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Why this might be the last year you get a big tax refund

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Why this might be the last year you get a big tax refund
Filling out the tax return form. File photo: Anders Wiklund/SCANPIX/TT
14:53 CET+01:00
Over the next few months, around half of the population of Sweden will receive a tax refund, adding up to an estimated 36 billion kronor.

This is roughly in line with the figures from recent years, and many Swedes appreciate the refund – which often amounts to several thousand kronor and typically arrives shortly before the long Easter weekend for those using the online service, and around the June National Day holiday for others. 

But after this year, the amount you receive back might be reduced significantly; meaning you're likely to pay a more precise amount during the year rather than have it refunded later.

"This will be the last year [of significant tax refunds] for many," Johan Schauman at the Swedish Tax Agency told the Aftonbladet newspaper. "Actually, it's quite unreasonable that we haven't sorted out our processes better than having so many getting money refunded. In the same way, it's unreasonable that they should pay this money."

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Previously, employers have always reported salary and taxes as a total sum, covering all staff. But as of February this year, all employers of Sweden have been required to report individual salaries and taxes each month.

An expert at Skatteverket told The Local that there was no change to tax deductions themselves, but that over time they might become more accurate. "In time this new reporting system might result in more accurate tax deductions, since it will be possible to verify during the ongoing income year that the correct amount is deducted," said Anna Halvarsson, who also said that "there is no change to the way the tax deduction is calculated".

In 2019, people in Sweden are expected to get any tax refund back earlier than before, with everyone – including those who submit their return by post – receiving their money by early June.

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