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How to pay your Swedish tax bill before the deadline

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How to pay your Swedish tax bill before the deadline
Don't miss the Swedish tax vocabulary in this article. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
08:46 CET+01:00
Thousands of Swedish taxpayers risk getting contacted by debt collectors if they fail to pay their tax arrears on time.

A total of 1.8 million Swedish taxpayers have been told to pay tax arrears, and Sweden's national debt collecting agency (known as the Enforcement Authority in English or Kronofogden in Swedish) on Thursday urged anyone with outstanding payments not to miss the deadline.

"Everyone has a lot going on and it can be easy to miss your arrears. We therefore want to remind all taxpayers to have another look in their digital mailbox and not wait until the last moment to pay," said Johan Kranz, analyst at the Enforcement Authority, in a statement.

According to the Swedish Tax Agency, the vast majority of people pay their tax arrears on time, but in January this year it handed 34,000 cases from 2017 over to the Enforcement Authority. Of those, 9,500 people had no previous debts, and two-thirds of them then paid their tax debt within 30 days.

This indicates, according to the Tax Agency, that many of them could have avoided ending up in a situation where they had to pay the extra fee for when the case goes to the Enforcement Authority.

If the Enforcement Authority has to be called in to recover the debt, it adds another 600 kronor ($62) on to the tax bill. If a person fails to pay, they risk getting a worse credit score, which could make it harder to for example get a mortgage, rent an apartment or sign up to a phone deal.

So how do you know if you have to pay tax arrears?

You should have been sent a final tax statement in August, which tells you if you are owed money back (skatteåterbäring) or if you did not pay enough last year and have to pay tax arrears (kvarskatt).

If your arrears are less than 100 kronor you can postpone the payment until they reach that sum.

The deadline for most people is November 12th. It is also worth noting that the interest on any deficit in your tax account is high: 16.25 percent, which could send costs soaring even more for late payments.

The payment procedure is slightly different depending on whether you pay the bill from a foreign bank account or a Swedish bank account, and more information is available in English on the Tax Agency website.

Vocabulary

fee – (en) avgift

tax – (en) skatt (bonus trivia: this is also the Swedish word for 'treasure')

taxpayer – (en) skattebetalare

debt – (en) skuld

payment – (en) betalning

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