Sweden proposes tax change for some foreign workers

Sweden proposes tax change for some foreign workers
Skatteverket estimates it would create another 330 million kronor a year in tax revenues. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
More foreign workers in Sweden may have to pay tax, if a government proposal goes ahead.

A person who does not normally live in Sweden, but is working temporarily in the country while being paid by an employer based outside of Sweden, may be exempt from paying taxes if they work less than 183 days during a year, according to current tax rules.

But according to the government's proposed changes, this rule should not apply if they have been contracted to carry out work for a company based in Sweden.

In other words, whether a temporary worker has to pay tax or not should depend on which company they are doing the work for, rather than in which country the employer paying their salary is based.

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Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

The government also wants foreign workers who are not registered residents with a personal identity number or coordination number (folkbokförda) to still register at the tax agency Skatteverket to help it keeb tabs on those working in the country.

It also suggests that rules applying to Swedish companies should also apply to foreign businesses operating in Sweden, for example rules on tax deductions and registration.

“We want order on the job market. This is a proposal that more people who are working temporarily in Sweden should also pay taxes in the country. They are also to register at Skatteverket to keep an eye on who is working. That facilitates control, competitiveness for Swedish businesses and tax revenues,” Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson told news agency TT.

Skatteverket estimates it would create another 330 million kronor ($39 million) a year in tax revenues.

The government has referred the proposal to other agencies and organizations to get their opinions before it decides to take it further. If it goes ahead, it is proposed it should come into force on January 1st, 2019.