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Swedish Tax Agency to make it harder to get 'coordination numbers'

Published torsdag 12 oktober 2017 kl 16.28
Elisabeth Båvall is section head for the Swedish Tax Agency in Gothenburg.
Elisabeth Båvall is section head for the Swedish Tax Agency in Gothenburg. Credit: Sveriges Radio and Christine Olsson / SCANPIX / TT

Sweden's tax authority plans to make it harder to get issued the coordination numbers (samordningsnummer), which some new arrivals have used in the past to open bank accounts, or register cars.

The numbers, around 750,000 of which have been issued over the last 20 years, are given to people who come to Sweden from outside the European Union as a temporary alternative to a Swedish personal number.

But the tax agency worries that state agencies and private businesses misunderstand what level of identification the numbers provide, allowing them to be used in frauds.

"We see that a portion of the numbers we have issued never turn up in a tax context," said Elisabeth Båvall, a section chief for the agency in Gothenburg.  

"Instead they are apparently using their coordination numbers for other purposes. We see examples of them coming up in connection with various types of fraud, perpetrated both against private companies and lenders."

As a result, the tax agency now intends in most cases to issue coordination numbers only to people who already have a permit to work in Sweden.

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