Market overview

Swedish taxpayers continue to be concerned about the impact of the OECD's BEPS Project and many are reviewing their structures more thoroughly while trying to come to terms with the changing environment. Overall, there is a lot of uncertainty over how the project will be interpreted in Sweden, and BEPS remains one of the biggest topics within transfer pricing.

"Of course we find that the BEPS initiative is creating further work for TP specialists especially and also some of the discussions that are going on about tightening our system around tax evasion rules," said Carl Magnus Uggla, head of tax and transfer pricing at Bird & Bird.

On April 29 2016 the Swedish tax authorities submitted draft legislation to the Ministry of Finance to implement new documentation standards and the automatic exchange of country-by-country reports (CbCR). The government has also implemented the amended EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive into domestic legislation and the law includes controlled foreign company (CFC) rules. In many areas, Sweden is already in line with the BEPS recommendations and its TP rules follow the OECD guidelines.

Taxpayers have been updating their policies to take the BEPS recommendations into consideration. CbCR particularly has been a key topic as the first filings will be due at the end of 2018. "There's been a lot of talk about BEPS and people trying to conceptualise it in terms of how to adapt your transfer pricing and how to act," said Niklas Bång, head of transfer pricing at Skeppsbron Skatt.

The tax authorities have taken an aggressive approach and have increasingly moved their focus towards structures and the substance in companies' models. "They have been more aggressive, there have been less audits and a smaller number of audits but the tax agency have been quite more aggressively taking litigation cases that really don't have support," said Erik Björkeson from DLA Piper.

As for the coming year, Elvira Allvin, head of transfer pricing at Deloitte in Sweden, said: "We will continue to see strong audit activity, especially because BEPS provides ammunition to the agency to question the viability of existing transfer pricing policies and models. The demand for transfer pricing services will continue to grow given the current landscape."

Tax authorities

Ministry of Finance
Rosenbad 4
SE-103 33 Stockholm
Tel: +46 8 405 10 00
Fax: +46 8 21 73 86
Website: www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/2062

Swedish Tax Agency
Postal address: 171 94 Solna
Visiting address: Solna strandväg 22
Tel: 0771-567 567 (in Sweden); +46 8 564 851 60 (abroad)
Email: huvudkontoret@skatteverket.se
Website: www.skatteverket.se

Tax rates at a glance

(As of June 2016)

Corporate income tax 22%
Capital gains 22%
Branch tax 22%
Withholding tax (a)
Dividends 0/30%
Interest 0%
Royalties from patents and licences 0/22%
Branch remittance tax
Net operating losses (years)
Carryback 0
Carryforwards indefinitely

  1. Payments to European companies that qualify under EU Directives may be exempt or subject to reduced withholding tax rate.

Source: Skeppsbron Skatt, Taxand Sweden

Firm contact details

Skeppsbron Skatt, Taxand Sweden