“In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes”. This quote, which is generally attributed to the American scientist and politician Benjamin Franklin because he wrote it in a letter in 1789, is more true in Finland than anywhere else.
Yes, anyone who has lived in Finland for some time will have verified the importance of taxes. And will also know that in tax matters it is better to take it seriously and be up to date on the payments, so as not to have to face the later displeasure.
The good news, if there is any, is that the Finnish authorities take the issue equally seriously and work hard to make it easier for taxpayers to fulfil their obligations. And for that reason they have left at their disposal several tools that make all the process of paying taxes, if not nice, at least easier.
The MyTax service
For this purpose the Finnish Tax Administration (Verohallinto or just Vero) has launched an online service to allow the taxpayers to take care of the majority of their tax obligations just from one single place and using their own electronic devices.
The site is called MyTax and it is possible to log in with the e-bank credentials, by using a mobile certificate or a Katso ID. For more information on online banking-codes, how to get them and the other purposes they can be used for, please check this other article HERE
From the MyTax webpage taxpayers can of course pay all their taxes, but also handle other issues as request a tax card, view the tax refunds and the taxes that must be paid back, make corrections and additions to the tax returns or submit a bank account number for tax refunds.
Entrepreneurs and/or self-employed people are offered also the possibility to take care of their business taxes from the website MyTax.
To access to the MyTax online services, click HERE
Changes in the tax system in 2019
The Finnish Government announced recently that in 2019 some changes will be introduced in the tax system.
For instance, the tax authority (Vero) will use a different calendar to issue the tax cards. The taxpayers will receive in December or in January their cards, that will come into force on February 1st 2019. Those taxpayers who give a general permission to the public authorities to send them messages electronically will receive an email when their cards are ready in MyTax.
To learn in English how to give permission to the authorities to send you e-messages, click HERE
A copy of each card will be recorded also in MyTax, so that each payer can use the e-service to make changes to it.
Only one card for all payments
Another huge change is that the payers will only need one tax card for all the payments they receive during the tax year. It will not be necessary anymore to have separate cards for second or third jobs and the incomes derived from those other jobs –or from several employers- will not be subjected to different tax rates.
Also, there will be just one income ceiling for the entire year, no longer separate ceilings for every payment cycle, which are normally made monthly.
Instead of that, the cards will have a set limit for the earnings of the entire year. And according to Vero’s guidelines, when someone’s income raises over that annual limit, the employers will be responsible for applying a higher tax rate to the worker.
Another important change for 2019 is that the employers will not be required to file a physical copy of the worker's tax cards. Vero only requires that the employee show it to their employers at the beginning of the tax year, with the annual tax rate. For that purpose, it will be enough with showing a photocopy of the document.
Vero encourages also taxpayers to "remember to monitor your income during the year". This is especially important for the people who have multiple employers. "If it looks like you will go over your income ceiling or there will be changes to your deductions, order a revised tax card in MyTax or by calling". Vero also recommends those people who have multiple employers "to give your revised tax card to all of them".
Changes to tax returns
Taxpayers will receive their personal pre-completed tax return in Spring 2019, by the end of April. Those returns will be possible to review them also in MyTax. When the taxpayers consider that all the details included on the tax return are correct, then they will not have to do anything.
Otherwise, those who need to make some changes will have the possibility to log in to MyTax and update the tax return information and amounts. Through this service they can report any new commuting expenses, expenses that qualify for the tax credit for household expenses, or expenses for the production of income.
If you have to report any corrections in this sense, beware that they arrive at the Tax Administration before the specific deadline stated for this purposes. If you do not send them on time, you may have to pay a late-filling penalty, as Vero warns on its bulletin.
Tax refunds will be paid sometime between August and December. And the due dates for back taxes will be between August and February. The exact due dates will depend on the end date of each payer’s tax assessment and on whether s/he or her/his spouse have made corrections to their tax returns.
For those willing to make corrections on paper
For those who don´t want to use the MyTax service and prefer to do the corrections on paper, the Tax Administration has established a different procedure:
1. You receive your personal pre-completed tax return by the end of April.
2. Fill out separate paper forms for each type of correction.
- The form numbers you need are printed on the tax return.
- Get the forms from a tax office or download them from HERE
- Do not send back the pre-completed return.
3. Send the completed correction forms to the Tax Administration – the return address is on the first page of the form.
- You can also visit a tax office to submit the completed paper forms. No envelopes will be enclosed with your tax return.
Note that the forms must arrive at the Tax Administration by the due date printed on the tax return. For that purpose, make sure to prepare the forms early and allow enough time for the postal delivery.
The Finnish Tax Administration recommends the use of MyTax to send the corrections electronically. MyTax contains exactly the same information as the paper return form.
Another person can be authorised to act on your behalf in MyTax. To give such an authorisation just click HERE
If you have a child under 18 whose tax information you need to access, you can view it in MyTax without authorisation.