Booze price hikes and tax deadlines: What changes in Sweden in March?

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Booze price hikes and tax deadlines: What changes in Sweden in March?
A Systembolaget employee restocks shelves. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Alcohol is set to get more expensive and tax declaration season gets under way. Here's more on that and everything else that changes in Sweden in March 2023.


March 9th: Nato talks with Turkey resume

On March 9th, Turkey, Sweden and Finland are set to hold talks to discuss the latter two countries' applications to join Nato, after Turkey postponed them over Quran-burning protests outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said the third planned meeting will be held in Brussels.

Previous two rounds of the tri-party Nato talks were attended by foreign ministry officials and focused on a specific list of Turkish demands, which include the expulsion of dozens of mostly Kurdish suspects.

“It’s not possible for us to give consent (to a Nato bid) before Sweden fulfils its commitments” under a three-party protocol signed in Madrid in June, Çavuşoğlu said.


March 6th-9th: Hungarian parliament votes on Nato

At some point between March 6th-9th, the Hungarian parliament will vote on Sweden and Finland's Nato applications, according to the parliamentary agenda published in late February.

The general debate on their membership bids will take place next week, and the votes – for each country separately – will be held from March 6th-9th, the
parliament said on its website.

Turkey and Hungary are the only Nato members still to ratify the bids from both Nordic countries, which must be accepted by all 30 existing members of the military organisation.

Hungary’s president, Viktor Orbán, has said that while he personally supports Swedish and Finnish accession to Nato, many MPs in his Fidesz party are worried because of the way the two countries “spread lies about us”.

“We need to have an exchange of words with the Swedes and Finns, because it doesn’t work if these countries are spreading outright lies about us,” he said in February.

Hungary, he said, as a country that was dominated by Russia for decades, had a “moral obligation” to back the bid of the Nordic countries.


March 1st: Lynx cull starts

Sweden's lynx cull will start on March 1st, running until March 31st or April 15th depending on the county.

The exact number of lynx which may be shot in each Swedish county varies, from 0 in some counties to 32 in Kalmar. A maximum of 201 lynx may be killed.

There are around 1,443 lynx in Sweden, according to the most recent national estimates, and they are protected, meaning that they can only be hunted under strictly controlled circumstances.

The aim of the cull is to regulate the population.

March 26th: Clocks go forward

Daylight saving time starts in Sweden on March 26th, so the clocks will go forward at 2am on the 26th, meaning an hour less in bed. Many digital clocks (like the one on your phone) change automatically, but it's a good idea to make sure you're working to the same time as everyone else before your alarm goes off for work on Monday morning.


March 7th: Most should have received energy price subsidy

The first Swedish households eligible for Sweden's energy price subsidy began receiving their payments on February 23rd, but payments won't be complete until March 7th for those who registered their accounts with Swedbank or the Social Insurance Agency in time.

Those who are eligible for the subsidy but do not have account numbers registered in the Social Insurance Agency's or Swedbank's payment system will instead be sent a payment voucher ("utbetalningsavi") at some point in March.

March 6th: Tax declarations

Depending on whether you have a digital postbox or not, you should receive your tax declaration at some point between March 6th and March 10th.

If you have a digital postbox (or sign up for one by March 5th), you will receive your declaration digitally between March 6th-10th. The declaration page will then open on March 14th for you to make any changes (although you can log in and read your declaration on March 10th if you have e-ID such as BankID).

If you do not have a digital postbox, you should receive your declaration between March 15th-April 15th.

You will then need to approve your declaration by March 30th if you want to receive any tax rebate you're due in April. However, this only applies if you approve digitally and make no changes or additions.

Prices increase at Systembolaget

Systembolaget, Sweden's state-run alcohol monopoly, raises its prices twice a year, in September and March.

Despite high inflation this year, prices on alcohol are only rising by a few percent, by 3 percent on average once tax is included.

Price increases at Systembolaget, which does not aim to earn a profit, are dependent entirely on suppliers' price changes, CEO of Systembolaget Ann Carlsson Meyer told the TT newswire.

Meyer believes that the smaller than expected increase in prices is due in part to suppliers holding off on raising their prices due to a fear of losing customers.

Here are the price increases for each type of drink, not including tax:

Wine: up 2.6 percent

Spirits: up 1.7 percent

Beer: up 3.1 percent

Cider/mixed drinks: up 3.0 percent

Alcohol free: up 1.7 percent

Total: up 2.6 percent

For reference, inflation stood at around 12 percent at the beginning of the year.


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