Price Waterhouse Skattejurister AB

No major changes have been announced within the corporate tax system since last issue. Sweden still has a classic system of double taxation of corporate income, firstly at the company level and secondly, when distributed. Rumours however say the Government is planning for changes in this respect.

A proposal for harmonizing the Swedish accounting legislation with the EC-rules has just been presented, for enforcement as from January 1, 1996, and proposed applicability for financial years commencing in 1997 (in respect of certain financial institutions the new rules are proposed to apply for financial years commencing during 1996). The proposal includes substantial changes to the accounting legislation, and also in the Companies Act, the Branch Act etc.

In respect of Swedish branches of limited corporations within the EEA-area, the above proposal introduces as from 1996 exceptions from the obligation to produce a Swedish annual report. Consequently no Swedish annual audit is likely to be required.
New rules are proposed in the context of paying and reporting VAT as from 1996. Single-month reporting/payment will apply for all VAT-payers (but for the very smallest).

The Swedish Accounting Board has issued new guidelines for the accounting of lease-transactions, to apply from 1997. The new guidelines aim at harmonizing the Swedish accounting treatment with the international IASC-rules and make clear distinctions between operational and financial leases.

New double tax treaties are likely to apply between Sweden and the following countries as from 1996 (at the earliest - under the condition of Parliamental acceptance and ratification etc): Argentina, Bolivia, Egypt, Malta, Namibia, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, U.S.A and Venezuela.

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