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TAXES

Your Swedish tax return: 11 ways to get money back

There are a few weeks left to fill out your Swedish tax return, but you should make sure you don't miss out on any deductions you are eligible for. These are 11 of the most common.

Your Swedish tax return: 11 ways to get money back
Don't miss out on any tax deductions you may be due. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

The deadline for filing your tax return to Skatteverket (the Swedish tax agency) is May 3rd. But make sure you don’t miss out on claiming money back if you can. Some of these deductions may already be written down on the pre-filled out tax form, and some you may have paid for at the time of the purchase (for example deductions for maintenance work). Others you have to make sure you report yourself.

Read more about how to fill out your tax form in this guide for Members of The Local.

Work computers and tablets

Have to buy a computer or tablet in order to carry out your employment? You can deduct the cost provided it can be backed up by a receipt, and that your employer didn’t offer to provide you the machine. If you use your own computer occasionally at home but have an employer-provided one to use at work, this deduction does not apply.


Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Literature and texts

If you are required to purchase literature or texts in order to do your job, you can deduct the cost provided it can be proven with a receipt and also that you can prove why it is necessary in your work.


Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

Forced relocation

If you are forced to move location due to your employment conditions (usually in order to avoid termination) then the costs of packaging, transportation and removal services for you and your family’s household goods can be deducted.

Work phonecalls

If you need to use your personal mobile phone for work-related calls as an employee, you can deduct the additional costs of those specific calls, but not the cost of your phone contract itself (so if the calls are included in your contract, this deduction isn’t available).


Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Renting out property

Those who rent out property they own can take advantage of a 40,000 kronor per property annual deduction.

If you are renting out a bostadsrätt or hyresrätt you can also deduct the fees or rent that you pay yourself for the property during the time it is rented out. So for example if you’re renting out your bostadsrätt you can deduct the fees you pay to the housing cooperation for the property.


Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Cars

This one is slightly complicated. If you drive to and from work, a tax deduction is available provided the distance between your home and place of employment is at least five kilometres, and that taking your car would save you at least two hours compared with taking public transport.

If those criteria are fulfilled, 18.5 kronor per 10 kilometres of the journey can be deducted if you use your own car. For company cars it’s different. Company cars fueled by diesel are eligible for a 6.5 kronor per 10 kilometres is deduction, or 9.5 kronor per 10 kilometres if it uses a different kind of fuel.

As of tax year 2020 and 2021 any deductions can only be applied to the part of the cost that exceeds 11,000 kronor per year, regardless of whether it’s a company or personal car. 


File photo of a BMW. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neidman/SvD/TT

Public transport

If you use public transport to get to and from work, you can deduct the amount of your annual expenses that exceeds 11,000 kronor per year, provided the distance between home and work was at least 2 kilometres.


Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

Temporary employment in a different location

If you’re temporarily employed at a different location than the one you live in, you can make deductions for the increased cost of living provided you spend the night where the place of work is and that place is more than 50 kilometres from your permanent home.

The cost of the accommodation can be deducted, while meals and petty expenses for the first month at an allowance of 120 kronor per day is also deductible.


Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

Work clothing

If you require protective clothing or equipment and it is only used on the job, you can deduct the cost. Examples are helmets, protective goggles, hearing protection and steel-toed boots. Tools can also be deducted. If the employer paid for the equipment it isn’t deductible however, and most work uniforms/clothing to comply with a work dress code are not included.


Photo: Isabell Höjman/TT

Deductions for service work

If you’ve paid for services like repairs, cleaning or maintenance on your owned home then there are ROT & RUT tax deductions you can take advantage of. You need to have paid for these services electronically.

You can read more about these deductions in English here.


Photo: Martina Holmberg/TT

Daily allowances for working abroad

If you travel abroad from Sweden for work you could be entitled to a daily tax-free allowance, which varies between countries and is designed to account for your increased expenses. The daily amount for each country varies depending on whether it’s a full day or a half day.

Departure days that start at noon or later count as half days, while return days concluded at 7pm or earlier also count as half days. Find more information here.


Photo: Sara Haldert/TT

A list of all the available deductions for individuals can be found in Swedish on Skatteverket’s website here.

Article first written in April 2018 and updated in March 2021.

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For members

WORKING IN SWEDEN

CHECKLIST: Here’s what you need to do if you move away from Sweden

What authorities do you need to inform before you leave, are you liable to Swedish tax and how can you access your Swedish pension? Here's a checklist.

