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Voluntary disclosure

When a person has fiscal residence in Sweden and has assets abroad that generates income, the person is usually obliged to report this income for tax purposes. It is an obligation by Swedish Tax Law for the taxpayer to provide information within the regular tax process. Incorrect information may consist of wrongful information or a failure to submit necessary information. The potential consequences of submitting incorrect information may include adjustment of your income for tax purposes, tax surcharges, and criminal charges against the taxpayer.

You may avoid this by making a Voluntary disclosure and requesting a review of your incorrect tax returns. This means that you may, on your own initiative, request a review of your previous tax returns from the Swedish Tax Agency. A correction will however not be considered voluntary if the Swedish Tax Agency already has made inquiries about your tax return related to the given incorrect information.

The Voluntary disclosure may relate to incorrect information concerning the previous six income years. A Voluntary Disclosures that is reported to the Swedish Tax Agency during the year 2017 should correct for incorrect information from the income year 2011 and forward.

How to make a Voluntary disclosure

Below you will find an example on how to prepare a Voluntary disclosure where you are guided step by step. The example is based on the assumption that you have capital assets (e.g. cash, funds or shares) on an account abroad and you have failed to include these in the previous Swedish tax returns.

You may also have unreported assets and revenues of a more complex nature. If so your are recommended to contact the Swedish Tax Agency by telephone (see information below) before you submit your correction. Examples of such assets and incomes include:

  • Foreign pension/retirement accounts or insurances
  • Rental incomes
  • Capital gains on property sales
  • Foreign trust or foundations
  • Ownership of foreign companies which resides in low-tax countries (so-called CFC-companies). 

Your request concerning the Voluntary disclosure must be complete for the Swedish Tax Agency to process it. If anything in the correction is incomplete or unclear you will be contacted before it comes to a decision of review. There will be a separate decision of review for each tax year. 

1. Prepare the documentation

Always start by making a request to the bank that manages your assets of documentation for your correction (e.g. bank statements or similar documents). By making a Voluntary disclosure during the year 2017 you will be able to correct the information from the income year 2011 to the income year 2015.

Information concerning your earnings for calendar year 2016 (income year 2016) shall be reported in your tax return for 2017. For more information concerning the tax return for 2017 please see below under the heading “Income tax return 2017”.

2. Summarize your revenues and expenditures

After receiving the information from your foreign bank, you’ll need to make a summary of the revenue, capital gains and expenditures of the foreign account. Capital losses and expenses are usually tax deductable.

This is one way of summarizing the information. Below the image you will see an explanation of the different entries.

  • Interest income Interest income, redemption and profits from the sale of interest-bearing securities (e.g. bonds).
  • Dividend For example from equities and/or mutual fund shares.
  • Capital gains The majority of all capital gains come from sales of shares and mutual investment funds. Please fill in the form K4 for each year. For information on how to report capital gains and losses, contact the Swedish Tax Agency.
  • Periodical allowance If you have used/enjoyed a benefit or received a payment from a foreign entity comparable to a swedish family foundation that needs to be reported and taxed as periodical allowance (”periodiskt understöd”).
  • Surplus from CFC If you were the shareholder of a low-taxed foreign entity at the end of a tax year you need to report the surplus as passive business income.
  • Standard yield tax on foreign life/capital insurance This information applies if you have a foreign life insurance. For more information about how to determine the return of the insurance and how to calculate the standard yield tax please contact the Swedish Tax Agency.
  • Interest expenses Interest expenses and losses from the sale of interest-bearing securities (e.g. bonds).
  • Capital losses See capital gains.
  • Management costs Fees charged by your bank to manage your assets.
  • Foreign withholding taxes Taxes paid on your foreign income may be deducted from your Swedish taxes. You should therefore always present any paid foreign withholding taxes and make a request for settlement.
  • EU withholding tax on interest income The EU withholding taxes are deducted on interest incomes in some countries. If EU withholding taxes have been deducted you will get an indication from your bank in your bank statement. The EU withholding taxes should be reported separately because if the EU-withholding taxes are not deductable one year in the Voluntary disclosure it may be refunded to you in your tax account for that year.
  • Assets The Swedish wealth tax was abolished from the 1st of January 2007. However, for informational purposes you are strongly encouraged to report the gross amount of your assets abroad in your Voluntary disclosure for each income year.

