Inheritance

If decedent or beneficiary lived in Finland at the date of death, Finnish inheritance tax will be payable on any receipt of assets as an inheritance, regardless of whether the beneficiary is a natural heir or a beneficiary of a last will and testament.

Deliver a photocopy of the estate inventory deed to the Tax Administration

The Finnish Population Information System will automatically transmit information on deaths to the tax authorities. There is therefore no need to notify the Tax Administration regarding the occurrence of the death itself. Instead, the parties to the estate should arrange a meeting - called the inventory conference (perunkirjoitus; bouppteckning) within three months of the death to perform an inventory. A photocopy of the estate inventory deed (perukirja; bouppteckningsinstrument) resulting from this meeting should be delivered to the Tax Administration within one month. The processing time for an estate inventory deed is usually max 12 months.

Send the Estate Inventory Deed with enclosures, in photocopy, by post to:

Finnish Tax Administration - Verohallinto
Inheritance and Gift Tax (Perintö- ja lahjaverotus)
PO Box 760
FI-00052 VERO

Alternatively, drop them off at the local tax office.

For more information, click here.

Estates of less than €20,000 are not taxed

The taxpayers are the natural heirs and any other beneficiaries based on a last will and testament. Tax computations regarding inheritance tax are officially performed separately for each party to the estate. Tax amounts are directly proportional to the value of the assets received.

However, the next of kin who are natural heirs have tax allowances, determined by a classification of family relationships. It should also be noted that if the tax authorities have determined the asset value to be less than €20,000, it means that it stays below the threshold for inheritance tax. The ordinary household or personal items of the decedent are not subject to inheritance tax if their aggregate value stays below €4,000.

Tax depends on estate value and types of family relationship as shown in the following:

First category, from 1 January 2015

Estate value, €  Inheritance tax, € at left-hand value Inheritance tax % for amounts in excess
20 000 - 40 000 100 8
40 000 - 60 000 1 700 11
60 000 – 200 000 3 900 14
200 000 - 1 000 000 23 500 17
1 000 000 - 159 500 20

First category, 1 January 2013 - 31 December 2014

Estate value, €  Inheritance tax, € at left-hand value Inheritance tax % for amounts in excess
20 000 - 40 000 100 7
40 000 - 60 000 1 500 10
60 000 - 200 000 3 500 13
200 000 - 1 000 000 21 700 16
1 000 000 - 149 700 19
  • The decedent’s spouse;
  • any heir of the decedent, either in lineal ascent or lineal descent (child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, etc.), or
  • any heir of the spouse, in lineal descent;
  • The betrothed of the decedent, who is awarded an allowance cited in Chapter 8, Section 2 of Inheritance Code.

The rule also includes any cohabitant who has lived together with the decedent, having previously been married to him or her, or who has, or has had, a child with the decedent. Adoptive children and adoptive parents pay inheritance tax in the same way as biological children and parents.

Second category, from 1 January 2015

Estate value, € Inheritance tax, € at left-hand value Inheritance tax % for amounts in excess
20 000 - 40 000 100 21
40 000 - 60 000 4 300 27
60 000 - 1000 000 9 700 33
1 000 000 - 319 900 36

Second category, 1 January 2013 - 31 December 2014

Estate value, € Inheritance tax, € at left-hand value Inheritance tax % for amounts in excess
20 000 - 40 000 100 20
40 000 - 60 000 4 100 26
60 000 – 1000 000 9 300 32
1 000 000 - 310 100 35

• Other relatives and non-relatives.

Example: Three grown-up children survive the decedent, who never drew up a will. All children will inherit equal portions (⅓) of the estate.  Total estate value equals €150,000, as enumerated in the deed of estate inventory.  However, after subtraction of debt balances and reasonable expenses for the execution of the estate (and funeral), the remaining value of assets to be distributed stands at €90,000.  Each child receives a third – €30,000.  Each child must personally and separately pay €900 as inheritance tax (year 2015).

For more information, click here.

The Tax Administration sends you the tax decision

The processing time for an estate inventory deed is usually max 12 months. Once the inheritance tax has been determined, the inheritors will receive decisions on the tax amount. The official decision is a statement that displays whether the tax authority has approved the inventory of the estate, and includes the results of asset valuation and the amounts that have been subtracted. If no inheritance tax is payable, the tax-assessment decision can be delivered solely to the person marked on the inventory deed as in charge of management of the estate.

We recommend that you keep the official decision safe, together with the inventory deed.  The official decision shows the amounts resulting from the valuation of inherited assets, as endorsed by the tax office. These values will be used as the basis for your further taxes on capital gains (or deductions for capital losses) if you sell some assets later and make a profit (or loss).

More information on the terms of payment (in Finnish and Swedish).

Decisions are appealable

If you are not satisfied with the decision on inheritance tax, you are entitled to lodge an appeal with the Tax Administration within 5 years after the close of the calendar year when the official decision was dated. You will nevertheless be expected to pay the tax amounts on the due dates as displayed in the original official decision.

More information on making appeals (in Finnish and Swedish).

Estate inventory meeting and estate inventory deed

Shareholders of the estate should set up a meeting within 3 months after the date of death, and within one further month deliver the estate inventory deed to the tax office.

How to value the estate of someone who has died

Tax authorities require that the assets are valued at their fair market value (FMV) at date of death. The FMV is usually the same as the probable selling price of the assets.

International Inheritance Tax Situations

If real property or buildings in Finland have been inherited, Finnish inheritance tax will always be payable even if both the decedent's and the beneficiary's countries of residence were countries other than Finland.

Gifts given before death

If the decedent had given gifts in their lifetime to heirs, the values may either be pulled back into the estate or taxed as ordinary gifts.


Glossary

Go to Glossary to look up important tax concepts and terminology.

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Last Update: 12/21/2015