Tax relief for foreign key personnel

The main feature of Sweden's tax relief legislation will provide a 25 percent reduction of taxable income of a foreign key person. This means that a key foreign individual's income tax will be based on only 75 percent of his or her income.

The reduced tax applies to all salaries. The reduction will apply to the first three years of the temporary stay in Sweden. However, foreign key personnel may reside in Sweden up to five years. All other taxation is the same as that of any other Swedish resident.

Employers will receive a 25 percent reduction on the basis on which their social security contributions are calculated.

Personnel covered

Persons who can be considered for tax relief are those who reach a certain level of remuneration (which per month must exceed two times the price base amount for the calendar year in which the work commences). To find out the current price base amount, go to

Persons who do not reach the requisite level of remuneration can still be considered for tax relief if they are an expert/specialist, researcher, executive or other key personnel. Foreign key personnel include scientists, researchers, technicians, specialists and others. One main criteria for qualifying for the tax relief on these grounds is that Swedes with the foreigner's skills or talents are impossible or extremely difficult to recruit in Sweden.

Other prerequisites and conditions

Individuals qualifying for tax relief may not be Swedish citizens. An individual who has been a resident in Sweden during any of the five years prior to the start of the assignment in Sweden cannot qualify for tax relief status. Individuals granted tax relief are not expected to reside in Sweden for more than five years.

Application for tax relief

Application for tax relief must be submitted by the employer or foreign person within three months of the start of employment. Applications are submitted to the Taxation of Research Workers Board (Forskarskattenämnden) within the National Tax Administration.

There are no legal means for extending the application time in individual cases. Applications received by the Taxation of Research Workers Board just one day after the stipulated deadline are considered to be late and will be rejected. It is therefore important to ensure that the application is submitted in time.

For further information about prerequisites and conditions for the tax relief go to Forskarskattenämndens homepage.

Rosita Nilsson