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Sweden’s government wants new rule to fight tax evasion

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Sweden’s government wants new rule to fight tax evasion
Finance minister Magdalena Andersson. File photo: Thommy Tengborg/TT
13:55 CET+01:00
Sweden’s government and parliamentary ally the Left Party (Vänsterpartiet) want to introduce a rule that would penalise late submission of information to the country’s Skatteverket tax agency.

Finance minister Magdalena Andersson said that she hopes this would put pressure on individuals with money in offshore tax havens.

“In practice, this means that more people who are avoiding tax will be given a penalty,” Andersson told TT.

People with undeclared assets abroad currently have the option of notifying Skatteverket of their assets without being subject to a penalty in the form of a surcharge.

Current tax rules provide for the self-return (självrättelse) of undeclared tax if Skatteverket is yet to begin an investigation into a specific person.

By introducing a deadline of two months in which such declarations must be made, after which penalties would be incurred, the government and Left Party hope that more people will feel obliged to submit accurate information.

In the wake of last year’s Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers leakages of last weekend, Andersson said that she was keen to set in motion new initiatives, but added she did not expect the measure to have a large effect on Sweden’s state coffers.

“We have tentatively calculated an increased income of 15 million kronor [1.5 million euros] per year,” Andersson said.

The proposal will be sent for parliamentary consultation with its introduction proposed for 2018.

READ ALSO: Swedes hit out at tax avoidance exposed in Paradise Papers leak

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