The Swedish Chargé ( Wijkman ) to the Secretary of State

The Chargé d’Affaires a. i. of Sweden presents his compliments to The Honourable, the Secretary of State, and has the honour to ask for the good offices of the Department of State in the following matter.

According to information received, Swedish business men visiting the United States for the purpose of buying goods or studying the market have recently in many cases been required to pay income tax for the time spent in this country, based upon their income in Sweden.

Thus, the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in New York has called the attention of this Legation to the case of the Sales Manager of a Swedish manufacturing company, who spent about two months in the United States for the principal purpose of studying the possibilities for the purchase of machinery equipment for the Swedish factory. In spite of the fact that during that time he did not receive any income from sources within the United States, an income tax was imposed on part of his Swedish income, the apportionment apparently being made on the basis of the time spent in this country. The Income Tax Return is hereby enclosed.17

Similar circumstances have also been brought to the Legation’s attention in regard to a business visit to this country of a representative of a Swedish Lithographic concern during which orders for machinery equipment amounting to a considerable sum were placed with American firms. On leaving this country the person in question was likewise called upon to pay income tax, imposed under the same conditions. Only after further investigation of the source of his income during the period of his stay in the United States, was he granted exemption from tax liability in this connection. Correspondingly, the Managing Director of a Swedish steel manufacturing company experienced some difficulty in obtaining a sailing permit, pending investigation in regard to alleged income tax liability.

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In view of the foregoing, the Chargé d’Affaires a. i. would highly appreciate it, if information could be obtained on the following points:

On what regulations have the competent authorities based their action in imposing a tax in instances of the kind mentioned?
On the basis of these regulations, has an established practice been laid down for determining the categories of aliens who are taxable, and is this practice observed regardless of the length of time during which the alien stays in the United States?

  1. Not printed.