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Sexmånaders- och ettårsregeln - fokus på frågan om kortare avbrott vid vistelse i tredje land

Jakobsson, Charlotta LU (2012) JURM02 20112
Department of Law
Abstract
The number of Swedish workers abroad has increased in today’s society compared to just a few decades ago. While working in foreign countries, many workers retain their tax residence in Sweden and are thus primarily liable to pay tax in Sweden on the income derived from the employment. In many cases, the employment income is also taxed in the working country, which could mean that the taxpayer's employment income is subject to international double taxation.

This thesis deals with the six-months and the one-year rules prescribed in Chapter 3 § 9 of the Swedish Income Tax Act. The rules are Swedish domestic international legal rules that exempt employment income earned during the stay abroad from tax liability in Sweden. The purpose of the... (More)
The number of Swedish workers abroad has increased in today’s society compared to just a few decades ago. While working in foreign countries, many workers retain their tax residence in Sweden and are thus primarily liable to pay tax in Sweden on the income derived from the employment. In many cases, the employment income is also taxed in the working country, which could mean that the taxpayer's employment income is subject to international double taxation.

This thesis deals with the six-months and the one-year rules prescribed in Chapter 3 § 9 of the Swedish Income Tax Act. The rules are Swedish domestic international legal rules that exempt employment income earned during the stay abroad from tax liability in Sweden. The purpose of the six-months rule is to avoid international double taxation. The one-year rule seeks instead to exempt employment income entirely from taxation, in particular by certain of the legislature selected cases. Although there are other rules in both domestic law and tax treaties, the six-months rule is in most cases considered more advantageous for the taxpayer to apply than the other rules. However, this thesis shows that the six-months rule in some cases may give way to rules in tax treaties. However, as regards to other internal rules, my opinion is that the six-months rule should take precedence.

The application of the six-months and the one-year rules requires that the employee has been staying in a foreign country for a continuous period of at least six months if the income is subject to taxation in the working country, or at least for a full year if the income is not. In accordance with chapter 3 § 10 of the Income Tax Act the employee is allowed to take short breaks for holidays, business trips or similar events during the coherent time of the stay abroad. For stays in Sweden the law prescribes that the break must not exceed six days per full month or a total of 72 days during a year of employment starting from the first day of assignment. However, as regards stay in a third country, the law does not limit the break to be within a specific number of days. Despite this, the Taxation Board, in a standpoint, as published on October 25, 2010, has stated that this means that an employee may only stay in Sweden and in a third country during eight days per month or for 96 days per year of employment. In May 2011 the Supreme Administrative Court handed down a ruling in HFD 2011 ref. 40. The Supreme Administrative Court emphasized that the one-year rule was applicable to an employee who worked in one country and lived in a third country. The ruling has given rise to discussions about whether the Taxation Board has grounds for its opinion of 96-day limit or not.

Upon closer examination of the six-months and the one-year rules, it is revealed that they conceal several issues that may arise when applying them. In addition to the rules’ necessary prerequisites in general, the thesis deals specifically with the question of whether the Taxation Board are justified in their interpretation of a general 96-day limit in the light of applicable law. The thesis shows that this may likely be the case. Although it may be questionable if there is a general time limit on stays in a third country it becomes clear in the thesis that it may be beneficial to introduce such an explicit time limit in the law. One reason for this may be the observed increasing global mobility, requiring people to spend time in a third country to a greater extent today than before. A strict time limit would therefore mean greater predictability for individuals and companies when the six-months and one-year rules are applied, which must be considered very favourable in contemporary society. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Svenska utlandsarbetande har i dagens samhälle ökat jämfört med för bara några decennier sedan. Under utlandsarbetet behåller många arbetstagare sin skatterättsliga hemvist i Sverige och är därmed som utgångspunkt också skattskyldiga i Sverige för arbetsinkomst som härrör från anställningen. I många fall beskattas arbetsinkomsten också i arbetslandet, vilket kan föranleda att den skattskyldiges anställningsinkomst blir föremål för internationell dubbelbeskattning.

Uppsatsen behandlar sexmånaders- och ettårsregeln, vilka finns lagstadgade i inkomstskattelagens 3 kapitel 9 §. Reglerna är svenska interna internationella lagregler som undantar anställningsinkomst som intjänats under utlandsvistelsen från skattskyldighet i Sverige.... (More)
Svenska utlandsarbetande har i dagens samhälle ökat jämfört med för bara några decennier sedan. Under utlandsarbetet behåller många arbetstagare sin skatterättsliga hemvist i Sverige och är därmed som utgångspunkt också skattskyldiga i Sverige för arbetsinkomst som härrör från anställningen. I många fall beskattas arbetsinkomsten också i arbetslandet, vilket kan föranleda att den skattskyldiges anställningsinkomst blir föremål för internationell dubbelbeskattning.

Uppsatsen behandlar sexmånaders- och ettårsregeln, vilka finns lagstadgade i inkomstskattelagens 3 kapitel 9 §. Reglerna är svenska interna internationella lagregler som undantar anställningsinkomst som intjänats under utlandsvistelsen från skattskyldighet i Sverige. Sexmånadersregeln har till syfte att undvika internationell dubbelbeskattning. Ettårsregeln syftar istället till att helt undanta arbetsinkomst från beskattning i särskilda av lagstiftaren utvalda fall. Även om det finns andra regler såväl i intern rätt som i skatteavtal för att undvika internationell dubbelbeskattning, får sexmånadersregeln i de flesta fall anses vara fördelaktigare för den skattskyldige att tillämpa än andra regler. I uppsatsen visas dock att sexmånadersregeln i vissa fall kan få ge vika för regler i skatteavtal. Vad däremot gäller andra interna regler bör sexmånadersregeln enligt min mening ha företräde.

