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MONEY

How to get your hands on Sweden’s new coins

The second batch of Sweden's new currency is going into circulation today as part of a huge project designed to replace hundreds of millions of banknotes and coins across the country.

How to get your hands on Sweden's new coins
Riksbank head Stefan Ingves depositing some of his old cash. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Nordic nation is introducing new editions of the 100-krona and 500-krona banknotes on Monday, as well as new versions of the one-krona and five-kronor coins. A new two-krona coin is also being released, some four decades after it was scrapped in the 1970s. The current ten-krona coin will stay the same.

Swedish movie star Greta Garbo and opera legend Birgit Nilsson are depicted on the new 100-krona and 500-krona bills. The current banknotes as well as all older coins – with the exception of the ten-kronor coin – will become invalid after June 30th next year.

“It will be a huge challenge to collect all of the 2.5 billion kronor in coins that will become invalid next summer,” said the head of the Riksbank, Stefan Ingves, in a press statement.

The new money will be phased into circulation in the coming months, but those particularly keen on getting their hands on it were able to queue up at the Central Bank – the Riksbank – in central Stockholm between 2pm and 7pm on Monday afternoon.

Those wanting to get rid of their old coins can either use them to make purchases in stores before June 30th, or deposit them at for example banks or exchange offices across Sweden listed on this map, set up by the Riksbank. 


The new 100-krona banknote. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Sweden's old 20, 50 and 1000-krona banknotes went out of circulation earlier this year as they were replaced by new bills. Anyone who missed that deadline can still exchange the old notes for a 100-krona fee by sending the notes to the central bank.

In August the Riksbank reported that around 82 percent of the old notes had been deposited, but tender to the tune of 1.3 billion kronor was still out there, expiring in piggy banks and pockets.

Exactly what Swedes are doing with the missing cash is not clear, but there’s a good chance that much of it is hiding in drawers in the famously cash-averse country. Sweden is one of the countries that has come furthest towards becoming a cash-free society, with cash transactions accounting for just two percent of the value all payments.

Researchers from Oxford University discovered in 2013 that Sweden's cash was among the filthiest in Europe, with bank notes containing more bacteria than all others across the continent. 

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MONEY

How you can lower the monthly cost of your Swedish mortgage

It’s no secret that mortgages in Sweden have become more expensive over the last year or so, as interest rates have risen following high inflation. But did you know there’s a way you can lower your monthly mortgage cost?

How you can lower the monthly cost of your Swedish mortgage

Essentially, when you take out a loan in Sweden, the government gives you a discount on the interest you pay, in the form of a tax rebate.

This doesn’t include interest paid on all types of loans – for example, student loans are not included – but it does include your mortgage.

In order to qualify for the discount, referred to as ränteavdrag (interest deduction) or skatteavdrag (tax deduction), you need to fulfil some requirements: 

  • You’ve paid income tax and at least 1,000 kronor in interest in the last taxation year
  • You have a capital deficit (meaning that your interest costs must be greater than any capital income you’ve earned through interest or dividends)
  • You are either partly or wholly responsible for the loan or mortgage in question

If there are two of you who are both named on the mortgage who fulfil these requirements, you’ll each receive 50 percent of the total tax rebate.

The interest deduction is automatically subtracted from your yearly tax and listed in your yearly declaration, if you fulfil the requirements, meaning you’re likely to get it back as a lump sum when tax season rolls around in April.

How much do I get?

The actual sum you get back varies depending on how much tax and interest you’ve paid during the year, but there are some general calculations which can give you a guideline of what you might get.

You’ll get 30 percent of your interest costs back on the first 100,000 kronor you pay in interest over a year, and 21 percent on anything over 100,000 kronor. 

If there are two of you, you each have your own individual tax deduction, even if you’re paying the same loan, so as a pair you’ll get back 30 percent on the first 200,000 kronor, as well as 21 percent on anything over this figure.

To figure out how much you’ll get, you need to first find out how much interest you’ve paid during the year your declaration covers and subtract this figure from your capital income earned through interest or dividends.

If your figure is negative, that means you can subtract this figure from your tax paid during the year. Bear in mind that if you owe tax, then your interest deduction amount will be used to pay it back first, lowering the total amount you receive.

You can also change the proportion of the deduction applied to each partner if you share a mortgage, dividing it 60/40 or 70/30, for example, if you don’t share the mortgage 50/50. You can do this through your bank or by manually changing the figures in your tax declaration.

I don’t understand. How does this make my monthly mortgage payments cheaper?

Here’s where something called skattejämkning comes in. This literally translates as “tax equalisation”, and it’s a way you can spread your tax rebate for interest costs out over a year, lowering your mortgage costs each month rather than of getting a lump sum in the form of a tax rebate during tax declaration season.

In order to equalise your tax, you’ll need to contact the Tax Agency directly, filling out a form with the catchy title of SKV 4302 – Jämkning (ändring av preliminär A-skatt) or using their Jämkning online service.

To do this, you’ll need to have in-depth figures on things like your salary, pension payments, sick pay and any other income like unemployment benefit or maternity or paternity payments, as well as capital income and any business income for the tax year you’re applying for, as well as your expected income for the rest of the year.

If your application is accepted, the Tax Agency will tell your employer to subtract less tax from your payslip each month, effectively meaning that you get your tax rebate for interest costs back in your monthly pay instead of getting it paid out all at once.

Bear in mind that if you do go down this route it’s important that your calculations are correct. If you accidentally overestimate your interest payments or underestimate your tax owed, you could end up being hit with a hefty tax bill once your declaration comes through.

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