The basic rule is that you pay tax in the country you work in, regardless of what country you live in. This also means that you do NOT pay tax of the same income in two countries simultaneously. This basic rule is regulated through the double taxation agreement which exists between Sweden and most of the EU/EEA countries.
Apply for Swedish tax and get a “co-ordination number”
Once you start working in Sweden you must also pay tax in Sweden. You must register at the Swedish Tax Authority (Skatteverket) and apply for a so-called co-ordination number (samordningsnummer). This means that you do not need to have a Swedish personal identity number to be able to work in Sweden. When you apply for Swedish SINK tax (state income tax for non-residents), you will automatically get a co-ordination number. However, you do need to fill out a form called "Ansökan om särskild inkomstskatt för utomlands bosatta" (Application – Special income tax for non-residents) or SKV 4350 and send it to the Swedish Tax Authority. Don’t forget so send in a copy of your passport the very first time you apply.
Choose SINK tax or ordinary Swedish tax
When you fill out the application form, you must also decide whether you wish to pay tax according to the SINK scheme or the ordinary Swedish income tax law. The difference between these two is that SINK is a state gross tax on earned income, which means that you are only taxed 25 percent (2019) – in return you get no deductions. If you wish to pay tax as an ordinary Swedish taxpayer, you must instead write that you wish to pay tax according to the Swedish income tax law. You are using the same form for both. Please note that there can be conditions that need to be taken into consideration when you apply, so make sure to be fully prepared before filling out the form.
Remember to enter your date of birth as well, and once you completed the form you should send it to:
205 31 Malmo
Notify your employer
When the Swedish Tax Authority has processed your application, they will either send a decision on SINK tax or a Tax at Source slip (A-skattesedel) for taxation according to Swedish income tax law. You must give the SINK decision or Tax at Source Slip to your employer. If your employer does not get the decision on SINK or tax slip, they are forced to deduct a higher tax from your income.
If you only pay SINK tax, you do not need to file a tax return. If you pay ordinary Swedish income tax however, you must complete, sign and submit your tax return to the Swedish Tax Authority. This also applies if you have shares that are taxable in Sweden.
Read more about the different Swedish tax forms at Info Norden's website.
If you live in Denmark or Norway, there are several duties that you must be aware of and do in the right sequence.
1) Get a Swedish co-ordination number: When you start working in Sweden you must pay Swedish income tax in Sweden. Therefore, you must be registered at the Swedish Tax Authority (Skatteverket). You do not need to have a Swedish personal identity number to work in Sweden, but you must have a co-ordination number.
Read more about how to get a co-ordination number at Øresunddirekt's website. You get the co-ordination number by applying for “Application – Special income tax for non-residents” at the Swedish Tax Agency with a form called SKV 4350.
Apply here for a co-ordination number with SKV 4350.
2) SINK tax or ordinary Swedish income tax: For instance, if you live in Denmark but are working in Sweden, you must decide whether you want to be SINK taxed (20 percent taxation but no possibility for deduction) or pay the ordinary Swedish income tax.
Read more about the Swedish taxes above in order to see what differences and benefits there are with choosing SINK tax over the ordinary Swedish income tax.
3) Swedish unemployment insurance (A-kassa) and labor unions (fackföreningar): You must make sure to be registered at an unemployment insurance fund in the country you are working in; this also applies to people that are commuting from another country. If you are registered at an unemployment insurance fund in the wrong country, you will be considered uninsured. If you already have a membership at an unemployment insurance fund or labor union in Denmark, you must make sure to transfer those memberships to the Swedish counterparts given that Danish unemployment insurance funds and labor unions cannot influence the Swedish labor market.
4) Contact the Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan): When you work in Sweden, you must make sure to contact the Swedish Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan). If you are socially secured in Sweden it also means that you have the right to get social benefits from the Swedish Social Insurance Office. In order for you application to be processed, you must contact Försäkringskassanin relation to needing a specific benefit, or e.g. an EU health insurance card. Note: if you do not have a specific need, your application will not be processed.
Read more about your rights in relation to social security in Sweden at the Øresunddirekt's website.
