5.1.5 Tax laws
The issue of corporate sponsorship in the arts has been very much under debate in recent years, both in the media and in political fora. Culture and Business (Kultur och näringsliv) is a forum especially created to further debate, obtain contacts and experiences from joint projects, and to source financial contributions from the market. So far there are no special
Enabling tax deductions for donations to culture, science and other forms of public good have been discussed, especially after the election of a non-socialist government in 2006. The Cultural Policy Commission (SOU 2009:16) concluded that such measures would greatly benefit culture. It should be noted that the Commission's expert from the Ministry of Finance publicly advised against this conclusion. The Commission for Incentives for Gifts which published its report (SOU 2009:59) in 2009 was, furthermore, sceptical of such reforms in favour of any area and entirely ignored all issues relating to culture. A change in this direction is thus unlikely.
The general tax system also applies to artists. This means that all costs incurred in order to earn an income are tax deductible, provided that the income is generated from professional activities. Tax deductions outlined by local tax authorities may sometimes be of great importance for the individual artist. Self-employed artists face a number of problems within the current tax system: for example, basic pensions are calculated on the income generated over their lifetime and as most scholarships or grants are not taxable, they are not included in the overall total of lifetime income.
In 2001, the 25% VAT rate on books was lowered to 6% by the parliament.