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New format pushes taxpayers to file annual returns online

The Finnish Tax Administration has renewed its pre-completed tax return, mailed annually to Finnish taxpayers in late March or early April.

Esitäytetty veroilmoitus.
Image: Yle

Finland's tax authorities have revamped their pre-completed tax returns, replacing the traditional folding layout with standard A4 sheets of paper.

The new stripped-down return does not have empty spaces to fill in, for example, like the old form. In addition to the figures listed in the tax assessment part of the mailing, the majority of the return's recipients receive a tax decision and a notice of assessment along with the return.

The Tax Administration Vero says that if there is no need for corrections or additions to the return, taxpayers needn't do anything. For recipients who wish to make corrections, the deadline is either 7 May, 14 May or 21 May.

Electronic filing encouraged

Vero is promoting a paper-free environment, and so it is asking taxpayers to make any possible correction online with its MyTax service. Individuals can log on to the service with online banking codes, a mobile certificate or a Katso ID.

The pre-completed tax return also did not contain a return envelope for the first time, but Vero says customers can request one if necessary. If taxpayers opt for a paper filing, the column on the right indicates the number of the form required for correcting each pre-completed entry, Vero says. The tax authorities also ask that any corrections filed on paper arrive by the due date listed on the return.

The Tax Administration recommends that customers save the notice of assessment (verotustodistus) sheet for future use, but points out that an electronic version of both the tax decision and the notice of assessment are also available in MyTax.

In 2018 some 1.45 million Finns made corrections or additions to their pre-completed tax return. 60 percent were filed via the online MyTax service. If corrections are made, taxpayers will get a new decision reflecting the changes and notifying them of possible refunds or additional taxes due.

Refunds and back taxes as early as August

Vero reminds taxpayers that the dates for tax refund payments and settlement of outstanding taxes will be earlier this year than in years past. Starting in 2019, refunds will be paid and back taxes will come due in the period between July and December.

Finland's Tax Administration says that most individual taxpayers will receive their tax refund on 6 August this year, while most individual taxpayers will be required to pay their 2018 back taxes by 1 August 2019.

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