A voice for newcomers in Sweden

Does Sweden's tax system really screw the rich?

Sweden is one of the world's most billionaire-dense nations, so is the Swedish tax system really so tough on the wealthy? Photo: Claudio Bresciani / TT

Published: 11.Jan.2018 14:56 hrs

People tend to believe two things about Swedish taxes: firstly, that they are extremely high and, secondly, that Swedes pay them readily because of the high level of public services they receive in return and their commitment to the welfare state.

This article is available to Members of The Local. Read more Membership Exclusives here.

A Guardian headline from 2008 proclaims: 'Sweden: Where tax goes up to 60 per cent, and everybody's happy paying it'. An opinion piece for Vox that regularly does the rounds on social media has the title: 'I'm an American living in Sweden. Here's why I came to embrace the higher taxes.'

It's true that Swedes report a high level of satisfaction in the country's public services, and even the Tax Agency itself enjoys a good reputation. According to a 2017 poll by Kantar Sifo, the Tax Agency has the fifth best reputation of Sweden's 29 public authorities, scoring highly on categories such as accessibility.

But unsurprisingly, not everyone is delighted to hand over a hefty portion of their wage packet to the taxman.

Read full article on The Local

More Stories

Anas Awad with his "Swedish family" told his story to The Local Voices

Sharing the best of The Local Voices

We told a lot of great stories in 2016. Did you get to read and share them all? READ
What can we learn from the unrivalled beauty of northern Sweden? READ
A video of an elk deciding to take a dip in a lake, much to the surprise of everyone else in the water at the same time, has gone viral. READ
Photo: Erik Gerhardsson

'History will record how everyone reacted to the Syrian tragedy'

Erik, a 21-year-old Swedish volunteer, reflects on his experience helping refugees in Sweden and abroad. READ
Volvo exceeded sales of 100 billion kronor in a record-breaking second quarter for the truck maker. READ
The man at the centre of sexual assault allegations that prompted the Swedish Academy to postpone this year's Nobel Literature Prize, will go on trial on rape charges. READ
From juggling chainsaws to riding a unicorn, the Stockholm Street Festival began its nationwide tour in Stockholm this week, and The Local went along to find out what the event is all about. READ
With major public transport problems in Stockholm proving a headache for anyone trying to traverse the city, The Local spoke to tourists and commuters to see how their journeys have been. READ

This Iranian teaches Swedish online to 10,000 followers

"I’m exporting Swedish to my homeland." READ