Rules for tax deductions
Tax deductions are a preliminary income tax for all employees and payees, which an employer pays to the Swedish Tax Agency. Therefore, it is important that employees are taxed correctly.
New employees need to submit their tax registration certificate (skattsedel) for preliminary income tax (A-skatt). Alternatively they need to provide a decision on tax adjustment (skattejämkning), or exemption from tax deductions (befrielse för skatteavdrag). Tax certificates can be downloaded from the Swedish Tax Agency’s website.
If no tax information is available, the rate of tax for Uppsala plus 10% will be applied.
Tax adjustments for school children and students
Students and schoolchildren that do not work all year round, for example they only work weekends or during the summer, may pay too much tax. If they have more than one employer, they may pay too little tax. Tax deductions may also be incorrect if they receive a salary and taxable survivor’s benefit for children (barnpension) in the same year.
To ensure that they pay the correct amount of tax, they can apply for a tax adjustment so the right amount is paid right from the start. They can apply via the tax adjustment for young people on the Tax Agency’s website (in Swedish only).
If an employee’s main employer is not SLU, 30% tax will be deducted on all additional income.
End of the year
At the end of each calendar year, the Payroll Unit receives tax details from the central tax registry.
Changes to tax details
The Payroll Unit must be notified of any changes made by the Tax Agency, such as changes to a tax adjustment decision.
Tax relief for those resident abroad
See the section on tax rules for people living abroad.
Tax rules for those who live abroad
A person who is resident abroad does not generally need to register on the Swedish population register if they will be staying in Sweden for less than one year. In most cases, the person will not have a Swedish personal identity number. Instead the Swedish Tax Agency will assign them a coordination number. The person’s coordination number will be included in the decision on special income tax for foreign residents – SINK.
Staying in Sweden for less than six months
SINK is a fixed tax of 0% or 20% (2016). This means that subsistence allowances, mileage allowances and other travel expenses are also considered to be taxable income. However, a person can request to be taxed as per the general rules in the Swedish Income Tax Act. Those who choose to be taxed as per the general rules can submit an application for tax adjustments during the tax year (SKV 4302) instead of a SINK application.
The application for special income tax for foreign residents is available from the Swedish Tax Agency website. SKV 4350 and English version: 4350a.
Staying in Sweden longer than six months
As a rule, if you live abroad but are habitually resident in Sweden for more than six months, you are liable to pay tax in Sweden, even though your permanent residence is in a different country. The regular national and municipal tax rules will then apply.
“Researcher tax” – tax relief for foreign skilled workers
The Taxation of Research Workers Board (not the Swedish Tax Agency) takes decisions on applications on tax relief for people with special skills that difficult to recruit in Sweden.
A decision from the Taxation of Research Workers Board means that 75% of the salary and other remuneration are used as a basis for taxation. 25% of income will be exempt from tax and social security contributions. (Income Tax Act (1999:1229), Chapter 11, Sections 22–23a).
The tax exemption covers remuneration for the costs incurred for moving to Sweden, expenses for children’s schooling from primary to upper-secondary level or similar.
An employer can provide two tax-exempt reimbursements per year for the employee and their family to travel back to their home country.
Conditions and period
The employee cannot be a Swedish citizen and their stay must be for less than five years. The tax relief applies for the first three years in Sweden.
The employee or employer (department or equivalent) can submit a written application to the Taxation of Research Workers Board no later than three months after the employee has begun working in Sweden. The employee must not have been resident or habitually resident in Sweden at any point during the five-year period before the start of the temporary employment.
The application to the Taxation of Research Workers Board should include the following:
- information about the person’s background, experience and special skills or specialisation;
- a statement about SLU;
- a comprehensive description of the duties included in the employment and of the underlying recruitment difficulties.
The application must also include the date on which the employee will be resident in Sweden, how long they are expected to stay, and the start date of employment.
Taxation of Research Workers Board’s address:
111 30 STOCKHOLM
Telephone: +10 574 79 57