Swedes rejoice at billion-kronor tax refunds

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Swedes rejoice at billion-kronor tax refunds

All the Swedes who sent in their tax returns via old-fashioned snail-mail got their tax refunds on Tuesday, with almost a million Swedish taxpayers sharing a payout of 6.2 billion kronor ($940 million).


"I usually use it to pay off my credit card," said Jim, 35, about the annual joy of getting cash back as the Tax Agency (Skatteverket) starts refunding Swedes what they have overpaid in taxes in the past calender year.

On Tuesday, some of the 897,318 participants took to social media sites to comment their windfall, with Twitter bursting at the seams with delight at the "skatteåterbäringen".

"The joy of getting your salary AND tax refund into your account. LIVING IN HEAVEN," tweeted Stina Lahrin. Other comments ranged from "hallelujah", tweeted in conjunction with a picture of a newly purchased iPad, and "praise Anders Borg", referring to Sweden's pony-tailed and bespectacled finance minister.

The joyful Swedes were the second batch to receive any outstanding money. Swedes who instead filed their tax return electronically - which in Sweden you can do online or even by SMS - were repaid already in June.

Tuesday's payout will be followed by subsequent transfers as the tax auditors churn their way through small business owners' accounting. On Twitter, a private entrepreneur took the opportunity to point out that he would get his cash back later in the year, "just in time for Christmas shopping".

Not everyone stands to gain, however.

"I've never really enjoyed the fruits of this particular bureaucratic idiosyncrasy, but if I was suddenly given 5,000 kronor I'd go on a massive bender," said one The Local reader who preferred not to be named.

"Which as a father-of-three means going out for a quick beer after work... home by 6.30pm."

Ann Törnkvist

Follow Ann on Twitter here


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