Tax identification Numbers in Sweden (Personal Identity Number & Coordination Number)


Tobias Sjöström

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In Sweden, the Tax Identification Numbers (Personal Identity Number (personnummer) and Coordination Number(samordningsnummer)) serves as an essential part of both your financial and social life. Often considered the cornerstone for any interaction with governmental agencies, it is imperative to understand the importance and necessity of obtaining this unique identifier as early as possible.

The Tax Identification Number is not just a random set of digits; it’s a unique code used by the Swedish Tax Agency, Skatteverket, to identify individuals for tax purposes. It also plays a pivotal role in other aspects of life in Sweden, including employment, healthcare, and even everyday tasks like opening a bank account or signing a lease.

Therefore, ensuring that you obtain your Tax Identification Number is one of the first steps you should take upon arrival in Sweden, whether you are here for a short stay or planning to make Sweden your long-term residence.


  • A Personal Identity Number is essential for long-term residents in Sweden.
  • A Coordination Number serves short-term residents or those with specific needs.
  • A Temporary Tax Identification Number is for exceptional, tax-related circumstances.
  • Applications must usually be made in-person at a local Swedish Tax Agency office.
  • Each type of number has its own set of obligations and responsibilities.
  • Update any changes in your personal information promptly to avoid issues.

Legal Framework

Navigating the administrative aspects of life in a new country can be challenging, particularly when it comes to understanding legal obligations and requirements. In Sweden, the Tax Identification Number is governed by a set of laws and regulations overseen by the Swedish Tax Agency, also known as Skatteverket.

Understanding the legal framework surrounding the Tax Identification Number can provide you with a solid foundation for complying with Swedish laws and benefiting from governmental services.

What is the Tax Identification Number Used For?

The Tax Identification Number is not merely for tax purposes; it serves as a multi-purpose identifier in various situations. Here are some of the primary uses:

  • Tax Reporting: The primary function is, of course, for filing and managing your taxes in Sweden.
  • Employment: Employers require your Tax Identification Number to legally employ you and for their own tax reporting purposes.
  • Banking: Opening a bank account, applying for credit, and other financial services necessitate a Tax Identification Number.
  • Healthcare: To access Sweden’s healthcare services, you need to provide this number.
  • Social Benefits: Various kinds of social benefits, such as parental leave, unemployment benefits, and pensions, also require a Tax Identification Number.

Understanding these functionalities is crucial as the lack of a Tax Identification Number can significantly impede your ability to carry out even the most basic tasks, from receiving your salary to seeking medical care.

The Role of the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket)

Skatteverket is the official body responsible for issuing Tax Identification Numbers. They handle the application, issuance, and maintenance of these numbers. It is important to maintain accurate records with Skatteverket and report any changes in your personal circumstances, such as address, marital status, or employment, to ensure you remain in compliance with Swedish regulations.

By familiarizing yourself with the legal framework surrounding the Tax Identification Number in Sweden, you position yourself to successfully navigate the complexities that can come with living and working in a new country. Whether you’re staying temporarily or becoming a long-term resident, understanding the importance and multi-faceted role of the Tax Identification Number is a critical step in your Swedish journey.

Eligibility Criteria

Determining eligibility for a Tax Identification Number in Sweden depends on several variables, including your residency status, the purpose of your stay, and your employment conditions. The documentation required to substantiate your application also varies according to your circumstances.

Who Can Apply?

In general, individuals who plan on residing in Sweden for longer than three months are advised to apply for a Tax Identification Number. Here are some categories of people who commonly apply:

  • Permanent Residents: Those who have obtained a residency permit and plan to live in Sweden for an extended period.
  • Students: International students in Sweden for more than three months.
  • Employed Individuals: People who are employed or plan to be employed in Sweden.
  • Temporary Residents: Those staying in Sweden for shorter periods but have specific needs that require a Tax Identification Number, such as work commitments.

