Ask any investment broker, and they will say that the traditional advice is that diversifying your investment portfolio is good because it limits your exposure to instability. Expats who live in Sweden may wonder about diversifying with Swedish bond accounts, especially since Swedish bonds are some of the safest available. Find out what they are, how they benefit expats, and what the US tax treatment of Swedish bond accounts is, so you can get started tax planning.
Swedish Bonds: What Are They?
Bonds are a common investment tool that, for the most part, are pretty straightforward. If you buy a corporate bond, you are loaning that corporation money with the expectation that the debt will be repaid at a future date, with interest, that is included as terms of the bond. Once a bond has “matured,” that means it is repaid and has served its purpose. Some bonds have exceedingly extended maturity dates, and Sweden has been considering releasing bonds as long as 100 years. There are many different types of bonds, such as secured or unsecured, but for tax purposes, there are two defining differences that matter when investing in Swedish bonds.
Corporate Bonds Versus Municipal or Government Bonds
When you buy a corporate bond, the investment is a taxable event. However, many municipal and government bonds have tax-exempt status, which typically yields lower interest. If you buy a Swedish bond that is not tax-exempt, any return on your investment will be subject to capital gains regulations.
Swedish and US Tax Treatment of Swedish Bonds
Swedish tax regulations don’t normally differentiate between foreign and domestic investment (with some exceptions for the defense sector and certain others), so expat investors will be subject to the same rules as Swedish nationals. The rules that expats will face include that the Swedish bonds need to be deposited into an authorized bank, and the disbursements must be handled via Swedish foreign exchange banks.
Sweden’s tax treatment of bonds falls under its capital gains tax, which is a flat 30%. Unless the bond has a specified tax-exempt status, when you file your annual US income tax return, you will be subject to capital gains on the yield. If you end up getting taxed by both countries, your best course of action is to use the Foreign Tax Credit to eliminate the double taxation effect on your investment.
Want Tax Advice for Your Swedish Bond Investments?
Greenback experts can help you make the best decision for your retirement strategy and your taxes. Set up a consultation with us today.