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Some 1,000 ask for tax data removal

Media companies will be able to get income data for people if they ask specifically using their names.

Verohallinnon pääkonttori Helsingin Vallilassa.
Finland's Tax administration can no longer refuse to reveal high-earners income information. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

Finland's tax administration has told STT that some 1,000 people have asked for their income information to be removed from datasets given to media companies on 'tax data day', when Finnish media is filled with news of who earned what during the preceding year.

Just over 900 people have had their requests approved. Last year some 4,400 people removed their tax data from the publicly-available lists, but a court ruling is expected to drastically reduce that number in 2021.

Tax data in Finland is public, meaning that anyone can ask for anyone else's income information.

The Tax Administration had removed some people's data in 2019 after a new law allowed them to request their information be kept secret.

Media outlets challenged that move in the courts, and won.

Read more: Court orders high-earners' tax data made public again

People can still request that their information is not included in datasets of the highest earners sent to media outlets, but those outlets can then request the income data of specific named people — and those requests can't be turned down.

The names of those who make such requests are also public information, according to the appeals' court ruling, leaving the usefulness of such requests open to question.

"It is the customers' own decision, whether they want to make use of this possibility," said Hanna Liiti of the Tax Administration.

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