Swedish system works and costs €15m to run
Published 05/01/2012 | 05:00
Sweden's real estate tax is a State tax. Property is considered as an investment just like stocks or putting money in a bank account, and property tax is a tax on profits from the investment.
The National Tax Board and its regional organisation are the main tax authorities. They are responsible for assessment, administration and collection of property taxes.
The tax rates, valuation methods and administration standards are established at the national level. The real estate tax in Sweden is considered to be a cheap, cost-efficient way of raising revenues.
The costs of property taxes do not usually exceed €15m a year. The property tax contributes about 5pc to the State's income.
The property owner is the person liable for property tax. Owners are recorded in a land register used by tax authorities. Registration of property transfers is compulsory.
Sellers and buyers must register the property transfer because without registration the transfer can be invalidated. The seller is liable to property tax until the property has changed its owner.
Collection levels are 99-100pc. The tax payments can be made at any post office or bank. The taxpayer may choose to pay by annual or by monthly installments.
Tax collection is fully computerised. The unpaid taxes can automatically be withdrawn from the taxpayer's regular salary if they are not paid voluntarily. The sale of property may also be forced in this case.
All houses that have been changed significantly undergo a special annual reassessment.
Tax records are open to the public and relatively easily accessible. Taxpayers have the right to appeal against the assessment during the first five years after the assessment date. The Country Administrative Court usually decides and taxpayers often represent themselves in the court.