2017 started with a major degree of uncertainty as a number of tax proposals had been presented which, taken together, would have implied tax increases up to SEK 20 billion or more. Examples of these include proposals regarding the 3:12 investigation, tax on financial operations, and tax on real estate owners in conjunction with real estate packaging and taxation of limited liability companies.
When the Government subsequently presented their spring budget, they took up their previous agenda, “Building a Society for Security and a Sustainable Future”. However, in the tax area there was only one notable proposal for a change and this pertained to the taxation of the sale of real estate to legal entities.
The discussions and speculation regarding various other proposals continued after this, and not the least during Almedalen Week, where, amongst other things, taxation of large companies’ profits, how and where they are to be taxed, was a point of discussion. Real estate taxation and the proposed less advantageous terms for owners of closed companies (3:12) were also important points on the agenda.
After the threat of a declaration of no confidence in Parliament, the Government backed from its proposal for increased tax on income from employment and the less advantageous 3:12 rules. Late summer was a dramatic period during which PwC contributed to the discussions with our experience and expertise based on our clients’ perspective.
The tax proposals subsequently presented in the autumn budget were in no way unexpected as the majority of them had been made public in advance of the budget being announced. Neither did the autumn budget include any proposal for changes in the taxation of corporate profits, of real estate or as regards adjustments in thresholds or changes in the rules for partowners in closely held companies (3:12).
Both in Sweden, and internationally, the autumn saw continued discussions regarding sustainability and transparency, Brexit and a US tax reform. The competition existing between different countries was made clear through the discussions regarding tax bases and the factors determining where multinational companies actually pay tax.
I am looking forward to 2018 with a sense of excitement as I am certain it will be as equally interesting as 2017. We will, of course, continue to monitor tax developments and tax-related issues and will keep you updated here at Tax matters.
In conclusion, and together with everyone at our PwC Tax Department, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!