Low taxes when investing in Sweden (ISK)

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by Gigusx

I live in Sweden and recently got more interested in personal finances, raising money passively and these kinds of things. As you can imagine, investing was one of the first things I came across and what interested me is the Swedish “ISK” which translates to “Investment Savings Account” and does pretty much what you’d expect. It’s a tax-deductible form of investment account created by the government in 2011 with the purpose of making investing and filling related taxes easy, as the latter is done for you.

What stood out is the tax rate of ISK, here’s the formula for how much you’d pay:

(account value every quarter + deposits that year) / 4 x government loan rate plus 1 % point (min. 1.25%) x 30%

Example, using the loan rate set in 2018, so it would apply for 2019:

– 1st quarter: $13000

– 2nd quarter: $20000 (2500 deposit)

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– 3rd quarter: $17300 (3000 deposit)

– 4th quarter: $19600

(13000 + 20000 + 17300 + 19600 + 5500) / 4 x 1.51% x 30% = $85.40 in tax

Quick notes: You pay taxes even if your account dropped in value, yep! You can withdraw anytime, tax-free. Untraded money is included in account value in quarterly calculations. The account itself is free, you just pay the typical fees/commissions. No tax additional tax on dividends and no capital gain tax when selling, but both increase account’s value (for that year?).

I’m new to the topic like I said, so I really just want to learn how that compares to other countries, i.e. the US and UK, or just all around Europe. Is ISK somewhat special and interesting? Are the numbers really that low or they just seem like it?




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