In America, tax information is kept private by law. In Sweden, "you can see what your brother-in-law made, your neighbor made," says one Justice Ministry official. Like its Scandinavian counterparts Norway and Finland, Sweden makes all tax returns public every year—and no one seems to care, reports USA Today.
The Scandanavian tradition of open records is a longstanding one and stems from the concept of jantelag, which means roughly that everyone is equal, USA Today notes. "Finland is a very egalitarian country, and it's a very high-tax society, so it provides checks and balances," says a spokesman for the Finnish embassy.