The purpose of taxes

(Varför har vi skatter?)

The social welfare system that Sweden has developed since the 19th century is based on tax. Health care, education, roads and other public services are financed by tax revenue.

Tax policy is also used to redistribute income among high and low wage-earners. Social welfare in many other countries is based on support by family members, loans or personal savings.

The various political parties disagree about how high taxes should be and what they should be used for. Taxes are higher in Sweden than many other countries.

All employees pay tax

(Alla som arbetar betalar skatt)

All employees pay approximately 30 per cent of their wages in tax. The employer withholds the amount when issuing the pay check.

When you start a new job, your employer will probably ask you for a notice of assessment, which shows how much tax you are to pay on your salary. Order your notice from the Tax Agency. It’s a good idea to check that your employer is withholding the right amount of tax. If too little is withheld, you must pay the difference when you file your tax return for the year.

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Most people have to file a tax return

(De flesta behöver deklarera)

Each year the Tax Agency sends a tax return form to everyone who worked or received taxable income, such as parents’ allowance, the year before.

The form states how much tax was withheld during the year and whether it was too much or too little.

If too little was withheld, you must pay the difference. If too much was withheld, you receive a refund.

Check that the information on the form is correct, sign it and send it back to the Tax Agency. You can also file your return by phone, text message or online.

Normally you must file your return no later than 3 May. Otherwise you will be subject to a penalty.



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