Sexmånaders- och ettårsregelns tillämpning förutsätter att arbetstagaren har vistats utomlands under en sammanhängande tid av sex månader om inkomsten beskattas i arbetslandet eller under minst ett år om inkomsten inte beskattas i arbetslandet. Enligt 3 kapitlet 10 § i inkomstskattelagen tillåts kortare avbrott för semester, tjänsteresor eller liknande i den sammanhängande tiden för utlandsvistelsen. För vistelser i Sverige begränsar lagtexten tiden uttryckligen till att uppgå till sex dagar per hel månad eller totalt 72 dagar under ett anställningsår som anställningen utomlands varat. Vad däremot gäller vistelser i tredje land begränsar dock lagtexten inte vistelser till ett specifikt antal dagar. Trots detta har Skatteverket i ett ställningstagande från den 25 oktober 2010 uttalat att detta innebär att man bara får vistas i Sverige och i tredje land i åtta dagar per månad eller 96 dagar per anställningsår. I maj 2011 avkunnade Högsta Förvaltningsrätten sin dom i HFD 2011 ref. 40. I domen framhöll Högsta Förvaltningsdomstolen att ettårsregeln var tillämplig på en person som arbetade i ett land och bodde i ett tredje land. Domen har föranlett diskussioner kring huruvida Skatteverket kan anses ha fog för sin uppfattning om en 96-dagarsgräns eller ej.

Vid närmre studier av både sexmånaders- och ettårsregelns rekvisit uppdagas att det döljer sig flertalet frågor som kan uppkomma i samband med reglernas tillämpning. I uppsatsen behandlas utöver reglernas rekvisit i allmänhet särskilt frågan om Skattverket har fog för sin uppfattning om det finns en allmängiltig 96-dagarsgräns. Detta mot bakgrund av gällande rätt. Uppsatsen visar att mycket tyder på att så är fallet. Även om det inte kan anses finnas stöd för en sådan allmängiltig tidsgräns för vistelser i tredje land, så framkommer det i uppsatsen att det kan finnas anledning att införa en sådan explicit tidsgräns. Att detta är ändamålsenligt talar framförallt skäl såsom att den ökade rörligheten ställer krav på att folk rör sig i tredje land i större utsträckning än förr. En strikt tidsgräns för vistelser i tredje land skulle därför vid tillämpning av sexmånaders- och ettårsregeln innebära en ökad förutsebarhet för individen och företagen, något som måste anses vara av största vikt i dagens samhälle. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Jakobsson, Charlotta LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The Six-months and the One-year Rules - Focus on the Question of Short Breaks of Stays in a Third Country
course
JURM02 20112
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Skatterätt
language
Swedish
id
2255326
date added to LUP
2012-02-17 14:37:58
date last changed
2012-02-17 14:37:58
@misc{2255326,
  abstract     = {The number of Swedish workers abroad has increased in today’s society compared to just a few decades ago. While working in foreign countries, many workers retain their tax residence in Sweden and are thus primarily liable to pay tax in Sweden on the income derived from the employment. In many cases, the employment income is also taxed in the working country, which could mean that the taxpayer's employment income is subject to international double taxation.

This thesis deals with the six-months and the one-year rules prescribed in Chapter 3 § 9 of the Swedish Income Tax Act. The rules are Swedish domestic international legal rules that exempt employment income earned during the stay abroad from tax liability in Sweden. The purpose of the six-months rule is to avoid international double taxation. The one-year rule seeks instead to exempt employment income entirely from taxation, in particular by certain of the legislature selected cases. Although there are other rules in both domestic law and tax treaties, the six-months rule is in most cases considered more advantageous for the taxpayer to apply than the other rules. However, this thesis shows that the six-months rule in some cases may give way to rules in tax treaties. However, as regards to other internal rules, my opinion is that the six-months rule should take precedence.

The application of the six-months and the one-year rules requires that the employee has been staying in a foreign country for a continuous period of at least six months if the income is subject to taxation in the working country, or at least for a full year if the income is not. In accordance with chapter 3 § 10 of the Income Tax Act the employee is allowed to take short breaks for holidays, business trips or similar events during the coherent time of the stay abroad. For stays in Sweden the law prescribes that the break must not exceed six days per full month or a total of 72 days during a year of employment starting from the first day of assignment. However, as regards stay in a third country, the law does not limit the break to be within a specific number of days. Despite this, the Taxation Board, in a standpoint, as published on October 25, 2010, has stated that this means that an employee may only stay in Sweden and in a third country during eight days per month or for 96 days per year of employment. In May 2011 the Supreme Administrative Court handed down a ruling in HFD 2011 ref. 40. The Supreme Administrative Court emphasized that the one-year rule was applicable to an employee who worked in one country and lived in a third country. The ruling has given rise to discussions about whether the Taxation Board has grounds for its opinion of 96-day limit or not.

Upon closer examination of the six-months and the one-year rules, it is revealed that they conceal several issues that may arise when applying them. In addition to the rules’ necessary prerequisites in general, the thesis deals specifically with the question of whether the Taxation Board are justified in their interpretation of a general 96-day limit in the light of applicable law. The thesis shows that this may likely be the case. Although it may be questionable if there is a general time limit on stays in a third country it becomes clear in the thesis that it may be beneficial to introduce such an explicit time limit in the law. One reason for this may be the observed increasing global mobility, requiring people to spend time in a third country to a greater extent today than before. A strict time limit would therefore mean greater predictability for individuals and companies when the six-months and one-year rules are applied, which must be considered very favourable in contemporary society.},
  author       = {Jakobsson, Charlotta},
  keyword      = {Skatterätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Sexmånaders- och ettårsregeln - fokus på frågan om kortare avbrott vid vistelse i tredje land},
  year         = {2012},
}