Required Documentation

The documentation needed for a Tax Identification Number generally includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Proof of Identity: A valid passport or national ID card is typically required.
  • Proof of Employment or Study: Contract from your employer or acceptance letter from an educational institution.
  • Proof of Residence: Utility bills, rental agreement, or other evidence of your residential address in Sweden.

You may need to provide additional documentation depending on your specific situation, such as marriage certificates for family applications or special permits for asylum seekers. Therefore, it is recommended to consult the Swedish Tax Agency’s official website or speak directly with an agency representative to understand what specific documents are required for your case.

Acquiring the correct Tax Identification Number is conditional on meeting the eligibility criteria and submitting the correct documents. Therefore, it is imperative to understand your particular conditions and prepare accordingly. This will not only speed up the application process but also ensure that you are in compliance with Swedish regulations, thus avoiding potential legal complications down the line.

Types of Tax Identification Numbers

In Sweden, the term “Tax Identification Number” can refer to different kinds of identification numbers, depending on your status and length of stay in the country. Primarily, two types of numbers are issued: the Personal Identity Number (personnummer) and the Coordination Number (samordningsnummer). Understanding the differences between these numbers is essential, as each serves specific purposes and has its own set of eligibility criteria.

Personal Identity Number (Personnummer)

The Personal Identity Number is a ten-digit number issued to individuals who are expected to reside in Sweden for an extended period. This number is crucial for virtually all aspects of life in Sweden, from gaining employment and accessing healthcare services to opening a bank account and even enrolling your children in school.

Who is Eligible for Personal Identity Number?

  • Permanent residents or individuals who have a residency permit.
  • International students who will be studying in Sweden for more than one year.
  • Individuals who have secured long-term employment in Sweden.

The Personal Identity Number is used for a wide range of activities and services, such as:

  • Employment
  • Healthcare
  • Banking
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Education

Coordination Number (Samordningsnummer)

On the other hand, the Coordination Number is a temporary identifier and is issued to those who are in Sweden for a shorter duration or those who do not qualify for a Personal Identity Number. This number is commonly given to seasonal workers, short-term visitors, and sometimes even to individuals involved in legal processes.

Who is Eligible for Coordination Number?

  • Seasonal or short-term workers.
  • Visitors who are staying in Sweden for a specific purpose that requires a Tax Identification Number, such as a business project.
  • Individuals who do not meet the criteria for a Personal Identity Number.

While a Coordination Number offers similar functionalities as a Personal Identity Number, there are limitations:

  • Limited access to social benefits.
  • Restricted or no access to certain healthcare services.
  • Might not be accepted by all financial institutions for banking services.

Application Process for Personal Identity Number

Acquiring a Personal Identity Number is a fundamental step in establishing your life in Sweden. However, navigating the application process can be daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the system. Below is a detailed guide on how to apply for a Personal Identity Number, covering essential aspects like where to apply, the application procedure, and the expected timeline for the application process.

Where to Apply for Personal Identity Number

The application for a Personal Identity Number must be submitted in person at your nearest Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) office. It’s advisable to check the agency’s website for operating hours and any additional requirements, such as booking an appointment in advance.

How to Apply for Personal Identity Number

  1. Visit the Swedish Tax Agency: As previously mentioned, the application must be submitted in person. Make sure to take all the required documents with you.
  2. Fill Out the Application Form: You will be provided with an application form that you must complete. Make sure all information is accurate and complete to avoid delays in processing.
  3. Submit Required Documents: Alongside the application form, you will also need to provide supporting documents. Typically, these include:
    • Proof of identity, such as a valid passport or national ID.
    • Proof of employment or study, like a contract or acceptance letter.
    • Proof of residence in Sweden, which can be a rental agreement or utility bills.
  4. Verification: After submitting the application form and required documents, the agency will review your application. You may be asked for additional information or clarification.
  5. Notification: Once your application has been reviewed and approved, you will receive your Personal Identity Number. The Swedish Tax Agency generally sends this information by mail to your registered Swedish address.

