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I really tried to think through this and search before asking. I hate having to ask questions.

On this webpage, on the Swedish IRS' website.

It says:

Om du säljer en privatbostadsrätt med vinst ska 22/30 av vinsten beskattas. En förlust får dras av med 50 procent.

This, in English, means:

If you sell a private (owned) apartment with profits, 22/30 of the profits are to be taxed. A loss can be reduced by 50 percent.

They go out of their way to avoid "percent" for the most important part. Why? I have no idea. I've never heard or seen "22/30" in any context, and it makes no sense to me.

Some other webpage in English claims that it means 73.33333333%... Source.

Why would they mix this bizarre way of typing a percentage with the actual percentage in the same paragraph, and in other places on the same webpage? There must be a reason for this.

And if they really are going to take 73.3% of the profits, that is absolutely insane and there won't be almost anything left at all. They cannot possibly mean that. Capital gains taxes are like "30 % of the profits" in Sweden, and I assumed that selling an apartment would be at least the same or less than that. 70+%? That simply cannot be right.

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  • The page doesn't mix this bizarre way of typing a percentage with the actual percentage. The 50% refers to what happens if you make a loss, not a profit; it's a different number applied in a different situation. I agree it's bizarre that all other places use percentages, but that specific one is a fraction.
    – Peter K.
    Oct 27 at 13:33
  • Why legislatures or regulatory bodies phrase a specific law or regulation in a specific way is generally a political question
    – user662852
    Oct 27 at 14:43
  • '"why not use a percentage". The use of 22/30 as the rate provides a higher taxable base than the percentage of 73.3% when the gain is very large. Every additional 'penny' paid in taxes is good for the government - LOL Oct 27 at 22:41
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I agree that the 22/30 seems odd where all other fractions are expressed as percentages.

Looking at this KPMG site makes things a little clearer:

22/30 of principal residence gains are taxed at a flat rate of 30 percent. Taxation may be deferred if a substitute home is bought within the EU and if certain criteria are met. Tax of 0.5 percent of the deferred gain is levied annually.

So the actual taxation is 30% of 22/30, not 73.33%. And if another house is bought within the EU (with some conditions), it doesn't apply.

As KateGregory says in the comments, stating it as 22/30 makes the overall tax rate easy to see:

22/30 x 30/100 = 22/100

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  • 3
    and if it's 30% of 22/30ths, that means the actual tax is 22% of the gain, yes? Easy math. Oct 27 at 14:13
  • @KateGregory Good point! It does make the math easy.
    – Peter K.
    Oct 27 at 14:59
  • 1
    ... sure the math is easy, but why couldn't they just say 22%? Oct 27 at 21:13
  • 3
    Because the 22% is derived from multiple tax components, The first is only 22/30 of the profit from a privately owned apartment is taxed. That taxable amount would be different for a different category of ownership or property. The second component is the 30%, and again that flat rate is the rate to apply for the type of return being taxed. The 22% is just the rate that was derived when you selected the type of property and ownership. Oct 27 at 21:27
  • It does still apply if you buy another house. The payment of the tax is deferred, not waived. As the quoted website says, you have to pay 0.5% per year, so you’ll pay it all off over 44 years.
    – Mike Scott
    Oct 28 at 8:09

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