This paper examines the development of taxation in Sweden from 1862 to 2013. The examination covers six key aspects of the Swedish tax system: the taxation of labor income, capital income, consumption, inheritance and gift, wealth and real estate. The importance of these taxes varied greatly over time and Sweden increasingly relied on broad-based taxes (such as income taxes and general consumption taxes) and taxes that were less visible to the public (such as payroll taxes and social security contributions).
The tax-to-GDP ratio was initially low and relatively stable, but from the 1930s, the ratio increased sharply for 50 years. Towards the end of the period, the tax-to-GDP ratio declined significantly. The analysis is based on a project conducted at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) and provides both a unique length and breadth of the development of a national tax system.