How Swedish taxes work
If you get a salary in Sweden your employer is required to deduct tax from your salary before you are paid. How much tax you pay depends on how much you earn and how long you are staying in Sweden for.
If you’re staying in Sweden for longer than six months, you’ll pay income tax according to the tax rate of your municipality. That’s usually around 30 per cent. If your salary is more than SEK 455 300 (2018) per year you will also have to pay a tax to the central government, in addition to income tax.
Your employer will need your income tax notice of assessment (“skattsedel”) to work out how much tax to deduct from your salary. You can request this notice from your local tax office.
Staying for less than six months? Your employer will deduct a special income tax for overseas residents called a “SINK tax”, which is 25 per cent of your monthly salary.
If you have an income in Sweden and another country, you could be subject to double taxation. Sweden has negotiated agreements with many countries to minimise this. You are strongly advised to get professional tax advice in your home country before traveling to Sweden if you think you may experience double taxation.
Filing your income tax return
If you’ve worked in Sweden for part or all of the previous year, you need to submit a tax return form (“inkomstdeklaration”). The Swedish Tax Agency will send you a form to complete and return by May 2. While this form is already partly completed by the Swedish Tax Agency, it is important to check the information is right, make any corrections necessary and add details of any taxable income that haven’t already been included. Once you’re satisfied with your form, it’s very easy to submit your tax return: you can do it online, via mobile, landline or SMS.
Tax relief for foreign key personnel
Certain foreign key personnel may qualify for special tax relief in Sweden. The qualifying criteria can vary, but usually refers to niche skills or talents that are extremely hard to recruit from within Sweden. The main feature of this tax relief is a 25 per cent reduction of taxable income; i.e only 75 per cent of your income is taxable.
US income tax
Even if you work and pay taxes in Sweden, some countries such the United States, still require you to file income taxes. For US taxes, you can file your taxes online for free if your income is below a certain threshold through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. For more complicated tax issues, you might want to consult a professional tax service with expertise in Swedish/American taxes.