5) Open a Swedish bank account: You need a Swedish bank account in order to get your salary deposited. Just like in Denmark, there are different banks to choose from. Hence, it is wise to contact several banks in order to hear about their offers. Also, there are several banks that have offices on both sides of the strait.
When you have decided on a bank, don’t forget to bring these documents:
- Employment contract
- National registration document from Denmark Pass eller körkort om du inte redan har ett svenskt ID
- Or proof of entry if you are a resident in Sweden
- Credentials such as passport or ID (if you do not have a Swedish ID)
6) Examine your pension scheme: There are three different pension schemes in Sweden: the public pension (allmänpension), the occupational pension (tjänstepension) and the private pension savings. It is recommended to examine the conditions of the occupational pension at your workplace, as they might look quite different depending on the workplace.
The Swedish unemployment insurance funds work in a similar way as the ones in Denmark, but the unemployment benefit system differs in several ways.
The Swedish A-kassa
The Swedish unemployment insurance funds, commonly referred to as A-kassa can provide the unemployed with financial support. Being a member of a A-kassa will give you unemployment benefits if you get fired or lose your job for other reasons. You must, however, pay a monthly fee to your A-kassa, the fee varies between 100 SEK/month to 200 SEK/month (2017).
In previous years, the Swedish unemployment insurance funds were a part of the labor unions, but nowadays there are only a few that still have this collaboration. Hence, a membership of a Swedish A-
does not require you to have a membership at a labor union, and vice versa
Are you eligible for unemployment insurance?
In order to be eligible for unemployment insurance, you must meet the following criteria: You must have worked for at least six months doing at least 80 hours per month for 12 months in total before you became unemployed, or you must have worked at least 480 hours within a six-month period, minimum 50 hours a month.
You must also register for the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) and apply for certain amount of positions each month you are unemployed and you must take the job you are offered.
Unemployment benefits in Sweden
The Swedish Government sets the size of the unemployment insurance. The Swedish unemployment insurance funds (A-kassa) therefore have no influence on how much you can receive. It is possible to secure a higher unemployment benefit through a so-called income insurance.
The benefit is calculated based on your previous income and amounts to 80% of the salary during the first 100 days, however with a maximum disbursement of 910 SEK per day. After 100 days you are entitled to 80% of your salary with a maximum of 760 SEK per day. After 200 days, the disbursement falls to 70% of the previous income on a daily payment of 760 SEK. You can receive a maximum daily allowance of 300 days (450 days if you have children under the age of 18) (2017) and that period cannot be extended.
In addition, the unemployment insurance is taxable, and you have the right to a pension during your unemployment period.
For every year you work in Sweden, you are automatically saving for your Swedish public pension. One part of the pension is paid through your own tax and the other part is paid by your employer through the employer tax. The combined tax is 18.5% of your total pensionable income - 16% goes to the income pension and 2.5% to the premium pension.
If you have children, studying, doing military service or are on sick leave, your pension tax is paid by the state.
Read more about how to pay tax and other pension rules at Nordic e-tax.
Private Pension Savings
Although you earn both public pension and occupational pension, you can choose to supplement these two with a private pension saving. A private pension saving is a voluntary scheme that you can set up through your bank or your pension company.
How to apply for Swedish pension
It is also possible to apply for a pension online. For this you need an e-identification. It is the same credentials you use when you are logging in at e.g. the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and the Swedish Tax Agency.
Read more about e-legitimiation here.
In Sweden there are mainly four types of different types of housing. Knowing about the most common accommodations types can be of importance for you who rent an apartment:
Bostadsrätt (Condominum, normally apartements or townhouses)
- Hyresrätt (Rented apartment)
- Ägarlägenhet (Fully owned apartment)
- Fastighet (Property, normally houses)
If you rent a Bostadsrätt or a Hyresrätt from someone in Sweden the lessor of the apartment need approval either from the association of the condominiums or from the original landlord (this is not needed if there is a Ägarlägenhet or Fastighet). The association of the condominiums or the original landlord will then determine if the lessor is permitted to rent you the apartment, for how long and also approve you as a tenant. If they do not approve of this, the lessor can appeal against this through the Rent Tribunal (Hyresnämnden). If the apartment is rented to you without approval, you may be asked to leave in a very short notice and the lessor might lose the right to their home. The approval is normally for 6 months - 1 year at the time and is normally up to a couple of years with a new approval every six months or year. All apartments have a four-digit number that is registered at the Swedish Tax Authority (Skatteverket) and that you need when you change your address.
