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A possibility to regain stamp duty?

The Swedish Supreme Court determines that, when calculating stamp duty, the correct comparison value for a property that does not have a tax assessment value the year prior a company’s acquisition of the property is an estimated tax assessment value of the property.

 

According to current Swedish law (lag ( 1984:404 ) om stämpelskatt vid inskrivningsmyndigheter) the stamp duty rate is 4,25 % for legal entities, and the calculation is based on the highest value of (i) the purchase price of the property and (ii) the tax assessment value of the property the year prior the acquisition (the general rule). If the property does not have a tax assessment value for the year prior to the year of acquisition, the comparison of the purchase price is made with a comparison value established from a value certificate of the acquired property instead. The value certificate has previously shown the estimated market value of the property. It has been unclear whether the comparison value should be a market value or an estimated tax assessment value.

 

The Swedish Supreme Court has in case nr Ö 6547-19 clarified the question, and has ruled that the comparison value should be an estimated tax assessment value.

 

The ruling
A company acquired a property that did not have a tax assessment value for the year prior the company’s acquisition. The Swedish Cadastral Authority (”SCA”) calculated the stamp duty for the acquisition based on a value certificate (based on market value) presented by the company. The company appealed the decision of the SCA and claimed that the stamp duty should be based on a value representing an estimated tax assessment value. The company presented an investigation showing that the property’s estimated tax assessment value was lower than the purchase price, and thus claimed that the stamp duty should be based on the purchase price.

 

The Swedish Supreme Court rules that when a property does not have a tax assessment value for the year prior to an acquisition, the purchase price should be compared with an estimated tax assessment value. A comparison with a value certificate representing an estimated market value, the court reasons, creates an unjustified inequality in treatment in comparison with instances where the general rule is applicable.

 

Comment
Svalner has represented the company in the Swedish Supreme Court and welcomes the court’s ruling. The ruling clarifies a matter of great importance for the real estate sector which has been unclear for a long time, and where the unjustified inequalities in treatment have been questioned by many.

 

Please contact us for more information about the ruling and in relation to the possibility to regain previously wrongfully levied stamp duty.