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Exit taxes in Scandinavia

Quick summary: What’s this booklet about?


The term “exit tax” is a broad one as it encompasses two different types of taxes, i.e., (i) expatriation tax which applies to individuals who cease to be tax residents of a given country and (ii) corporate exit tax which is paid by companies that leave their country or transfer assets to another country.

Scandinavia is one of the regions known for its high exit taxes. The justification for those taxes is the need to collect funds necessary for (i) supporting the broad social safety net in the Scandinavian countries as well as (ii) providing various public services and benefits, e.g., well-paid parental leave and affordable health, child, and elderly care. The exit taxation is only one of the tools used by the Scandinavian countries to collect a large portion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) produced by their residents. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that Denmark’s tax-to-GDP ratio in 2018 was 44,9%. The ratios of Sweden and Norway were 43,9% and 39%, respectively. This is quite high in comparison with the US ratio of just 24,3%.

Individuals and businesses residing in Scandinavia and those willing to relocate to Scandinavia need to be aware of the exit taxes applying there. This will allow them create and implement proper tax planning strategies. The purpose of this article is to shed more light on the exit taxation in the Scandinavian countries. We begin this article with an examination of the exit tax rules imposed by the EU Anti Tax Avoidance Directive (Section 2). Afterwards, we focus on the following four Scandinavian countries: Sweden (Section 3), Denmark (Section 4), Finland (Section 5), and Norway (Section 6). At the end of this article, we provide concluding remarks (Section 7).

By reading this book, you will learn:

1. INTRODUCTION
2. THE EU ANTI TAX AVOIDANCE DIRECTIVE
3. SWEDEN
4. DENMARK 
5. FINLAND 
6. NORWAY 
  • 6.1 GENERAL EXIT TAXATION 
  • 6.2 EXIT TAX ON LATENT GAINS FROM SHARES AND SIMILAR ASSETS
7. CONCLUDING REMARKS

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