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Three key pointers to maximise your tax refund in Finland

Income-earners in Finland receive pre-filled tax returns each spring. Checking that deductions are added correctly is an important task which can pay off.

Verottajan neuvontapiste Vero2017-tapahtumassa Helsingissä.
Verottajan neuvontapiste Vero2017-tapahtumassa Helsingissä. Image: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva

What kind of tax deductions can income-earners claim in Finland? It's a pressing question each spring as tax returns arrive in A4 envelopes at homes nationwide.

Deadlines for requesting changes to the pre-filled tax returns are 8 and 15 May, with each taxpayer's deadline printed clearly on their own tax return. Much of the work is done by the tax office, with many deductions already clear in the form.

Some deductions need to be filled in by taxpayers themselves, however, and the following three were granted to some 1.5 million taxpayers during the 2016 tax year.

1) Commuting costs can be deducted from taxable income. Taxpayers need to calculate the costs of the cheapest public transport option for their commute and then add that in the appropriate field. Note that the cheapest option must be declared, even if commuters travel to work via a different mode of transport, and that full-time workers can only count travel costs for 11 months as holidays are not included. Taxpayers must cover the first 750 euros of their commuting costs, with the upper limit on deductible amounts coming in at 7,750 euros.

2) The cost of renovation or help around the house can also be deducted from taxable income, with a maximum deduction of 2,400 euros. Bills for up to 5,000 euros can be used for the deduction, with 50 percent of the sum deducted from taxable income. Eligible services can include cleaning, childcare or other domestic help, so long as the provider is a registered company who provides a receipt or someone to whom the taxpayer pays wages.

3) The deduction for the production of income is automatically added to the tax return at a rate of 750 euros. These are expenses like internet connections, working spaces, tools and professional literature. If the total spent during the tax year exceeds 750 euros, that figure must be added to the tax return.

There's more information in English on tax deductions and filling in your tax return at the tax administration's website.

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