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Sweden has ‘lower tax burden’ than Senegal

While Sweden has a reputation for having one of the most painful tax bills in the world, a new report ranks Sweden 20th when comparing the tax burden on salaries when social security payments and salary brackets are taken into account.

Sweden has 'lower tax burden' than Senegal

Global auditing firm KPMG has measured “effective income taxes and social security contributions levels” as a more rounded way to look at the tax contributions individuals make to the state.

The business daily Dagens Industry (DI), which got a sneak peek at the list, reported that Belgium and Greece topped the list.

Sweden finished 20th at an “effective tax” rate of 38.3 percent, below a host of European neighbours as well as Curacao and Senegal, when looking at individuals who earn above $100,000 a year. The sum breaks down to a monthly Swedish salary of about 55,000 kronor.

The tax-rate climbed, however, when looking at higher earners. In the $300,000 bracket, Sweden came in fifth with a 49.8 percent effective tax rate. France topped the list, followed by Belgium, Italy and Denmark.

DI summarized that looking at the effective tax rate showed that Sweden in fact had lower income-tax rates than many other countries.

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Sweden does still, however, have a top income rate that outstrips many other countries’, which KPMG noted in its 2012 global tax review. Sweden’s top rate was then 56.6 percent, comparable to several other European nations, but the heavy-hitter on the list was found further west.

“In terms of the highest income tax rates in the world, the small Caribbean island of Aruba again took this accolade with a top rate of 58.95 percent, while other countries with top rates in excess of 50 percent are largely European,” KPMG noted in its 2012 comparative study.

“While these top rates may appear high, it is important to remember that a country’s highest personal income tax rate is only one indicator of what taxes individuals may pay on their income,” the report noted.

“Just as influential are which other taxes may apply and on which income thresholds those rates are charged.”

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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.

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