CHECKLIST: Here's what you need to do if you move away from Sweden

Tell the relevant authorities if you’re leaving for more than a year

If you’re planning on leaving Sweden for more than a year, you will have to let the authorities know. The main authorities in question are Skatteverket (the Tax Agency) and Försäkringskassan (the Social Insurance Agency).

Försäkringskassan

You have to tell Försäkringskassan when you leave so they can assess whether or not you still qualify for Swedish social insurance. As a general rule, you aren’t eligible for Swedish social insurance if you move away from Sweden, but there are exceptions, such as maternity or paternity benefits if you’re moving to another EU country.

This also applies to any family members who move with you – any over-18’s should send in their own documentation to Försäkingskassan about their move abroad. If you’re moving abroad with anyone under 18, you can include them in your own report to Försäkringskassan.

If both legal guardians are moving abroad together, both need to include any children in their application. If one legal guardian is moving abroad and the other is staying in Sweden, you need the guardian staying in Sweden to co-sign your application. If you are the sole legal guardian of any under-18’s travelling with you, you don’t need any documentation from the other parent.

You can register a move abroad with Försäkringskassan on the Mina sidor service on their website, here (log in with BankID).

Skatteverket

If you are moving abroad for a year or longer, you also need to tell the Tax Agency. This also applies if you were planning on moving abroad for less than a year but ended up staying for longer.

If you move to another Nordic country, you will also need to register your move with that country’s authorities if you will be there for six months or more. You’ll be deregistered from the Swedish population register the same day you become registered in another Nordic country’s register.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll lose your personnummer – you’ll still be able to use it if you ever move back to Sweden – but you will no longer be registered as resident in Sweden.

Similarly to Försäkringskassan, you will also need to report any children you are bringing with you, and both legal guardians must sign the form, whether or not both guardians are moving abroad or not.

In some cases, you may still be liable to pay tax in Sweden even if you live abroad – particularly if you are a Swedish citizen or have lived in Sweden for at least ten years. This could be due to owning or renting out property in Sweden, having family in Sweden, or owning a business in Sweden.

You can tell the tax agency of your plans to move abroad here.

Contact your a-kassa, if relevant

If you are member of a Swedish a-kassa (unemployment insurance), make sure you tell them that you’re leaving the country. As a general rule, you have unemployment insurance in the country you work in, so you will most likely have to cancel your a-kassa subscription.

If you are moving to another country with the a-kassa system, such as Denmark or Finland, it may pay to wait until you have joined a new a-kassa in that country before you cancel your membership in Sweden.

This is due to the fact, in some countries, you only qualify for benefits once you fulfil a membership and employment requirement. In Sweden and Denmark, you must have been a member for 12 months before you qualify. In Finland, the membership requirement is 26 weeks.

If you qualify for a-kassa in Sweden before you leave the country, you may be able to transfer your a-kassa membership period over to your new a-kassa abroad and qualify there straight away, but this usually only applies if your period of a-kassa membership is unbroken.

Check what applies in your new country before you cancel your membership in Sweden – your a-kassa should be able to help you with this.

Contact your union, if relevant

Similarly, if you are a member of a Swedish union or fackförbund, let them know you’re moving abroad.

If you’re moving to another Nordic country, they might be able to point you in the direction of the relevant union in that country, if you want to remain a member of a union in your new country.

If you’re moving to another EU country, you may be able to remain a member of your Swedish union as a foreign worker with the status utlandsvistelse.

If you chose to do this, you will usually pay a lower monthly fee than you do in Sweden, and they can still provide assistance with work related issues – although it may make more sense to join a local union in your field with more knowledge of the labout market.

If you don’t want to be a member of a union in your new country and don’t want to be a member of a Swedish union, you should contact your  union and ask them to cancel your membership.

Collect relevant documents regarding your Swedish pension

If you have worked in Sweden and paid tax for any length of time, you will have paid in to a Swedish pension. You retain this pension wherever you move, but you must apply for it yourself.

To do so, you will need to give details of when you lived and worked in Sweden, as well as providing copies of work contracts, if you have them. If you have these documents before you leave Sweden, make copies so that you can provide them when asked.

If you move to the EU/EES or Switzerland, you may also have the right to other, non-work based pensions, such as guarantee pension for low- or no-income earners, or the income pension complement (inkomstpensionstillägg).

Currently, you can receive your Swedish pension once you turn 62 – although there is a proposal in parliament due to raise pension age to 63 for those born after 1961 from 2023, so this may change.

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