Public Broadcasting Tax and Åland Islands media fee

Individual taxpayers are liable to pay public broadcasting tax on their net earned and capital income, i.e. their taxable income after the expenses for the production of income have been deducted.

Corporate entities, such as limited liability companies, must also pay public broadcasting tax based on their taxable income.

Taxpayers in the Åland Islands pay a corresponding media fee instead of the public broadcasting tax. 

New media fee for Åland Islands

Individual and corporate taxpayers in the Åland Islands will be liable to pay a new Åland Islands media fee starting in tax year 2021. For individual taxpayers, the media fee will be included for the first time in the tax card for 2021. For corporate taxpayers, it will be included in the prepayment decisions for 2022 and the tax decisions for 2021.

Individual taxpayers

Public broadcasting tax

Individual taxpayers who are over 18 years old and live in mainland Finland are subject to public broadcasting tax. This tax is a personal tax that affects the withholding rate on your tax card or the size of your prepayments. Non-resident taxpayers or estates of deceased persons are not subject to public broadcasting tax.  

Depending on your income, you pay €0–€163 of public broadcasting tax per year. The tax is 2.5% of the part of your net earned income and net capital income or work income under YEL and MYEL insurance that goes over €14,000. The maximum amount of tax is €163.  If you receive less income than €14,000 per year, you do not have to pay public broadcasting tax at all.

Åland Islands media fee

Individual taxpayers over 18 years old whose municipality of domicile is in the Åland Islands are liable to pay an annual media fee. The media fee is €110 if the total amount of your net earned income and net capital income or your work income under YEL and MYEL insurance is more than €14,000. The fee affects the withholding rate on your tax card or the size of your prepayments. The media fee is personal. Non-resident taxpayers or estates of deceased persons do not have to pay the media fee.

Corporate taxpayers

Public broadcasting tax

Corporate entities that operate business or agriculture are liable to pay public broadcasting tax. These include limited liability companies, cooperatives, organisations and foundations. Public broadcasting tax is included in the corporation’s prepayments.

Housing companies and corporate entities that are domiciled in the Åland Islands do not have to pay public broadcasting tax. In addition, the State of Finland and its institutions, municipalities, parishes, religious communities and benefits under joint administration are all exempt from public broadcasting tax.

If the corporate entity’s taxable income for the tax year is at least €50,000, the amount of public broadcasting tax payable is €140 and 0.35% of the part exceeding €50,000.  However, the maximum amount of tax is €3,000 per year. The maximum amount is paid by corporate entities that receive €867,142 or more in taxable income that tax year. If the corporate entity receives less than €50,000 taxable income, it does not have to pay public broadcasting tax at all.

Personal sources of income and public broadcasting tax

Only the corporate entities that operate business or agriculture are liable to pay public broadcasting tax. Corporate entities that only have income from personal sources are not subject to the tax. For example, if the corporation has rented a real estate unit to a third party but the rental operation is not (directly or indirectly) connected to the corporation’s business operation, this rental income is treated as income from a personal source of income.

Starting in tax year 2020, the tax assessment of many corporate entities no longer involves personal sources of income. Income that was previously taxed as income from a personal source is now taxed in accordance with the act on the taxation of business income (Laki elinkeinotulon verottamisesta 360/1968). These changes do not affect the public broadcasting tax of corporate entities. Corporations are still only subject to public broadcasting tax if they conduct business activities as defined in the act on the taxation of business income or agricultural activities as defined in the act on agricultural income tax (Maatilatalouden tuloverolaki 543/1967). Just because the corporation is taxed according to the act on the taxation of business income does not mean that the corporation is liable to pay public broadcasting tax. If the corporation operates business or agriculture, the amount of taxable income used as basis for public broadcasting tax includes all of the corporation’s other income in addition to its income from business or agriculture.

However, some corporate entities, such as non-profit organisations, can still have a personal source of income in the tax year 2020 or after. If the non-profit organisation only has income from personal sources, it does not need to pay public broadcasting tax. Examples of a non-profit organisation’s income from personal sources include membership fees, dividend income, interest income, rental income from apartments, and donations or subsidies.

Åland Islands media fee

Corporate entities that operate business or agriculture and that are domiciled in the Åland Islands are liable to pay the Åland Islands media fee. These include limited liability companies, cooperatives, organisations and foundations.

The amount of the media fee is determined by the corporate entity’s taxable income. If the corporate entity’s taxable income for the tax year is at least €50,000, the media fee is €140 and 0.35% of the part exceeding €50,000. The maximum amount of the fee is €3,000.
The maximum amount is paid by corporate entities that receive €867,142 or more in taxable income that tax year. If the corporate entity receives less than €50,000 taxable income, it does not have to pay the media fee at all.

Corporate entities that only have income from personal sources or income subject to the tonnage tax do not have to pay the media fee. In addition, a corporation may be exempt from the media fee according to the provincial law of the Åland Islands. The media fee does not have to be paid by municipalities, parishes, religious communities, housing companies, foreign estates of deceased persons or corporate entities exempt from income tax.