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Tax: Cosmetic surgery is not deductible

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Tax: Cosmetic surgery is not deductible
Winners of the Miss Plastic Hungary beauty pageant. If they lived in Sweden they would not be able to make deductions for breast implants, nose jobs or face lifts. Photo: AP/TT
12:20 CEST+02:00
With next Monday the deadline for filing tax returns, Swedes will try to get the tax office to cover the cost of everything from milk to plastic surgery, explains a tax agency worker who has seen it all.

Kay Kojer, a business developer with the tax agency, Skatteverket, has built up a dossier over the years of some of the more creative deduction attempts he has seen. 

“It’s becoming more common for models and celebrities, or people aspiring to be that, to try in vain to file deductions for cosmetic surgery and make-up,” he told the TT news wire. 

“Others want to make deductions for suits because their professions require certain dress codes. But the only thing that’s tax deductible is protective clothing.” 

A lot of people seem to treat their tax returns as a way of seeking cosmic justice, like the family with a pack of milk-guzzling teenagers who thought Sweden should help foot that dairy bill. 

Not likely, said the tax agency, which also rejected a single mother who made a deduction for her new dog. The woman claimed she and her daughter lived in an isolated spot and had bought the dog for protection. 

The tax agency also said no to a woman who tried to make deductions for the therapy she needed to put up with her boss.

One slick operator who sells car polish tried to get a Porsche past the tax agency’s gate keepers by claiming the car was only used to demonstrate the product, but the agency put the brakes on that one too. 

Another businessman tried to squeeze his helicopter costs into his tax returns. That one didn’t fly with the authorities either, given his interest in flying helicopters turned out not to be especially work-related. 

A pair of optimistic characters who tried to make deductions for their respective contributions to the country’s armed forces and the interest paid on government borrowing also had their unrealistic dreams shattered. 

“Otherwise one of the most common deductions to get rejected is for computers, which these days is treated as a normal private cost, as well as travel deductions for car travel when people only have the right to bus cards. A lot of people just take a chance,” said Kojer. 

The numbers

Last year Swedes filed tax returns on incomes worth a combined 2,004 billion kronor ($232 billion) 

The tax agency approved deductions totalling 169 billion kronor. 

Journeys to and from work accounted for the biggest share of approved deductions, amounting to 13.5 billion. 

External link (Skatteverket): About the tax return 

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