tax in sweden

Tax in Sweden – Understanding it All

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Sweden is a great place to live and work. But it has always been known as an expensive country and most new expats want to learn about tax in Sweden.

Apart from all of the poster benefits like 400+ days for parental leave, great conditions with Union input, and a relaxed hierarchy, Sweden is one of the few places in Europe where people don’t mind paying higher taxes.

Tax in Sweden is high, and Sweden has the 2nd highest tax rate in Europe but, like Denmark, the feeling for tax here is not as hated as other places in Europe (like the UK).

People in Sweden see the value and benefit of the taxes they pay, and therefore there is much more belief in paying taxes and dealing with the higher tax rates.

How much tax will I pay in Sweden?

My good friend Christian Jensen made a great website tool a few years back called “Hur Mycket Skatt” (How Much Tax) which is a great, up to date calculator for people working in Sweden to check how much they will be taxed and how much they will bring home. It’s updated yearly using data from the Tax Office (Skatteverket) and gives a pretty accurate idea of how much tax you will pay.

Just enter your postcode, your monthly salary and click “Beräkna” (Count). It will give a great breakdown on how your salary is divided amongst different departments, and check the “Summa kvar” (Amount left) line in green for the salary you will bring home.

Note: This is an estimate so not 100% accurate and something to give you an indication of how much you will bring home. You will also see how much you are being taxed, which you can see in the “Kommunalskatt” (Communal tax) line

Hur mycket skatt

Here is a sample of what you will get using the tax calculator. These numbers are made up as a demonstration. I have also unticked the “Betalar kyrkoskatt” (pay Church tax) option.

For a better calculation, check the (pay-slip) you get from your employer which will give you all of the details.


Taxes in Stockholm

Just like many places, Sweden works on a PAYE (Pay as you Earn) scheme, where tax is automatically deducted from your paycheck per month (normally on the 25th of the month).

Declaring your Tax in Sweden

Every year, the Swedish tax office (Skatteverket) asks everyone in Sweden to declare their income for the closing financial year. Unlike some countries like the UK, workers in Sweden MUST declare their income for the year and it is their responsibility to make sure this is completed and accurate. Your employer will give you a form what includes all of the income and outgoings of your financial year. You need to upload this via the Skatteverket website and they will calculate if you are owed any overpaid tax.

Taxable Income

Like most countries, Sweden has a progressive system of taxable income levels. They look something like this (these are 2014 levels and will change yearly):

·             0% from 0 kr to 18,800 kr

·             31% from 18,800 kr to 433,900 kr

·             31% + 20% from 433,900 kr to 615,700 kr

·             31% + 25% over 615,700 kr

Again, checking the Hur Mycket Skatt website will give you a good idea.

Freelancers and Self Employed

This is where tax in Sweden gets a little more complicated. You must be registered as a company to take on additional income like a freelancer. There are services like Frilans Finans that will let you work as a freelancer but without all of the paperwork and registering yourself as a business. They take a fee but can make your life much easier.

Other Taxes

·             Inheritance tax was abolished in 2005

·             Capital Gains tax is around 30% and is currently being discussed in the parliament. Some start-ups want this reduced so Swedish businesses can offer equity in the business

For more questions about tax in Sweden, just leave a comment or send us a message via our contact form.

10 thoughts on “Tax in Sweden – Understanding it All

  1. I retired from a private company in the USA. I collect a monthly pension from them and pay federal taxes on that money . I live in Sweden now and support myself on that pension. I do motorklubbs in Sweden. Do I pay taxes on that money in Sweden as well?

  2. Hi
    I wish to sell my property in sweden and buy a new property in the uk. Can I delay the payment of the capital gain tax on my property in sweden.

  3. Hello!

    I would like to ask a question which I cannot by far find an answer. I am interested is there any possibility for a foreigner who is not living or working in Sweden to pay taxes in Sweden in order to receive later on pension in Sweden then his own country?

    Basically, I would like to open a pension account, fond or simply pay my pension tax in Sweden and receive one day my pension from Sweden instead of my country of origin.

    Thank in advance for your answer.

    1. Hey Vilislava, I don’t think thats possible. You (should) be able to open a fond but I’m no expert. Try calling Swedbank or Nordea and ask if thats possible. Almost 100% sure you can’t pay tax/get a pension here unless your working for a Swedish registered company, but a fond might work.

  4. Hi. I moved to sweden recently and i recieved my final settlement from my previous employer (in another country) a week after i started working in Sweden. Am i required to pay swedish taxes on this amount even though it pertains to my employment from a different countruy and period?

  5. Hi. I am a UK National living in the UK. I worked in Sweden (Telia) for a brief time 15 years ago, and from 2018 will be due a small pension of around SEK 27000 a year. I have no other income or ties with Sweden and will not get a Swedish state pension. Will I get a tax free allowance (SEK18,800 in your 2014 example) as for Swedish Citizens. Will I pay the full 31% tax rate even though I will not have any benefits. Thanks

    1. Hey there. I’m not 100% sure. You should have documents from your pension company that will let you know. Or contact Telia and see if they can help.

      1. Thanks for reply anyway. Documents from Pension company stated I would pay tax at the rate of 31%. This proved incorrect. I have been in touch directly with the Swedish tax authorities who were kind enough to reply in English. It seems as a non-Swedish National not living in Sweden I will pay ‘special income tax’ at 25 %. This rate is applicable from 1 of January 2018. Previously the rate was set at 20%). I get this rate by filling out the form SKV 4350 available on-line and by doing this I will not need to complete a Swedish Tax return.

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