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Swedish government offers tax deferral to businesses

High energy prices and high inflation are hitting Sweden's businesses hard. With energy price subsidies for these consumers delayed, the government is now extending existing tax deferral schemes implemented during the pandemic to ease the pressure.

Swedish government offers tax deferral to businesses
Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson and Energy and Business Minister Ebba Busch at a press conference on Thursday. Photo: Marko Säävälä/TT

Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson and Energy and Business Minister Ebba Busch announced the scheme at a press conference on Thursday.

“Many, many companies are now struggling with their liquidity,” Svantesson said.

The deferral scheme is similar to that proposed by the previous government in order to ease the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on companies, which was due to run out in February. The government has now proposed extending this scheme, allowing companies to delay their tax payments.

“These proposals will make things easier for many businesses,” Svantesson said.

The tax deferral scheme is not, Busch explained, being introduced as a replacement for the energy price subsidy for businesses which was supposed to be paid out “before Christmas” and which has now been withdrawn temporarily while the government figures out how it can be introduced without breaking EU law.

“No, rather this is a measure we’ve been looking at for a while, which should be seen as a complement,” she said.

According to rough estimates, the government believes that around 12,000 companies will apply for tax deferral, which would mean around 16 billion kronor in tax payments being delayed until a later date.

Företagarna, Sweden’s largest organisation of business owners representing around 60,000 companies across different branches, has welcomed the move, despite also voicing criticism that it’s just pushing these problems further into the future.

“It’s a loan and all loans need to be paid back over time,” Företagarna’s CEO Günther Mårder said.

Företagarna did, however, agree that the scheme will be necessary for some businesses to survive.

“Most companies going under are doing so because of liquidity problems, and this new measure will strengthen liquidity in the short-term,” Mårder said, adding that the measure could “save businesses”.

However, with many businesses already owing back taxes delayed during the pandemic, Mårder believes this could just be adding to the mountain of debt already faced by some companies.

“It means it will be record-breakingly difficult to get over this hump,” he said. “What they’re doing now is pushing problems into the future, and of course, that’s also a solution.”

The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise is positive towards the government’s proposal, adding that the many Swedish companies are currently in a difficult situation.

“Since the repayment of bottleneck revenues [energy price subsidies] is delayed, it is good and fair that companies have the opportunity to extend their tax deferrals,” Jonas Frycklund, vice chief finance officer of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise wrote in a statement.

“This will lower the risk of having to let employees go unnecessarily.”

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MONEY

Going to a Danish music festival? Beware of fake online tickets

Scams involving event tickets are not uncommon during Denmark’s summer music festival season, the country’s digital authority has warned.

Going to a Danish music festival? Beware of fake online tickets

Denmark’s Agency for Digital Government (Digitaliseringsstyrelsen) has urged anyone hoping to pick up a festival ticket at short notice to “be critical” when purchasing passes online.

In a press release, the agency outlined what it calls “simple advice” to help consumers avoid losing money on shady festival tickets.

The NorthSide festival in Aarhus kickstarts Denmark’s summer festival season on 6th-8th June, followed shortly afterwards by the Heartland festival at Egeskov on the island of Funen, both from June 13th to June 14th.

For lovers of hard rock and metal the Copenhell festival from June 19th to June 22nd is not to be missed.

Then, for the weekend of June 27th-29th, the festivities move back across the Great Belt Bridge for the Tinderbox Festival in Odense on Funen.

The month of music then culminates with Denmark’s oldest and largest music festival, Roskilde, between June 29th and July 6th, although arguably all the biggest days are in July. 

Several of these festivals have already sold out of either one-day tickets or “partout” tickets that provide passes to the entire event.

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That means tickets are now being sought on social media and other resale platforms, the digital agency writes.

“We’ve collected some good pieces of advice that will help members of the public to spot ticket sharks and prevent a good summer with friends and music from becoming a disappointing summer when scammers make off with your money and good mood,” Agency for Digital Government deputy director Lars Bønløkke Lé said in the statement.

“Scammers don’t go on holiday and festival ticket sales are also an opportunity they try to capitalise on,” he said.

Four specific actions can greatly reduce the risk of getting scammed according to the agency.

These are:

  • Purchase tickets from official vendors only. Use their waiting lists if the tickets are sold out.
  • Be cautious about any offers you receive if you request a particular ticket in a social media post or ad, as these can attract scams.
  • A ticket set at a price far cheaper than can be found anywhere else is a sign of a possible scam.
  • If using Danish payment app MobilePay, you can check that the seller’s name appears on the payee MobilePay account before confirming your payment. You can then check that this name matches the name of the person or organisation from which you have agreed to buy the ticket. A discrepancy should raise a red flag. Similarly, if the seller unexpectedly asks you to send the money to an account other than their own, they are likely to be attempting a scam.
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