Making an appeal against a decision on VAT or employer's contributions

Corporate entities and other business enterprises can ask for adjustment to an official decision that has concerned value-added taxes or employer's contributions. To make an appeal, submit a claim for adjustment to the Assessment Adjustment Board. Employer's contributions consist of the amounts withheld on the employer’s health insurance contributions wage payments to workers, including the employer's health insurance contribution. Another tax-like charge that can be appealed in the same way as employer’s contributions is the penalty charge for late filing. When a decision on tax assessment is accompanied by “Instructions for appeal”, it indicates that you have the right to make an appeal against the decision.

This guidance concerns all business and corporate taxpayers, regardless of their form of legal entity. Limited-liability companies (Oy; Ab), cooperative societies (osuuskunta; andelslag), associations, foundations are examples of “corporate entities”.

How to appeal?

Prepare your claim for adjustment in writing

  • in MyTax (tax.fi/mytax) or
  • Complete a Claim for adjustment of self-assessed taxes (cover page) (Form 4015e). Add an appeal letter where you outline your claim clearly and describe the matter in free text. Alternatively, you can make your claim for adjustment in free-text entirely, by just writing us a letter.

    The following information is required: 
    • Appellant’s name and Business ID
    • The decision you seek to change
    • An explanation of how you want it to be changed
    • Why the decision needs to be changed

Completed claims for adjustment must be authorised with the appellant’s signature. If your claim is signed by an agent and not by you, the appellant, a power of attorney (= letter of authorisation) must be enclosed.

In addition, you must enclose the documentation you want to refer to.

Time limits for appeals

Tax periods that started during 2017 or later

If the start date of the relevant tax period is 1 Jan 2017 or a later date, your deadline for submitting a claim for adjustment is 3 years. The counting of time begins 1 January the year after the end of the tax year.

If the taxpayer is a corporate entity, and its accounting period is not the calendar year, and the tax period is the calendar month, the deadline is 3 years from 1 January the year that follows the end of the accounting period. However, the appeal period is always at least 60 days from the service of notice of the decision.

If the end date of the tax period was in 2016 or earlier

As for appeals relating to tax periods in 2016 or before, the practice has been to apply the old rules on deadlines, that were effective before 2017.

  • For appeals concerning VAT decisions, the deadline is 3 years after the end date of the corporate accounting period concerned.
  • Decisions concerning matters relating to prepayment registrations have a deadline of 5 years. The counting of time towards the deadline begins on the first day of the next calendar year after the date of issue of the decision.

Has the adjustment been made on the initiative of the Tax Administration?

Taxes may later be adjusted by the Tax Administration, not only by appeal from the taxpayer, if information affecting the assessment of the tax arrives after the decision. As with other decisions, appeals may be made against adjustment decisions made by the Tax Administration by sending a claim to the Assessment Adjustment Board.

To check the deadline for appeals, always read the “Instructions for appeal” enclosed with the decision letter. When an appeal should be made is affected by whether the decision’s date is before or after 1 January 2017.

Read more about readjustments on the Tax Administration's initiative and on submitting appeals against them (in Finnish and Swedish).

Your claim must be submitted before the appeal period ends

You must make sure that your appeal letter is delivered to the Tax Administration before the time limit. To allow enough time for postal delivery, you should send it early enough to ensure that it arrives to the Tax Administration by the final day of the appeal period. Claims that arrive late will not be considered.

Decisions are in force although an appeal is pending

Even if a corporation has appealed, or sent a claim for adjustment, it must abide by the Tax Administration’s original decision until such time as a decision on the appeal case has been sent back to the corporate entity.

Appeals to the Administrative Court and Supreme Administrative Court

These further appeals must be made within 60 days of the appellant receiving notice of the decision given in response to a claim. In some cases, the new deadlines may also be applied to assessment decisions concerning previous tax periods. To check the deadline for appeals, always read the “Instructions for appeal” enclosed with the decision letter.

A ruling by the Administrative Court can be appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court, if the Supreme Administrative Court grants leave for this. Appeals to the Administrative and Supreme Administrative Courts may be subject to a charge.

More information on the charges, and a list of addresses of Administrative Courts (website of the judicial administration).