Everyone living in Sweden for one year or longer must be registered with the Tax Agency. Registering, or being folkbokförd, means that you are officially listed as a resident of Sweden and can pay taxes. You will receive a personal identity number (personnummer) and be eligible for a Swedish identity card (id-kort). In addition to registering when you first move to Sweden, you must keep the Tax Agency informed if you move within Sweden, marry or divorce, or move away from Sweden.
Your personal identity number is an official number used to identify you in official Swedish databases, similar to a social security number or civil registration number in other countries. If you are staying in Sweden for at least a year, you will receive a personal identity number; those staying for less than a year receive a co-ordination number.
The personal identity number (Swedish: personnummer) is the Swedish national identification number. When it was introduced in 1947 it was probably the first of its kind covering the total resident population of a country. Numbers are issued by the Swedish Tax Agency (Swedish: Skatteverket) as part of the population register (Swedish: Folkbokföring).
The number is used by authorities, by health care, schools and universities (both public-run and private). Also used by banks (needing it by law for tax purposes and mandatory customer identification) and insurance companies (needing it for car liability insurance and for medical travel insurance coordination).
Your personal identity number will be used in many day-to-day situations like collecting parcels or signing a tenancy agreement. It is quite common to be asked for your personal identity number, and in many instances it will be required. As such, it is important to register for your number as soon as you can after entering Sweden.
Registration takes place in person at your nearest Tax Agency office. Visit the Tax Agency’s website for details on what to bring and where to find your nearest office.
Family members that are non EU citizens must apply for a residence card at the Swedish Migration Agency.
Should the process time for your application take longer than promised, we recommend that you contact Solvit which is a network in all EU countries that free of charge can help you with problems connected to your EU rights. Another useful site is the National Board of Trade’s ”Without a personal identity number in Sweden”.
Remember: This number is unique to each individual, is based on your date of birth, and follows you throughout your life. It’s used for identification in many everyday situations so it’s a good idea to learn it by heart!
Your personal identity number will be used in all official capacities as well as many day-to-day situations like collecting parcels or signing a tenancy agreement. It is quite common to be asked for your personal identity number, and in many instances it will be required. As such, it is important to register for your number as soon as you can after entering Sweden.
Registration takes place in person at your nearest Tax Agency office (Skattekontor). Visit the Tax Agency’s website (www.skatteverket.se) for details on what to bring and where to find your nearest office.
Registering with the authorities isn’t the most exciting part of your move, but it is certainly one of the most important. You’ll need to register with several different government offices in order to make sure your life in Sweden moves forward smoothly.
EU and Nordic citizens who work or have sufficient means to support themselves automatically have right of residence in Sweden and do not need to apply for a residence permit or register.
Swiss citizens must apply for a residence permit at the Migration Board within three months of arrival.
Non-EU citizens with a work or residence permit as well as Swiss citizens who have received their residence permit approval must visit the Migration Board (Migrationsverket) after arriving in Sweden to leave fingerprints and be photographed for a residence permit card. This should be done as soon as possible after you enter the country. More information can be found on the Immigration Board’s website www.migrationsverket.se
People living and working in Sweden for less than 6 months can pay a special voluntary income tax of 25%, those who stay longer must follow the normal tax rules. Unless you’re an unusually complicated case regarding income tax, making your tax declaration in Sweden in generally very straightforward because everyone is taxed at the source. So when it comes to completing your tax return you basically just have to confirm the details which have been pre-prepared by the authorities according to the information provided by your personal identification number. You can confirm these details quickly and easily by telephone, internet, and even by SMS. It’s up to you to declare any investments you have that are liable to taxation by the Swedish authorities. In Sweden tax deductions do not take into account your marital status or whether or not you have children.
Income tax deduction includes social insurance contributions and comprises municipal tax, which varies between municipalities, but is 31% on average, and ate tax, which is only deducted on the part of your income which exceeds SEK 328,600 per annum. If your gross annual earnings are between SEK 328,600 and SEK 488,600 you’ll be taxed at a rate of 20%, if you earn more than SEK 488,600 the annual rate of tax is 25%. Once again you can consult www.skatteverket.se for more information about the Swedish tax system, for declaration forms and addresses for local offices.
The tax rates for individuals on employment income are relatively high compared to many other nations. The municipal tax (kommunalskatt) varies depending where you live (registered) – from 18% to 22%. In addition to this, a regional tax of (currently 2020) 11,18% is added to the total income tax. For high-income earners, a state tax of 20% and 25% is paid on income above certain amounts. For your information, the 2020 total (municipal and regional) tax rates for major municipalities the Skåne region are:
- Malmö 32,42%
- Lund 32,42%
- Helsingborg 31,39%
- Landskrona 31,42%
- Kristianstad 32,64%
- Ystad 31,29%
- Trelleborg 31,78%
- Vellinge 29,68%
Very few deductions are allowed with regard to employment income, and even the ones that are permitted have limitations and complex criteria for them to be valid deductions.
The Swedish tax year follows the calendar year and all income received from 1 January to 31 December should be declared. For someone who is paid from a Swedish company, tax is withheld (Preliminärskatt) during the income year. The witholding from your salary is based on the estimated amount of tax you should pay. At the end of January or early February (the year following the income year), you should receive an annual statement of income (kontrolluppgift) from your employer indicating salary, benefits, and the amount of tax which has been withheld during the year.