After Sweden became a member of the European Union in 1995, the opera house in the country's second city was obliged to pay VAT as of 1997. These payments, a total of 37 million kronor (just under €4 million), will be refunded, according to Gramophone. The company will also now have an additional 3 million kronor (about €323,000) in its coffers every year, which will be channeled into artistic programming.
The Gothenburg Opera, which opened in 1994, has faced an ongoing battle with Swedish tax officials since 2001 regarding VAT payments on income from ticket sales.
Gramophone writes that the rate of VAT depends on the level of government subsidies a Swedish cultural institution receives. Gothenburg Opera realized it was paying higher VAT than the Royal Opera in Stockholm, which has fully tax-deductible VAT costs.