For members


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

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.

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

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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For members


What changes in Sweden in April 2023?

April brings with it a new key interest rate announcement and a spring amendment budget, as well as tax rebates for some and potentially some Nato news. Here's what's changing in Sweden this month.

What changes in Sweden in April 2023?

April 26th: Central Bank makes key interest rate announcement

The Riksbank’s next long-awaited (or perhaps long-feared, for many homeowners?) key interest rate announcement will occur on April 26th at 9.30am.

It’s not yet clear what the bank will announce, but most banks seem to be in agreement, predicting that the Riksbank will further raise key interest rates at the April meeting.

SBAB bank predicted on March 24th a hike of 0.5 percentage points, to a total of 3.5 percent, while Handelsbanken predicted a hike of 0.75 percentage points in its report released two days earlier. 

 A lot has changed on the financial markets since then which could affect the decision made at the end of April, such as the buyout of struggling Swiss bank Credit Suisse by rival bank UBS and announcements by supermarket chain Lidl to lower and freeze prices in its Swedish supermarkets, which spurred market leaders Ica as well as fellow supermarket chain Coop to announce plans to do the same on March 27th.

Inflation figures for March will also be released between now and the the time the Riksbank is due to make its decision, with high figures making a key interest rate hike more likely.

April 17th: Spring amendment budget announced

The spring amendment budget (vårändringsbudgeten) is usually mainly used to tweak or add bits and pieces to Sweden’s main annual budget, which was presented in autumn 2022. This year’s spring amendment budget will be submitted to parliament on April 17th, and the government has already released some information about what will be included.

These include an extra 50 million kronor to the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) to combat increased unemployment, a proposal to raise the amount of housing benefit on offer to families with low incomes from 1,325 kronor to 2,100 kronor, as well as extend the current date of expiry from June 2023 to December 31st 2023, and an extra 10 million kronor to the Swedish Competition Authority (Konkurrensverket) to increase its analysis of the state of competition and price developments in certain sectors.

April 5th-6th: Tax rebate

Those who approve their tax declarations for 2022 digitally by March 30th with no alterations should get any tax rebate due to them paid out on April 5th or 6th.

If you opt to receive a paper declaration, the Tax Agency advises that you put this in the post by April 26th, at the latest, to make sure it arrives by the May 2nd deadline.

April 7th: Turkish parliament closes for election

Turkey’s parliament will remain open until April 7th, before closing for the country’s upcoming elections in May. This means that, if Sweden and Finland’s Nato applications are to happen before the election, they need to take place before this date.

It looks likely that Turkey will approve Finland’s application before parliament closes, with Sweden’s likely to wait until after May 14th, at the earliest.

Hungary’s parliament is scheduled to vote on Finland’s application on March 27th, with no date yet set for a vote to be held on Sweden.

April 1st: Swedish football season starts

Fans of Swedish football will be happy to know that the top-tier Allsvenskan league season starts on April 1st. The season will run until the beginning of November, with all 16 clubs playing each other twice for a total of 240 matches.

The current champions are BK Häcken from Gothenburg, and the team with the most championships since the leagues inception 99 years ago is Malmö FF, with 25 titles.

The winning team will qualify for the UEFA Champions League.