Dividend tax on Swedish shares and mutual funds

Have you had any Swedish shares in your foreign account the disburser may have made a deduction of the Swedish tax on dividend. If so, you can’t make a settlement request with your voluntary request. You should instead make a claim for repayment of the Swedish tax on dividend on the official tax reclaim form “Claim for repayment” (SKV 3740). Send the form directly to the unit handling the claim. Address: Skatteverket, SE-116 81 Stockholm, SWEDEN.

3. Write a Request of Reassessment

Finally write a letter in which you request reassessment of your previous tax returns. Your letter should indicate:

  • That it is a Voluntary disclosure of previously unreported assets abroad.
  • Your name, address, social security number and your phone number.
  • The income years involved. A Voluntary disclosure filed in 2017 should normally be for the income years 2011–2015. Note that if the Voluntary disclosure contains large amounts you should also disclose a correction concerning assets and incomes during the income years 2006-2010. This will avoid a possible notification of a fiscal registration crime, where the strict time limit is 10 years. A notification may be appropriate if the tax evasion is at least 10 Cost-Indexed Basic Amounts per year (10 Cost-Indexed Basic Amount (“Prisbasbelopp”) for the year 2010 is equal to 424 000 SEK).
  • Which country you have had unrecognized assets in and what kind of investments you had – for example bank accounts, deposits or foreign capital/life insurance.

In your request you should include a summary, preferably designed as above. You should also enclose a paper which shows how you reached at the amounts you report. You may for example include a K4-form and an annual summary for each current year. You do not have to submit all the information from your foreign bank, but you should have them available if the Swedish Tax Agency would ask for them.

Sign the Voluntary disclosure. If you have an authorized representation concerning the Voluntary disclosure, a signed power of attorney also must be attached to your Voluntary Disclosure.

4. Send the Voluntary disclosure to the Swedish Tax Agency

Send the Voluntary disclosure via regular mail to the Swedish Tax Agency on the address below:

The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket)
Office 0448
SE-171 94 SOLNA
SWEDEN    

Interest on the tax account

If you have been informed of a decision that there is additional tax to be paid, the tax has to be paid not later than on the due date next falling after 30 days have elapsed since the date of the decision. The due date is shown on the decision. Low interest expense is also charged from the 13th of February from the year of assessment until when the additional tax is paid.

If you receive a tax refund because of the decision from the Swedish Tax Agency you will be credited for the interest income. The interest will be calculated daily on the current balance. The interest income is tax free and the expense interest is not deductable. A statement of account will be attached when you receive the decisions about your correction.

Information for the tax returns 2017

If you had foreign income during the calendar year of 2016, this should be included in your tax return. You should also submit relevant forms (e.g. the form K4). Next to the box “Övriga upplysningar” (“Additional information”) check the box for ”utländska tillgångar” (”foreign assets”) and write whether you request settlement for foreign taxes.  You may write a comment under the box “Övriga upplysningar” (“Additional information”) that you include income from assets abroad in your tax return and that you have made a Voluntary disclosure for previous years.

If you have received your Final Tax Statement (“Slutskattebesked”) for 2016, you should request a Voluntary Disclosure instead of making a supplement to your tax return.

Contact us

Taxpayers with questions or in need of more information may call the Swedish Tax Agency’s contact persons for personal service at + 46 (0) 10 574 92 00. The opening hours are Monday – Friday 09:00-11:30 and 12:30-16:00.

Voluntary disclosure
Skatteverket

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