Cornered by the law and no where to hide, more Swedes are abandoning tax havens


Here are some of the so - called tax havens which Sweden has signed information  exchange agreements with.
  • Isle of Man
  • Jersey
  • Guernsey
  • Cayman Islands
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • San Marino
  • Gibraltar
  • Bahamas
  • St. Vincent and the Grenada
  • Monaco
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Andorra
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Aruba
  • Anguilla
  • Samoa
  • Cook Islands
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • St. Lucia
  • Belize
  • Marshall Islands
  • Vanuatu
  • Liberia
  • Montserrat
  • Seychelles
 Source: Swedish tax authority (Skatteverket)

Wednesday, 11 May 2011
The trend is clear - more and more Swedes are choosing to expose their assets to the Swedish tax authority now than before. These are they types of assets that would have been hidden abroad according to a latest revelation.

"There has been a fantastic development over the past year that we have not dreamed of," says G�ran Haglund, an analyst at the Foreign Tax Department of the Swedish tax authority.

The underline tone in his statement show that the Swedes are becoming honest. Based on the declaration corrected in the Swedish Tax Office, it shows that the honesty has come as a result of fear from being caught.

Last year and so far this year there has been more than a thousand people who have applied for voluntary rectification of returns on their capital.
“Of these, over 700 cases arrived this year alone. This is a significant increase, "says G�ran Haglund, for the Foreign Tax Department at the Swedish tax office.


Close cooperation with other countries' tax authorities and effective exchange of information are important reasons for this development, believe Goran Haglund. Another factor may be that the wealth tax that was removed in 2007 and the inheritance and gift taxes a few years earlier.

“Banks operating in tax havens that offer privacy often at very high fees and returns tend to be poor, it can also be a contributing factor. Many have probably come to realize that it pays more to present their assets for the scrutiny by the tax authorities, "said G�ran Haglund.

A country that has long been a symbol as a tax haven is Liechtenstein. But in all likelihood will the Swedish parliament on Wednesday afternoon decide on the approval of similar agreements with Liechtenstein as they have been doing with other tax havens.

“Liechtenstein has been the priority so this feels very positive, "says G�ran Haglund.

On the whole, the number of countries where it is still possible to hide wealth has gradually reduced as many now choose to sign information exchange agreements. There are still tax shelters. Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore and Panama are such examples. These countries are also high up on the Swedish tax authority’s "wish list".

“Many countries that previously existed on the list have been cornered lately, most of which we wanted to have exchanged information with, we have had contracts with.” Said the tax man
The Swedish tax authority has estimated that recovery they have made from Swedes unrecognized savings hidden abroad is around Skr300 to 400 billion to the coffers of the government.

“It is difficult to comment on the number of people engaged in this type of investment because we do not have secure figures on it. But we know that many have their addresses in metropolitan areas, "said G�ran Haglund.

Those who choose to submit voluntary corrections of their wealth hidden abroad avoid tax penalties and prosecutions such as fraud.
Therefore, the wealthy Swedes are not just trying to be honest. They are scared that they could be caught and penalised for tax evasion and fraud.  If they were honest, they would not have hidden their take aboard in the first place.
By Team

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