Make it easier for actors in the sharing economy to comply with tax legislation
It is unusually difficult for the actors in the sharing economy to follow the tax rules. The Swedish National Audit Office (Swedish NAO) is now calling for improved information and pre-printed data in the income tax return.
More and more people buy or sell services through different types of digital platforms, called the sharing economy. For these people, it can be difficult to know who is responsible for paying social security contributions, VAT and tax on income.
The Swedish NAO’s audit shows that the Swedish Tax Agency’s work on taxing the sharing economy is mainly conducted efficiently, but that the information provided by the agency to actors in the sharing economy should be improved, simplified and clarified.
“Sometimes it is unclear who should do what and how, and sometimes there are no references to important information. Occasionally information is outdated and references incorrect," says Max Dahlbäck, project leader for the audit.
The Swedish NAO notes that the deficiencies in the information may be related to an unclear division of responsibilities for the Tax Agency’s website, which should be addressed by the agency.
In January 2023, a European reporting system will be introduced, requiring digital platforms to report providers’ income to the tax authorities, and that EU Member States share that information with each other.
It is still unclear how the directive will be implemented in Sweden, but it probably means it will be possible to introduce pre-printed income data from the digital platforms in the income tax return. However, to achieve this, several legal and technical issues need to be dealt with.
“Improved information for buyers and sellers of services in the sharing economy would contribute to the efficiency and legitimacy of the tax system and reduce the risk of distorted competition,” says Auditor General Helena Lindberg.
The Swedish NAO makes the following recommendations to the Swedish Tax Agency:
- Ensure that the information about the sharing economy on the Tax Agency’s website provides good guidance on how income should be declared.
- Clarify the internal division of responsibilities regarding the management and follow-up of information on the Tax Agency’s website.
The Swedish NAO makes the following recommendations to the Government:
- Work to ensure that information that is reported in the new reporting system can be pre-printed on the income tax return.
- Investigate the possibilities of allowing the new reporting system to also include Swedish providers on Swedish platforms.
Press contact: Olle Castelius, phone: +46 8-5171 40 04.
Presskontakt: Olle Castelius , telefon: 08-5171 42 06.
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