Criticism of the Swedish Tax Agency for long processing times in cases relating to the registration of estate inventories and the issuing of European Certificates of Succession

The Parliamentary Ombudsmen have received several complaints against the Swedish Tax Agency relating to the slow processing of cases concerning the registration of estate inventories. Complaints have also been made about delays in the issuing of European Certificates of Succession.

The Swedish Tax Agency’s registration of estate inventories is of great importance to private citizens, who therefore normally have high expectations that these cases will be processed quickly. In accordance with an EU Regulation, a European Certificate of Succession must be issued without delay once the Swedish Tax Agency has established that such a certificate may be issued.

According to the Swedish Tax Agency, the processing times for both types of cases have gotten longer as a result of the pandemic, among other reasons. In March 2023, the waiting times were up to 9 weeks for registering estate inventories and 18 weeks for issuing a European Certificate of Succession. The Chief Parliamentary Ombudsman states that circumstances linked to the pandemic can no longer be considered mitigating circumstances when assessing processing times. The Swedish Tax Agency is criticised for its slow processing.

According to the Swedish Tax Agency’s website, the waiting times for estate inventory cases increased further after that and are now just as long as the longest waiting times during the pandemic. For these cases, the waiting time increased by almost 50 percent between March and November 2023, and is now up to 13 weeks. The Chief Parliamentary Ombudsman states that this is very worrying and that is important that the Swedish Tax Agency address the causes and take effective action so that processing times are not extended further, but, on the contrary, can be shortened quickly.

Date of decision: 2023-11-20