Discounts and loans – credit agreement

Discounts provided for shown customer loyalty in, among other things, the airline and hotel industry are taxable if used for private use. A basic prerequisite for taxation is that the recipient’s employer or client has paid the goods or services that entitle the discount or that the benefit can for other reasons be considered as an outflow of the service.

This applies, for example, if the employee accumulates bonus points due to business trips paid by the employer.

It is the person using the loyalty discount who is required to report this to his employer or client. The information shall include the nature of the benefit, the extent and the month in which it was used and submitted no later than the following month.

Staff Discounts

Staff discounts on purchases of goods or services from the employer or any other company within the same group may be tax-exempt under certain conditions.

The interest benefit

A taxable interest benefit arises if the employer submits an interest-free loan or a loan where the interest rate is lower than the market rate to an employee. The employee must then be taxed for the benefit as income from service.

At the same time, the employee may deduct an amount corresponding to the benefit as interest expense in the income type capital in the same way as if the interest had been paid in cash.

Credit and loan agreements

credit loan

Loans in this context mean a money transaction based on a credit agreement. Advances on salary or other compensation, normal credit purchases from the employer and the like are therefore not considered loans. However, both short-term Credit and loans of smaller amounts are covered by the benefit rules.

A prerequisite for taxation is that the loan agreement represents a benefit and that the benefit is obtained because of the service or assignment. A benefit arises if the loan is granted on terms that are more favorable than the market conditions.

In the case of banks and other credit institutions that offer loans to the public, a taxable benefit arises if the employees are offered loans on more favorable terms than those offered to the public. For other employers, a comparison must be made with the market conditions for credit granting that apply at the time of the loan agreement. The rules also apply to loans brokered or negotiated by the employer, loans that have been linked to previous employment and loans from clients.

Calculation of the benefit value

A prerequisite for interest rate benefit is that the agreed interest rate falls below the market rate at the time of the loan. The benefit is then calculated on a standard basis on the basis of the national mortgage rate (SLR), which is set by the Swedish National Debt Office.

For interest-free loans, fixed-rate Credit and loans where the interest is paid in proportion to the market interest rate, the value of the benefit is the difference between SLR at the time of the loan + 1 percent (the comparative interest rate) and the agreed interest rate. However, the comparative interest rate shall be at least 0.5 per cent.

For loans with variable interest rates, the value of the benefit is the difference between SLR at the end of November the year before the income year + 1 percent (comparative interest rate) and the agreed interest rate. However, the comparative interest rate shall be at least 0.5 per cent.

Foreign currency loans

Foreign currency loans

For information about foreign currency loans, see Legal guidance.

  • Valuation of favorable loans in foreign currency in Legal guidance

Employer’s account

The employer shall report the interest benefit month by month in the employer declarations. This is true even if the employee eg. only pays interest on the loan every three months. The value of the benefit is stated in box 012 in the employer declaration at the individual level. The value of the benefit and any interest paid is reported in box 540 on the control statement for interest expense (KU25).

Example

On January 1, 2019, Anna borrows USD 50,000 from the employer at a fixed interest rate of 1 percent. The interest paid to the employer during the year amounts to USD 50,000 x 1 percent = USD 500. At the time of the loan, the government loan rate was 1.05 percent. The interest rate percentage is calculated at (1.05 + 1 – 1) = 1.05 percent. The taxable benefit for 2019 will therefore be (USD 50,000 x 1.05 percent) = USD 525.

The employer reports interest benefit with (USD 525/12) = USD 43 at the payee level in the employer declaration each month, and the same amount is added to Anna’s monthly salary before the tax deduction is made.

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