Sweden: Directors’ fees subject to tax as income from employment

Sweden: Directors’ fees subject to tax

A decision of the high court in Sweden provides that certain fees paid to company directors are taxable as income from employment.

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Court decision

The Supreme Administrative Court (Högsta förvaltningsdomstolens) upheld a ruling from the Council for Advance Tax Rulings (Skatterättsnämnden), and concluded that fees for the services of a company director may be invoiced from that director’s own private limited company.

Accordingly, unless the invoices are related to temporary and specially defined assignments, the fees are subject to tax as income from employment.

The court’s judgment reaffirms application of prior case law that the assessment criteria applicable to the invoicing of directors’ fees is not affected by the expanded definition of “business activities” under the revised Income Tax Act of 2009. 

 

The decision is available in Swedish: Högsta förvaltningsdomstolens dom den 20 juni 2017 (mål nr 278-16) [PDF 95 KB]

KPMG observation

Both those paying and those receiving directors' fees need to consider their current arrangements and, when any fees are invoiced from the director’s own company, determine whether these payments are in line with the court’s decision.

 

Read a June 2017 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Sweden

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