People in Finland feel that paying taxes is an important civic duty

News, 12/12/2019

As shown by the results of an attitude survey commissioned by the Tax Administration in September and October 2019, approximately 96% of the population feel that paying taxes is an important civic duty. 95% of the respondents affirm that they always pay their taxes on time. These results are based on an extensive nationwide interview study.

“An absolutely stunning amount of people – 98% of the population – agree that paying taxes is important in order to maintain our welfare state. In addition, 78% of the respondents also feel that they get good value for the taxes they pay”, says Service Specialist Janne Myyry, describing the results of the survey.

81% of the population in Finland feel they can trust that the tax decision they receive is correct. About two thirds of the respondents feel that the Tax Administration treats everyone equally and that the Tax Administration has been able to keep up with the changes in Finnish society. Views on the Tax Administration’s impartiality and ability for change have both improved compared to the survey made two years ago.

Positive feedback on online services

“We have made a long-term commitment to make our e-services as user-friendly and flexible as possible. A year ago, we launched MyTax, our online portal for individual taxpayers. Overall, Finnish taxpayers have been happy with the service”, says Marja Koskimäki, Director of Taxpayer Services at the Tax Administration.

“We have also received some criticism, especially regarding our level of automation and busy customer service. It is true that we have struggled with our taxpayer services during times of heavy workload, such as when tax cards are made at the turn of the year. All this considered, we are very happy to hear of the respondents’ many positive experiences described in this survey. We will be adding resources to taxpayer services next year, which means that our customer service will certainly improve in the future”, Koskimäki says.

Finland approves of automation

90% of the respondents see the Tax Administration as a reliable, trustworthy organisation, and 86% find that the Tax Administration’s instructions guide people to do the right thing. “The results of the survey show that two thirds of the population support automatic tax assessment, and more than half of them agree that the Tax Administration has kept the taxpayer’s perspective in mind when making these improvements”, says Service Specialist Janne Myyry.

“Compared to the results of the previous attitude survey, it is now much more common for citizens to search for information on the Tax Administration’s website or use our e-services. The use of our telephone service has stayed the same as in 2017, but the number of walk-in visitors to tax offices has decreased. As many as 80% of the individuals who have used our e-services say that they were easy to use”, Myyry says.

Improved trust in the public sector

For the first time, this year’s attitude survey asked the public to evaluate the general fairness of taxation. More than half of the Finnish population say that the taxes imposed on employment income, services and goods are fair.

In 2018, the Tax Administration collected €69 billion in tax revenue.

In addition, the number of people with a positive attitude toward the Finnish public sector has increased by five percentage points from the previous survey, and it now stands at 62%.

The Tax Administration had ordered the survey from Feelback Oy. The company interviewed 1,000 persons aged from 15 to 74 over the telephone in September and October 2019. The maximum error margin of a nationwide interview study is 3.1 percentage points. The Tax Administration carries out attitude surveys regularly. The previous survey was conducted in 2017.

Further information for the media:

  • Marja Koskimäki, Director of Taxpayer Services, Finnish Tax Administration, tel. +358 40 717 2880
  • Janne Myyry, Service Specialist, Finnish Tax Administration, tel. +358 40 661 5347