Finnish citizens understand the significance of paying taxes – young people are a bit divided

Tax Administration Bulletin, 11/5/2021

According to a recent attitude survey, 95% of Finns consider paying taxes an important civic duty. The vast majority of Finns, 82%, trust that the tax decision they receive is correct. This information is based on an extensive nationwide interview survey commissioned by the Tax Administration.

– As many as 96% of Finns agree that paying taxes is important in order to maintain our welfare state. In addition, 79% of the respondents were happy to pay taxes and felt that they get good value for the taxes they pay, says Janne Myyry, Service Manager at the Tax Adminstration.

Well over half of the respondents, 56%, thought that the Tax Administration has considered its actions from the taxpayer’s point of view. Additionally, about two thirds wished that all taxation would happen automatically, in a way that would not require any actions on their part.

Young people have varying opinions about taxes – more communication on taxation is clearly needed

The youngest age group in the survey (15 to 24 year olds) considered it to be more acceptable than the average that no taxes should be paid for work or for buying services. A greater number of respondents in the youngest age group than in any other age group also thought that it is acceptable to pay taxes late if their own economic situation necessitates it.

On the other hand, the young felt more often than the average that the Tax Administration takes swift action on tax offences. The youngest age group was also prepared to pay more taxes if they knew that the money would be used for purposes that they consider important. The youngest age group was also strongly in favour of automatic tax assessment.

The goal of communication is to increase young people’s positive attitudes towards paying taxes

A survey concerning the attitudes of the young, commissioned by the Tax Administration in the spring, showed that those who felt that they were adequately informed of the use of tax revenues and who felt that they benefited from taxes had a more positive attitude towards paying taxes.

The Tax Administration is committed to improving communication with young people. One step towards this goal is the launch of a new website that showcases the use of tax revenues. The goal is to increase young people's awareness of the tax system and to cultivate a positive attitude towards paying taxes.

The website is found at www.happytaxpayer.com. The design of the website is similar to that of streaming services.

– The idea was sparked by the realisation that young people are used to paying monthly subscription fees for services, such as films, series, audio books and music. The welfare state follows the same logic: we pay taxes and tax-related fees each month in exchange for a selection of various services, says Kati Kalliomäki, Director of Communications.

The concept is designed to reach its target audience by utilising celebrities and offering content in multiple languages.

The Tax Administration ordered the recent attitude survey from Feelback Oy. The company interviewed 1,020 persons aged from 15 to 74 on the telephone in September 2021. The respondents were allocated by age, gender and location. The maximum error margin of a nationwide interview study is 3 percentage points.