The processing time for a Personal Identity Number can vary, but you should expect it to take several weeks. Given its importance for various aspects of life in Sweden, it is advisable to apply for your Personal Identity Number as soon as possible after arriving in the country.

By following these steps diligently and preparing your documents carefully, you stand a good chance of navigating this crucial process successfully. Remember, acquiring your Personal Identity Number is perhaps one of the most important administrative tasks you will undertake upon relocating to Sweden, so give it the attention it merits.

Application Process for Coordination Number

If you are in Sweden for a shorter period or do not meet the eligibility criteria for a Personal Identity Number, applying for a Coordination Number can be a viable alternative. Though it serves similar purposes, obtaining a Coordination Number involves a slightly different application process and set of requirements. Below are the key steps and considerations for successfully applying for a Coordination Number.

Where to Apply for Coordination Number

Similar to the Personal Identity Number, applications for a Coordination Number should also be made at your local Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) office. Consult the agency’s official website for details on office locations, hours, and whether an appointment is required.

How to Apply for Coordination Number

  1. Initial Consultation: Begin by visiting the Swedish Tax Agency in person. Here you will be briefed on the application process and will be provided with the necessary forms.
  2. Complete the Application Form: The form usually requests basic information such as your name, date of birth, current address, and reason for your stay in Sweden. Ensure the information is accurate to avoid delays.
  3. Submit Documentation: Provide all requested documents, which often include:
    • Valid passport or other forms of identification.
    • Proof of your current occupation or reason for staying in Sweden, such as a work contract or business agenda.
    • Additional documents, like permits or visas, may also be required depending on your specific situation.
  4. Review and Verification: After submission, your application and supporting documents will be reviewed by the Swedish Tax Agency. You may be contacted for further clarification or additional documentation.
  5. Issuance of Coordination Number: Once approved, your Coordination Number will be sent to you, generally by mail to your given address in Sweden.

The time it takes to receive a Coordination Number can vary significantly depending on a range of factors such as the completeness of your application and the current workload of the Swedish Tax Agency. Nevertheless, the process typically takes a few weeks, so plan accordingly.

Just like with the Personal Identity Number, it’s crucial to initiate the process for obtaining a Coordination Number as early as possible. This will enable you to conduct essential activities like employment and banking while you’re in Sweden for your short-term stay. The careful preparation of documents and attention to detail during the application process will significantly increase your likelihood of a smooth and successful application.

Temporary Tax Identification Number

In certain unique situations, neither a Personal Identity Number nor a Coordination Number may be immediately suitable or accessible. For individuals in such cases, a Temporary Tax Identification Number can offer a provisional solution for specific, time-sensitive needs. It’s important to note that this type of number is generally for exceptional circumstances and has its own application procedure and limitations.

Who is Eligible?

The Temporary Tax Identification Number is typically issued to:

  • Non-residents who need to fulfill a tax obligation in Sweden but do not meet the criteria for a Personal Identity Number or Coordination Number.
  • Individuals who are in the process of obtaining a Personal Identity Number or Coordination Number but have immediate tax obligations.

How to Apply

  1. Contact the Swedish Tax Agency: The first step in obtaining a Temporary Tax Identification Number is to contact the Swedish Tax Agency to discuss your specific situation and to determine if this type of number is appropriate for you.
  2. Submit Application: If deemed eligible, you will be asked to complete an application form. This will generally require information such as your full name, date of birth, and the specific reason for needing a Temporary Tax Identification Number.
  3. Provide Supporting Documents: Along with your application form, you will need to submit necessary documents that verify your identity and substantiate your need for a Temporary Tax Identification Number.
  4. Review and Verification: Your application will undergo a review, during which you may be contacted for additional information or clarification.
  5. Receive Temporary Tax Identification Number: Upon approval, you will receive your Temporary Tax Identification Number, usually sent to your correspondence address.

