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Sweden to amend share option rules to EU Law

The Swedish government has proposed a new rule under which residents' employee stock options would be taxed at the time they are used or alienated, regardless of whether they are earned through employment in Sweden or abroad. Non-residents would continue to be taxed on benefits derived in Sweden, but if the work was carried on elsewhere, tax treaty benefits would apply.

At present, employee stock options are taxed either when they mature or, if not, when they are used or alienated. But, when a beneficiary leaves Sweden, the option benefit is subject to income tax on departure. This exit tax was deemed by the European Court of Justice to be incompatible with the right to free movement of labour under article 39 of the EC treaty.

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