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Swedish online alcohol shops defy national tax board

Published:  23 July, 2008

Suppliers of online alcohol refuse to cooperate with Swedish tax authorities.

The suppliers said they will not release details of their customer's transactions to the authority.

The National Tax Board (Skatteverket) announced on Thursday that it plans to track down people who have failed to pay Swedish tax on alcohol purchased over the internet.

The tax authority has sent out letters requesting the information to around 6,000 people who failed to pay the tax. They will also be faced with a late payment fine of 1,000 kronor (US$142) (70.35) per order.

The board has managed to track down non-payers by contacting Spanish and German authorities and requesting them to gather order lists from a number of companies selling alcohol online.

According to the tax board, people who import alcohol to Sweden without paying taxes can be hit with the fine at any time up to six years after buying the alcohol.

Companies which have refused to cooperate include Vinboden and state-owned Vin & Sprit.

The tax board however has said that it will continue with its current policy.

"What these companies say is up to them. We will get whatever information we can from any foreign authorities willing to lend us a helping hand," the board's Niclas Rnnberg said.