Chancellor of Justice probes exemptions from "tax day" list

The tax administration said that over 200 high income earners have had their names removed from a public list.

It's still possible to look up tax and income data at local tax administration offices. Image: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva

The Chancellor of Justice is looking into a decision by the Finnish Tax Administration to remove the names of more than 200 top income earners from a list traditionally supplied to media outlets every year.

The Chancellor’s office responded to a tweet about the tax authority’s decision to remove some names by Jouni Kemppainen, editor-in-chief of Maaseudun Tulevaisuus, a farmers' lobby-backed newspaper.

The Chancellor’s office tweeted that a complaint had been made about the decision and that it was looking into it.

On Thursday, the tax administration said that 231 names had been removed from the list of people who earned 100,000 or more in 2018. The list is to be released to media organisations on Monday.

Application deadline extended

New EU data protection regulations and expanded national data privacy laws that came into force at the beginning of the year mean that people can now request that their names and income information be dropped from public lists.

The authority said on Tuesday that although individuals may request an exception to the practice, it still has discretion whether or not to grant it. The authority added on Thursday that it had decided to accept late requests to withhold names from the list. It added that it had received about 100 requests on the day of the deadline, Monday, and had approved them all.

The tax authority also decided to extend the deadline until Tuesday to process late applications. "We thought that it was humane," the administration's communications director Katri Kalliomäki told news agency STT on Wednesday.

However the authority said it was not able to process all of the late applications and on Wednesday evening it removed the application form for the exemption from its website.

The tax administration has pointed out that members of the public can still request income and tax payment data from local tax administration offices.