Limitations and Considerations

It’s crucial to understand that a Temporary Tax Identification Number has limited usage and is not a substitute for a Personal Identity Number or Coordination Number. Generally, this number is only valid for specific tax-related activities and is not applicable for other forms of identification or for accessing public services in Sweden.

Given the exceptional nature and specific constraints of the Temporary Tax Identification Number, it is essential to consult the Swedish Tax Agency for accurate and personalized guidance. This will ensure that you are following the correct procedure for your unique circumstances, thereby avoiding any inadvertent non-compliance with Swedish regulations.

Obligations and Responsibilities

After successfully obtaining a Tax Identification Number in Sweden—be it a Personal Identity Number, Coordination Number, or a Temporary Tax Identification Number—it’s crucial to understand the associated obligations and responsibilities. Failing to meet these can result in legal complications, financial penalties, and even loss of certain privileges. Here’s what you need to know to maintain your status in accordance with Swedish regulations.

Updates and Changes in Information

If there are any changes in your personal information, such as address, marital status, or employment, it is your responsibility to promptly notify the Swedish Tax Agency. Delays in updating this information can result in administrative issues, including inaccuracies in your tax records.

Compliance with Tax Obligations

Holding a Tax Identification Number means you are subject to Swedish tax regulations. This includes timely filing of income tax returns and paying any owed taxes. Negligence in tax matters can lead to penalties or legal action.

Usage Limitations

It’s important to understand the limitations of your specific type of Tax Identification Number. For example, Coordination Numbers and Temporary Tax Identification Numbers are not suitable for long-term residency benefits and cannot be used to access the full range of public services.

Reporting Irregularities

If you notice any discrepancies or irregularities related to your Tax Identification Number, such as unauthorized usage or inaccuracies in official records, it’s your duty to report these to the Swedish Tax Agency as soon as possible.

Data Protection and Privacy

Your Tax Identification Number is a sensitive piece of information that should be guarded carefully. The unauthorized use of this number can lead to identity theft and other forms of fraud. Ensure that you only provide your Tax Identification Number to authorized entities and for legitimate purposes.

Termination or Transition

If you are leaving Sweden or transitioning from one status to another—such as from a student to an employed individual—it may necessitate a change in your Tax Identification Number type or even its termination. In such cases, consult the Swedish Tax Agency to understand the specific procedures and requirements.

Being aware of these obligations and responsibilities is not just about compliance with Swedish laws; it’s also about ensuring that you can live, work, and contribute effectively within Swedish society. Missteps in these areas can cause not just legal repercussions but can also disrupt your life and plans in Sweden. Therefore, exercise due diligence in fulfilling these obligations to maintain your standing and privileges associated with your Tax Identification Number.


What is the difference between a Personal Identity Number and a Coordination Number?

The primary difference lies in the purpose and duration of stay. A Personal Identity Number is for those who plan to reside in Sweden for an extended period and are eligible for a broad range of services and benefits. In contrast, a Coordination Number is for individuals in Sweden for a shorter duration or for specific purposes, and it has more limitations in terms of accessing services and benefits.

What documents do I need for the application?

The required documents can vary, but generally include proof of identity like a valid passport, proof of residence in Sweden, and, for a Personal Identity Number, evidence of long-term employment or study plans in Sweden.

Can I use my Coordination Number for permanent residency later?

No, a Coordination Number cannot be converted into a Personal Identity Number. If you plan to reside in Sweden permanently or long-term, you should apply for a Personal Identity Number.

Is my Tax Identification Number the same as my Social Security Number?

No, the Swedish Tax Identification Number is not equivalent to a Social Security Number as used in some other countries. It serves specific functions within the framework of Swedish law and administration.

Do children need a Personal Identity Number?

Yes, children residing in Sweden for more than three months require a Personal Identity Number. Parents or guardians should apply on their behalf.

ABOUT Tobias Sjöström

Tobias brings much experience from his time at one of Sweden’s largest banking institutions. He’s not just our lead financial guide; he’s also an avid traveler who understands the challenges expats face.

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