In Sweden, taxes are almost always withheld at the time of salary payment, because employers are obliged to deduct tax from your salary before you are paid.
If you are staying in Sweden for more than six months, you pay income tax according to the tax rate in the municipality where you live, usually around 30 per cent. If your income is more than SEK 443 200 per year (2016) you will have to pay tax to the central government in addition to income tax. In order to correctly deduct taxes from your salary, Uppsala University needs your income tax notice of assessment (skattsedel), which will be sent to you upon request by your local tax authority.
If you are staying in Sweden for less than six months, Uppsala University will deduct a withholding tax of 20 per cent (a so called SINK tax). Your host department will help you fill in the requested form.
To avoid double taxation, if you work in two countries for example, Sweden has negotiated agreements with several countries. The contents of these agreements vary considerably and changes may occur from one year to another. Information about these agreements may be obtained from the tax authorities in your own country or in Sweden. We strongly advise you to contact a tax consultant or the national tax authority in your home country before travelling to Sweden.
Income tax return
Everyone who has been working in Sweden during the whole previous year or part of the previous year should submit a tax return form (Inkomstdeklaration 1). This income tax return form is sent by the Swedish Tax Agency in April to all those obliged to submit a tax return. You shall submit the tax return form before 2 May.
Large parts of the tax return form have already been filled in by the Swedish Tax Agency. It is important to verify the preprinted information, and to make corrections, and to submit information on taxable incomes that have not been pre-printed. You will also receive a specification of the income statements which have been submitted to the Swedish Tax Agency.
You may declare your income online, by mobile phone, telephone, or text message.
Tax relief for foreign key personnel
Foreign key personnel – executives, experts, researchers, and others – may qualify for special tax relief when working in Sweden. One main criterion for qualifying for the tax relief on these grounds is that people with the requested skills or talents are impossible or extremely difficult to recruit in Sweden.
Moreover, foreign personnel who reach a certain level of compensation can be considered for tax relief. The salary must exceed two times the price basic amount for the calendar year in which the work begins. The current price basic amount for 2016 is SEK 44,300, which means that those who have a monthly salary of SEK 88,600 or more will qualify.
The main feature of Sweden’s tax relief legislation is a 25 per cent reduction of taxable income. This means that your income tax, as a foreign key individual, will be based on only 75 per cent of your income.
You or your employer must apply for tax relief within three months of the start of your employment. If you are granted the tax relief, you are not expected to stay in Sweden for more than five years.