did get to add 'King' to his name – an idea he came up with after a long night out – six years ago. But the Stockholmer, King Oliver, told The Local in 2016 that his family “still calls (him) Oliver”.
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