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Helsinki residents to fork out lowest taxes in 2018, west coast Kokkola to pay most

Kokkola residents will pay up to 3,182 euros more than their peers in Helsinki in municipal, church and property taxes, according to a new analysis.

Kahdenkymmenen euron seteleitä.
Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

There are major differences in how much tax Finnish residents pay based on their location, according to a new analysis by the Taxpayers’ Association of Finland.

The organisation said Thursday that among the country’s large cities, Helsinki residents will pay the lowest taxes, while people living in Kokkola on the west coast will hand over more of their income than in any other part of the country.

The comparison looked at municipalities in mainland Finland and included municipal, church and state taxes, as well as the Yle tax that funds the national broadcaster and social insurance contributions.

Moreover, the annual difference in taxation between the two places amounts to thousands of euros – with Kokkola residents paying up to 3,182 euros more than their peers in Helsinki in municipal, church and property taxes.

The association calculated that an average income earner living in Helsinki will pay annual taxes totaling about 14,533 euros.

Less tax pain in bigger cities

After Kokkola, taxpayers in Seinäjoki in northern Finland and Kajaani in the east will feel the pinch most. By contrast, people living in Turku and Tampere will feel a lighter touch when it comes to paying taxes. But even so, they will pay about 1,000 euros more than Helsinki residents in annual taxes.

The NGO concluded that Finland’s largest cities will maintain more or less the same level of taxation this year that they did last year. Nationwide, 46 municipalities will hike taxes, while five will ease them.

Among larger municipalities, the biggest tax increases will be in Pori in southwest Finland and Vaasa in the west, where residents can expect to pay half-a-percentage-point more in various levies.

However with a population of just under 1,500, tiny Oripää in the southwest will see taxes rise by 1.5 percentage points compared to last year.

Wage earners contribute bulk of 2018 tax take

Meanwhile the Finnish Tax Administration, Vero, reported on Thursday that it collected a total of nearly 69 billion euros in various taxes and levies last year.

The taxman’s data showed that personal income taxes handed over to the agency increased by 1.7 percent to just over 30 billion euros. Withholding taxes collected from salaries accounted for close to 29 billion euros, while corporate taxes totaled nearly six billion euros, having declined 2.5 percent from 2017.

Vero said that it collected 17.7 billion euros in VAT and 7.4 billion euros in excise duties last year.

The figures released Thursday do not include VAT collected by Finnish Customs or taxes collected by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency, Trafi, which include vehicle taxes, taxes after first vehicle registrations and fuel taxes.

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