How Swedish pension boss might have evaded taxes though the government tried to close gates ways to tax havens


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Thursday, 12 May 2011
Just yesterday, the Swedish government continued with its drive to close tax evaders’ routes by signing agreements with tax havens. But today it emerges that the chairman on the AMF Pension, Bertil Villard, is being accused to have evaded taxes through top class tax management models involving various routes from Sweden via Luxembourg to Peru.

It holds, according to radio Sweden that Mr Bertil Villard made profits of over Skr23 million from operation in companies in Sweden and then channel the money in the form of investments returns in cooperate profits of that company’s subsidiary in Peru. Then there he paid only 4 percent in taxes on that gain.

According to Villard following the presentation of the tax treaties that Sweden had with Peru until 2007, he had done nothing wrong. But the Swedish tax authority believes that it is illegal tax avoidance and the case is being looked by the Swedish administrative court.


AMF Pension's chairman argues that he has done nothing wrong because the arrangement was legal when the operation was on in 2006. Sweden until the following year had no tax treaty with Peru according to him on radio Sweden.

In total, he earns more than Skr10 million and channelled the profits from his Swedish companies through Luxembourg to the company in Peru between 2006 and 2007. Then  the beans was spilt when Bertil Villard wanted to grab the money back without paying the Swedish taxes which could be between 50 and 60 percent.

Instead, he paid only Peru's low dividend tax of 4 percent of the amount.
"This is a legitimate way to reduce taxes; I do not think it's weird. Then, of course, I think that 4 percent is very little, which clearly it is. But it is permissible, "said Bertil Villard to radio Sweden.

Bertil Villard is a corporate lawyer and had a central role in the arranging the privatisation of the companies such as Vin & Sprit. 2009 he became chairman of the pension giant AMF Pension after a pension scandal in the company. AMF Pension is owned by the labour union LO and the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
In March 2009 it was reveals that the senior managers at AMF Pension would have received very large bonuses despite the company he joined had made Skr1 billion in losses, and the former chief executive had a very generous pension arrangements.

When asked about what he thinks about his ethical stance of the AMF Pension, he replies that he has a strong ethical position and thinks he recorded everything in his tax declaration.
"I have a high ethical position. It is clear that there are people who may come to question that, "he told radio Sweden.
By Team

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