As a member of a housing association, you do not own the apartment itself, it is owned by the housing association. However, you are responsible for repairing and maintaining the apartment. This means that property, garden and common areas are managed by all the members of the housing association. Therefore, in addition to the actual price of the apartment, you pay a monthly fee to the housing association, which then pays the joint expenses. The monthly fee is stated in the sales material and covers the association's expenses for loans, installments, taxes, fund payments, operations and maintenance.
Monthly fee and expenditure
On top of the monthly fee towards the housing association there are costs for electricity, heat and water. The housing association decides on the house's finances and maintenance. As a member of the association, you have the right to vote at the association's general meeting. Thereby you have the opportunity to influence how the house expenditures are being managed and how much you pay towards the monthly fee.
When you then sell the apartment, you decide the price yourself, and the housing association are not entitled to the sales proceeds. It is the market value that determines the selling price.
Read more about housing types in Sweden at the Øresunddirekt's website.
If you move to Sweden and are staying for more than one year, you must be registered in the Swedish Population Register.When you have been registered you will be given a Swedish personal identity number. In Sweden, it is the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) that processes the Population Register. You can only apply to be registered in the Swedish Population Register and get a Swedish personal identity number when you have already moved to Sweden. In order to be registered, you must be able to show the Tax Agency that you can obtain a residence permit in Sweden for at least one year. When you visit the tax office to report your move to Sweden, it is important that you bring documentation that proves that you can get a residence permit. This makes it easier for the Tax Agency, and they can process your application faster. The documents you should bring depend on what you intend to do in Sweden.
When visiting the Swedish Tax Agency you must bring:
- Residence permit card (UT card) if you are a citizen of a country outside the ESS area
- Documentation showing that you have a residence permit (see above)
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
Information of the population register can be shared with other authorities
The information in the Population Register can be passed on to other authorities through the so-called Navet (the Swedish Tax Agency's system for the distribution of the Population Register information to the community) and the SPAR (the State's personal register). This means that authorities and customers at SPAR will be informed of your new address when you move or your new name if you change it.
The Tax Agency automatically transfers the Population Register information to authorities such as:
- The Social Insurance Office – Försäkringskassan
- The Swedish Migration Agency - Migrationsverket
- The Swedish National Board of Student Aid - Centrala studiestödsnämnden
- The Swedish Transport Agency - Transportstyrelsen
- The Swedish Pensions Agency – Pensionsmyndigheten and others.
Some professions are regulated according to Swedish law, which means that it is necessary to have specific certification or authorization to be able work in that profession. In this case, you must contact the authority that is responsible for that regulated profession to obtain an authorization. For example, you should contact the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) for teacher certification or the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) if you have a medical or nursing diploma.
A list of regulated professions is available here.
Please note! It is becoming more and more common for employers to ask for criminal records when hiring, especially when hiring for positions in healthcare and school. On the Swedish police website you can request criminal records from other EU countries criminal registers. Be aware that the procedure might be lenghty!
If you live in Denmark and want to work in Sweden
If you live in Denmark and want to work in Sweden, you should visit the Swedish Migration Agency’s website to find out whether and how you can obtain a work permit.
If you have been offered a job by a Swedish employer, it is possible to obtain a work permit provided the job complies with certain criteria. Example of requirements:
- You must have been offered a job with work conditions that match those of a Swedish collective agreement or what is customary in the industry, so that you are able to provide for yourself.
- Your future employer must take out health insurance, life insurance, labour market no-fault liability insurance and occupational pension insurance for you when you start the job.
If you have further questions about what applies to third country citizens living in Sweden or Denmark who want to work in the other country as a cross-border worker, you can contact the Øresunddirekt information centre in Malmö for more information.
Many years of experience helping young jobseekers
Since 1985 we have helped young jobseekers find employment in another Nordic country through the exchange programme Nordjobb. Through this work, we have acquired extensive experience that will benefit you as a participant, so that you can get the best possible start in your new home country.