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Swedish import VAT update


Swedish import VAT update

Since 1 January 2015, Sweden introduced a VAT deferment scheme for importers. Previously, importers were required to pay 25% Swedish VAT to clear the goods through customs.

From the start of this year, Swedish VAT registered businesses can instead defer the payment till their next VAT return. In the event that there are offsetting sales with output VAT, the input VAT payment may be avoided altogether.

The changes were introduced partially in reaction to similar, competing schemes import VAT deferment schemes. Historically, the Netherlands and Belgium had the best regimes. But countries like France and Spain have introduced cash flow advantageous schemes in the past 12 months.

New import VAT guidance

In the past week, the Swedish authorities have issued new guidance on the application of the scheme, including:

  • The costs of importation may be included within the VAT deferment calculation
  • Importers may through their agent qualify for the deferment if the agent has a valid power of attorney
  • The Swedish tax office if free to determine the liability to import VAT irrespective of previous rulings given

VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He is part of the European leadership team which this year won International Tax Review's Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.