Taxation of Swedish Firm Owners: The Great Reversal from the 1970s to the 2010s

Reprint No. 2017:30

By the late 1960s, real effective taxation of income from individual firm ownership in Sweden approached 100 percent. A series of tax reforms has reversed this situation. This paper (1) elucidates the thinking behind the vision of creating a largely market-based system withoutwealthy capitalists and how that vision guided tax policy; (2) outlines and evaluates the changes in the tax code since the late 1970s, their empirical and intellectual basis, and their implications for the taxation of individual firm ownership; and (3) compares the size of the largest individual wealth holdings in the mid-1960s to their equivalents in the 2010s and discusses how the general public’s views have changed regarding sizeable income streams and wealth from business activity. Today, the tax code favors already wealthy individuals, while high labor income taxation combined with a high valuation of existing assets renders wealth accumulation difficult for persons with no initial wealth.

Henrekson, Magnus (2017), "Taxation of Swedish Firm Owners: The Great Reversal from the 1970s to the 2010s". Nordic Tax Journal 4(1), 26–46.

Magnus Henrekson


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Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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