If you live in another country and receive a pension from Sweden, you are liable for taxation in Sweden for your Swedish pension. The amount of tax that you pay depends on whether you are subject to limited or unlimited taxation.
You are subject to unlimited taxation in Sweden if you have moved from Sweden but continue to have significant connections to Sweden (e.g. you have a residence designated for year-round use, or a property in Sweden). You are also subject to unrestricted taxation in Sweden if you are considered to have permanent residence in Sweden . You are then be liable for taxation on your pension in accordance with regular taxation regulation. In such cases, you are to submit your tax return in Sweden.
Note that although you may be subject to unlimited taxation in Sweden, certain income, in whole or in part, may be taxable in another country. This is due to factors such as the provisions of existing tax treaties. Sweden has tax treaties with many countries.
If you are subject to limited taxation, your pension is subject to Special income tax for foreign residents (SINK). This consists of a final tax of 25 per cent, and you do not need to file your income in the tax return. The payer deducts your withholding tax prior to dispensing your pension to you.
Although tax is normally calculated from the first SEK, pursuant to Swedish Insurance Act, certain payments are entitled to a earned income allowance. This applies to:
This means that the income is taxable insofar as it exceeds the earned income allowance, which in 2020 is SEK 3,035/month (For the 2019 income year, the earned income allowance was SEK 2,984/month). Social insurance pension refers to income-related retirement pension, guarantee pension, survivors’ pension and survivor benefits.
You can opt to be taxed in accordance with standard tax regulations i.e. pursuant to the Income Tax Act, even if you fulfil the conditions to be eligible for Special income tax for foreign residents (SINK). If you opt to be taxes pursuant to the Income Tax Act this will apply to all of your pension income and any income from employment in Sweden during the year.
If a minimum of 90 per cent of your overall earned income during the year originates from Sweden, you are entitled to personal deductions, such as standard tax allowance.
You are liable for average municipal tax and if you have higher income, national tax. You must then submit your tax return in Sweden.
To choose taxation in accordance with normal tax regulations, you are to use the same service as when you applied for SINK (Application – Special income tax for foreign residents). In such a case, you must indicate that you wish to be taxed pursuant to the Income Tax Act instead of Special income tax for foreign residents (SINK).
You can also retroactively, within five years, request the reversal of the Swedish Tax Agency’s decision on Special income tax for foreign residents (SINK) or taxation pursuant to the Income Tax Act. The tax is then adjust retroactively.
The easiest way to apply for Special income tax for foreign residents (SINK) is via our e-Service