Kamprad return 'part of a rich man trend'

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Kamprad return 'part of a rich man trend'

Ikea founder and multi-billionaire Ingvar Kamprad's announcement that he plans to move back to Sweden is part of a long-term trend of rich people heading home following changes to wealth taxes, according to a media report.


"Sweden is not a high-tax country anymore," explained Carl Pihlgren, a tax lawyer at Ernst & Young, to the Dagens Industri (DI) daily.

The Local reported last week that 87-year-old Kamprad plans to spend his final years at home on the family farm in Älmhult in Småland in southern Sweden.

Changes to the tax regime, specifically property, wealth and inheritance taxes, introduced by the current government mean that Kamprad will only pay tax on future income.

The billionaire founder of the Ikea flat-pack furniture chain Ikea is currently the fifth richest person in the world and has lived in Switzerland since the 1970s.

Kamprad is not the only wealthy Swede heading home confident that their amassed fortunes won't be claimed by the state. Dagens Industri (DI) names H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson who has been a Sweden resident since 2009.

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According to Pihlgren, his firm has received an increase in inquiries from wealthy Swedes based overseas who are considering the move, testimony backed up by the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).

"Tax experts we have spoken to say that it is no longer favourable to have hidden capital overseas," said Margareta Nysträm at the agency to DI.

"We have no inheritance tax, no wealth taxes, no property tax (replaced by a municipal levy). An increasing number of exiled Swedes are moving home in their old age," Pihlgren said.

Sweden's inheritance tax was abolished by the Social Democrat-led government in 2005, while the current centre-right Alliance coalition government jettisoned the wealth tax in 2007 and property taxes in 2008.

Following the abolition of wealth taxes, the tax agency no longer keeps tabs on the assets of Swedes, and thus exact statistics are no longer held on the movements of the wealthy.

The Local/pvs

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