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Import VAT must be filed and paid on your own initiative

An importer that is entered in the Finnish VAT Register should declare and pay import VAT to the Tax Administration on its own initiative. Submit the information in a VAT return in MyTax. Report the VAT payable and VAT deductible in the same VAT return. File the VAT return according to the customs date, that is, for the tax period in which the customs declaration was issued. You can also pay the VAT through MyTax.

Example: Filing import VAT for a tax period

The customs decision is dated 21 January 2018 and was therefore issued in January. VAT information on imported goods is declared in the January VAT return, which must be filed no later than on 12 March. In the VAT return, the importer reports the tax basis, the amount of VAT as payable and as deductible, if the goods will be used for taxable business purposes.

Example: Filing import VAT

Customs issued the customs decision on the goods in January 2018. Report the information in the January VAT return. The deadline for the VAT return is 12 March 2018.

Calculate the import VAT on the basis of the customs value. The customs value is indicated in the customs decision confirmed by the Customs.

Report the import VAT and tax basis in the following sections of the VAT return:

  • Imports of goods from outside the EU.
  • Tax on import of goods from outside the EU.

If the imported goods will be used for a purpose that entitles you to a deduction, i.e. for your taxable business purposes, indicate the input VAT deductible in:

  • Tax deductible for the tax period.

Example: Filing import VAT

The company has imported goods into Finland for marketing purposes. The customs decision was approved on 25 March 2018. The goods were acquired for the taxable business operations of the company, and thus the company is entitled to deduct input VAT. The company reports the tax basis and import VAT in "Imports of goods from outside the EU" and "Tax on import of goods from outside the EU". As these goods will be used for taxable business purposes entitling to input VAT deduction, the company also reports the input VAT as "Tax deductible for the tax period".

Read more about filing and paying: Filing and paying self-assessed taxes

How can I correct errors in the VAT return?

If you notice an error in the VAT return, such as an error in the tax basis or amount of import VAT, you must correct it. Correct the error(s) by filing a new VAT return (a replacement VAT return) for the tax period in which incorrect information was reported in. This new VAT return replaces the earlier VAT return. In the replacement VAT return, resubmit all of the VAT information correctly.


The company has imported goods and received a customs decision from the Customs. The approval date of the customs decision is 15 March 2018. Later, the filer of the customs declaration notices that the wrong product name was reported. The company corrects the earlier customs declaration. The change in the product name results in an increase in customs duties. The Customs issues an amended customs decision to the company. The amended customs decision also affects the assessment of the tax basis. The company must correct its VAT return. The company submits a new declaration and files it for the correct tax period on the basis of the original customs date (15 March 2018). In this replacement VAT return, the company corrects the import tax basis and the VAT amount, and resubmits all VAT information for the tax period in question.

A minor error can also be corrected in another way: the correction does not have to be filed for the original tax period, but can be taken into consideration in the VAT return for the next tax period. This method can be used if the amount of VAT reported in excess, or unreported, is no more than EUR 500 per tax period and tax type. However, it is recommended that import VAT and any corrections to it are always filed for the correct tax period, that is, the one for which the incorrect information was reported. When the correction is filed for the right tax period, the information reported by the importer will match the comparison information provided to the Tax Administration by the Customs.

Potential discounts on imported goods. If the discount on goods is known before a customs decision is issued, the discount is taken into consideration in the customs value. If the customs decision has already been issued and both the buyer and vendor agree on the discount later, this will not affect the customs value of the imported goods. No account is taken of the discount in the customs value when the customs decision was made before the discount was known.


A company imports tyres into Finland on 26 February 2018. At the time of import, the company is unaware of any discounts that would affect the tax basis of the tyres. Later, the company notices that the tyres do not correspond to the tyre specifications provided by the vendor. The vendor and buyer agree that the vendor will give a discount on the tyres. The tyres were imported on 26 February 2018 and the customs decision has been issued. Because a discount was granted after the customs decision had been issued, the discount does not affect either the tax basis applied to the imported tyres or the amount of import VAT, Hence, the importer does not correct the VAT return.

Read more about correcting a VAT return: Correcting errors in a self-assessed VAT return