Common tax audit triggers

Our goal and your goal should be to have as proper and tax compliant accounting as possible.

With that said, it can be helpful to know when and how tax audits from Skatteverket are performed.

We do not know how and when Skatteverket chooses to perform an audit, so this information provided here is based on our experience in dealing with tax audits.

Tax audits could be randomly selected, but our experience shows that the following situations gives an increased chance of a tax audit.

Newly started business

If you have a newly started business there’s an increased chance you’ll get a tax audit on your first VAT-returns. The reason for that is that Skatteverket wants to make sure that you know what you’re doing.

Large amount of VAT to be refunded

If you’d like to get refunded for VAT (a situation which occurs if you have a lot of VAT-related purchases but a lot less VAT-related sales), you have to be prepared to be audited before you get the refund approved.

Low or no revenue but large expenses

It’s perfectly legal to have a lot of expenses. However those expenses must be related to the company’s revenue to be considered business expenses. If you have no or very low revenue there might be doubts to whether you’re actually running a business or just making deductions.

High interests

Paying and/or receiving large amounts of interest may require special treatment in the tax return. If you earn or pay a lot of interest it could be non-tax compliant.

Incorrect VAT-return

VAT can be very simple but also very complex. As soon as you start doing international business or selling goods or services that doesn’t have the standard VAT-rate the complexity of VAT-returns stacks up.

Skatteverket has access to data from the Swedish customs and other EU-countries. If you have imported goods from outside of the EU or bought or sold services/goods to/from EU, Skatteverket will get notified of this from sources other than your company. If your VAT returns are not in line with the data that Skatteverket has access to, you’ll most probably get queries around your VAT-return.

Expenses in the employee section of the P/L but no salaries reported

Even if you have no one on your company’s payroll, there can still be expenses that are categorized as employee-costs. These are for example

  • Travel expenses based on milage.
  • Travel allowance
  • Perks such as “fika”, wellness allowance, Christmas gifts or other gifts.

If you have above deductions, make sure you comply with a the rules around them.