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Household tax relief opponents claim benefit

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09:29 CEST+02:00
In the last 12 months, nearly 890,000 people have claimed a tax deduction for work carried out on and in their homes, according to Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) figures. Among them are several politicians whose parties oppose the system.

Among the candidates for the upcoming general election who have claimed tax relief under the RUT deduction for cleaning and home help inside the home, despite being members of a party which opposes the system, are Gudrun Schyman, leader of the Feministist Initiative (Feministiskt initiativ - Fi).

"I see no contradiction in that. There are many things that I don't think are positive and which I want to change, where we have policies for change and this is one area," Schyman told SVT news programme Rapport.

The RUT deduction has been the subject of intense discussion among Swedish political parties during the current mandate period. The government has defended its introduction as an effective weapon against black market jobs and job creator while others have argued that it is a waste of money, favours only the already well-off, and helps to further entrench the class system.

The so-called ROT deduction for renovations on the home, introduced by the Social Democrats and extended by the Alliance government, is less controversial and has the support of the major parties.

SVT survey was sent out to all of the 5,000 candidates standing for election to parliament in the upcoming general elections, and received 1,800 replies. 18 of them admitted to claiming for RUT deductions while belonging to parties which propose the abolition of the system.

A year ago, the Tax Agency introduced a reformed invoice model, meaning that the customer can receive the deduction directly on the invoice. From there, it is up to the company performing the job to apply for payment from the agency.

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