VAT when you buy services from the EU

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Here you can read about what applies when you buy services from EU member countries. The main rule is that you buy services free from VAT in other EU countries and that you then calculate and report Swedish VAT on the purchase. But there are exceptions for certain types of services.

Read more about the VAT on foreign trade on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website (in Swedish)

Purchases of services

When you buy services, as a business operator, from another EU country, the services are considered to have been performed in the country where you are established or have a permanent presence.

So services you buy are normally performed in Sweden. This means that you have to report both input and output VAT on the purchase, this is called reverse tax liability. So you must be registered for VAT. If you are not, then you need to register.

Register your company for VAT registration in our e-service (in Swedish)

Exceptions from the main rule that the buyer has to report VAT

The following services are exceptions to the main rule that it is the buyer who has to calculate and report VAT

  • passenger transport.
  • entry to events.
  • restaurants and catering.
  • short-term rental of cars and other means of transport.

If you buy that kind of service from a business operator in another EU country, and the service is performed in Sweden, the seller has to register for VAT in Sweden and report VAT.

Read more about the exceptions for the purchase of services from EU countries on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website (in Swedish)

Property services are also exceptions to the main rule

VAT on property services has to be calculated and reported in the country where the property is located. If it is in Sweden, you have to calculate and report VAT as the buyer. But if the seller registers for VAT in Sweden, they have to report VAT.

Read more about property services and VAT on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website (in Swedish)

Purchases on business trips

If you buy services abroad as a business operator, during business trips for example, you pay foreign VAT. In some cases you have the right to get the VAT back.

Read more about the repayment of foreign VAT in the EU and non-EU countries (in Swedish)

The Swedish Tax Agency’s webinars

What should you bear in mind when you buy services from EU countries? How do you have to report VAT? You can get answers to questions like this by connecting to the Swedish Tax Agency’s webinars.

Read more and register on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website

The Swedish Tax Agency’s Tax Information

Contact the Swedish Tax Agency if you are going to buy services from another EU country. It is important that you are clear about what type of service is involved and where it will be performed. Then it is easier for the Swedish Tax Agency to answer your questions.

Tax Information at the Swedish Tax Agency answers all types of tax questions. The telephone number is 0771-567 567. If you are calling from abroad the phone number is: + 46 8 564 851 60.

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Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

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