You may be entitled to a refund of VAT paid on purchases in Sweden if your business is not based in Sweden and you are not obliged to be registered for Swedish VAT. Here you can find out about how to apply for a refund, and about the rules that apply to your company.
A non-Swedish company established within the EU must apply for VAT refunds in the country in which it is established. You apply via the online service of the tax agency in the country in which your company is established.
Your VAT refund application should include the following details:
With regard to point 4 above, please note that account holder details must not contain the Swedish letters å, ä and ö. To ensure acceptance by the electronic repayment system, a and o must be used instead.
Your application should also include:
VAT on tolls for crossing the Öresund (or Øresund) Bridge must be specified separately using the subcode 4.5. Danish taxable persons must apply for a VAT refund on the bridge toll via their Danish VAT return.
If you sell both VAT-liable and VAT-exempt goods and services, which is known as a partly exempt business, you must specify the deductible part of the VAT, as a percentage, on every invoice and import document.
You do not need to submit any invoices with your application unless these have specifically been requested by the Swedish Tax Agency. However, you should state the taxable sum and the amount of VAT (in Swedish krona, SEK) for each invoice and import document.
For each invoice and import document, you must specify the goods or service provider’s VAT registration number, at least one refund code, and any relevant subcodes.
VAT refund codes
In your application for a VAT refund, you must describe the goods or services purchased using one or more of the following refund codes:
2 Hiring of means of transport
3 Expenditure relating to means of transport (other than goods and services referred to under codes 1 and 2)
4 Road tolls and road user charges
5 Travel expenses, such as taxi fares and public transport fares
7 Food, drink and restaurant services
8 Admissions to fairs and exhibitions
9 Expenditure on luxuries, amusements and entertainment
If you fill in VAT refund code 10, you should describe the goods or services in writing. You can write in either Swedish or English.
For hiring of transportation, please use refund code 2 and the relevant subcode for the specific expense.
For business representation expenses, please use code 7 or 9 and the relevant subcode.
Click here for a list of the subcodes that apply in Sweden
VAT deduction restrictions
When applying for a VAT refund, you should only fill in the part of the VAT that you are allowed to deduct. Some purchases are subject to VAT deduction restrictions, so you may not deduct the full amount of VAT for these. Examples include:
Please fill in these details using the VAT refund codes and subcodes.
Your online application should be received by the tax agency in the country in which you are applying by 30 September of the calendar year following the application period. For example, an application for a period in 2020 must be received by 30 September 2021.
Your VAT refund application should be for a period of at least three consecutive calendar months, but no more than one whole calendar year. However, if your application period ends on the last day of the calendar year, it may cover a period of less than three months.
The Swedish Tax Agency will notify you of its decision within four months of receiving your application. If we need to request any additional information, the process can take longer.
Companies based in the EU can appoint a VAT representative to handle applications for Swedish VAT refunds. The VAT representative will then act for the company when using the online application service of the tax agency in the country concerned. You can register a VAT representative through the online service of the tax agency in that country, in accordance with local regulations regarding VAT representatives.
The Swedish Tax Agency can pay VAT refunds to VAT representatives within the EU. We will make a payment to the bank account or account holder specified in your application.
When making your application, you must fill in the relevant bank account details, including IBAN and BIC.
You are entitled to a refund of Swedish VAT refund if:
Repayment of VAT to Northern Ireland
For refund of VAT that has been paid in Sweden concerning purchases of goods, or import of goods, the EU regulations are applicable even after the transition period. This means that the web portal shall be used for applications of refund of such VAT that has been paid after 31 December 2020.
When the purchases refer to services, however, Northern Ireland is treated as a country outside EU. This means that taxable persons that have purchased both goods and services must apply for refund in two different ways.
For a VAT refund to be payable, the following conditions apply:
As an owner of a business that is not based in Sweden, you can also apply for a refund of VAT you have paid on products and services that you have sold, or will sell, in Sweden to VAT-registered customers who are liable to pay the VAT on the transaction, by what is known as the VAT reverse charge mechanism.
Your business is also entitled to a refund if you report Swedish VAT on digital services covered by the EU’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) scheme.
You are not entitled to a VAT refund if deductions are not permitted or are limited according to Swedish VAT regulations. Here are some examples:
Rules for a partly exempt business
Selling both VAT-liable and VAT-exempt goods and services is known as a partly exempt business. If you purchase a product or service that is used in both your VAT-liable and VAT-exempt business activities, you must divide up the VAT in proportion to how much the product or service is used in each activity. In your VAT refund application, you must state the percentage of the VAT that relates to the VAT-liable business, for every invoice and import document.
VAT on imports from outside the EU
When you import goods from countries outside the EU, you can apply for a refund of import VAT. The same conditions apply as for Swedish VAT.
You can apply for a minimum refund of SEK 500 if the application is for a full calendar year or a consecutive period ending on the last day of the year. Otherwise, the minimum amount is SEK 4,000 for a period of at least three calendar months. The money will be refunded in Swedish krona (SEK).
The Swedish Tax Agency will write to the email address you provided when you made your application. We will notify you of our decision regarding your refund application within four months of receiving your application. It can take longer if we need to request additional information.
When the Swedish Tax Agency has received your refund application, we will send a confirmation message to the tax agency of the country in which you applied. The local tax agency will then forward the confirmation message to you.
When you apply through the online service of a tax agency in a country other than Sweden, depending on the regulations in that country, you may be allowed to make changes using that service. If so, you should contact the tax agency in that country to find out how to make changes.
The Swedish Tax Agency cannot make corrections or other changes on its own initiative. We can, however, refuse a refund, or change the registered bank account number if there are grounds for this.
If you have provided any incorrect information in your application, you may be liable to pay a fee called a tax surcharge.
The Swedish Tax Agency may also decide that you must repay a sum of money that has been paid out, if the refund was approved based on incorrect information. If so, you must repay the money within 30 days of being notified of the decision.
If you are not satisfied with the Swedish Tax Agency’s decision, you can either request for us to carry out a review, or appeal to the Administrative Court. Such requests and appeals must be made in writing, either by post or by email. You will find the relevant addresses in the decision notification.
Whether you wish to request a review or appeal a decision, you must write to the Swedish Tax Agency. An appeal should be written as a letter to the Administrative Court in Falun, but it must be sent to the Swedish Tax Agency.
Your written communication should state the following:
The time limit for both reviews and appeals is seven years from the end of the calendar year to which the application relates.
If the Swedish Tax Agency receives a review request that has not been signed, we may require the person who has made the request to sign it. If the request has been made on behalf of a legal entity, it should be signed by an authorised signatory or agent.