Swedish Tax Agency criticised for the passive handling of an estate inventory case Statement on the agency’s procedure for serving notice of a penalty fine

In an estate inventory case at the Swedish Tax Agency, no registration of the estate inventory took place, despite the fact almost four and a half years had passed since the death. In the decision, the Chief Parliamentary Ombudsman directs criticism at the Swedish Tax Agency for its passive management of the case.

The measures the Swedish Tax Agency can take when an estate inventory is not received are to impose a fine or appoint a special estate inventory officer. An order for a penalty fine must be served on the addressee. The Swedish Tax Agency applies a procedure whereby a notice of a penalty fine must be served by ordinary service, and if this fails, summons service may only be used in exceptional cases. In other cases, estate inventory cases are given a lower priority.

The Chief Parliamentary Ombudsman states that the procedure appears to lead to most cases being given lower priority already at the point the ordinary service has failed, and that the Swedish Tax Authority is thus not exhausting the available service options. The Chief Parliamentary Ombudsman questions whether this reluctance to use a process server is compatible with the requirement that the Tax Agency ensure an estate inventory is carried out and filed. According to the Chief Parliamentary Ombudsman, there are grounds for the Swedish Tax Agency to review its procedures.

Date of decision: 2024-01-31