Yes, it is tax season again! H&R block? A tax accountant? Tax preparation software? Forget about it! You’re in Sweden now, all you need to do is download a couple of apps, enter a few numbers, and you’ll be on the good side of the Swedish tax authorities. Assuming that your name was not on the Panama Papers list, declaring taxes here is a really simple task, as pretty much all you need to do is confirm that the numbers on the E-form match the Tax Return Form (Inkomsdeklaration) that you received in the mail.
Once you already have a Personnummer and a Swedish bank account, filing your taxes should be a straight forward process. The first app that you’ll need to download is the Bank ID app. This app can be used to confirm your identity with your bank, with government agencies, online stores, and many other organizations. When using your mobile device, the app immediately pops up when you’re required to confirm your identity, just simply enter your passcode to approve a transaction. When using your laptop or desktop (if you still have one), you are usually asked to open the BankID app and log in to approve a transaction. The website will usually give you a message that looks something like this, “Öppna din BankID-app i din telefon/surfplatta och ange din säkerhetskod,” which roughly translates to “open your BankID app in your phone/tablet and enter your passcode.” When you receive this message, make sure to quickly grab your phone and log into the app, as you will only have a few seconds to complete this action.
The second app you will need to download is the Skatteverket app. This is the Swedish Tax Office’s app in which you will be able to log in to find all your income info for the previous fiscal year. There are also many other services available within this app such as change of address info, tax bills info, etc.
Once you have downloaded these 2 apps, you can now grab your tax return form (Inkomsdeklaration) to confirm that the info stored online matches the one on your form.
This form should arrive by mail during the first weeks of March or at the latest April 15th. If it hasn’t arrived by April 15th you should contact the Swedish tax authorities at this number 020‑567 000. Once you have this form, and the 2 apps mentioned above, just simply log into the Skatterverket app and click on “Deklaration.” You will then be prompted to confirm that the information stored on their database matches the info on your tax return form. If all the numbers match, then just proceed to click on “Skicka in Deklaration” (Send in declaration). You can send in your declaration as early as March 22nd, and the deadline to send it in is May 2nd. Also, if you do it electronically you will receive your refund before Midsummer, right on time to have a few extra bucks in your pocket to travel to a summer house to dance around the maypole and drink snaps while singing classic Swedish drinking songs like “Helan Går.”
On the Swedish tax office’s website (Skatteverket) there a few other ways of sending in your tax declaration form other than through their app. You can of course do it the old school way and send in through snail mail, but you can also do it through a text message (SMS), through their website, and via phone.
Finally, don’t forget that if you are a US expat you still have to report your yearly income to the IRS as the US is one of the few countries in the world that taxes its citizens worldwide.