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Penalty fees in car taxation

You may have to pay a late-filing penalty or a punitive tax increase if

  • you submit information related to a tax return or refund application late, or some of the information you submit is incorrect or missing
  • you file your car tax return late
  • you do not file a car tax return at all
  • you do not correct the errors in your car tax return or refund application.

If you file your tax return electronically and on time, you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt for it by the filing deadline. If you file on paper, your tax return must arrive at the Tax Administration by 4.15 pm on the date of the filing deadline. 

You may also have to pay a late-filing penalty if you neglect your obligations defined in the act on car tax (Autoverolaki 777/2020), even if those obligations are not related to tax filing. In addition, if you neglect your filing obligations defined in the act on assessment procedure (Laki verotusmenettelystä 1558/1995), you may be imposed a third-party filer's negligence penalty in car tax assessment.

Late-filing penalty

€50 for vehicle-specific tax return
€200 for period-specific tax return

If the filing deadline has passed, but you have not yet received a tax decision, you will have to pay a late-filing penalty in the following situations:

  • you file your car tax return late, or
  • you make additions or corrections to your car tax return on your own initiative, but you do this after the deadline and the changes made increase the amount of tax payable.

If you take a vehicle into taxable use without submitting a declaration of use, the Tax Administration will impose a punitive tax increase for non-filing, instead of charging a late-filing penalty.

The late-filing penalty concerns one car tax return at a time. If you are an individual taxpayer or a registered filer of car tax, you will only be charged one late-filing penalty even if you file multiple different kinds of information late, as long as all the information is related to a single car tax return. 

The late-filing penalty for a vehicle-specific car tax return is €50. The late-filing penalty for a registered car tax filer’s period-specific tax return is €200.

You can see the amount of late-filing penalty in your car tax decision. In most cases, the Tax Administration will not send you a hearing letter before charging a late-filing penalty.

Example 1: Maija has imported a vehicle and filed her tax return in time. Maija makes some corrections to the tax return before the Tax Administration has issued a tax decision for her vehicle. Maija reports that the odometer reading used in her car tax assessment was too high. Because of this, the taxable value is too low. The Tax Administration charges a late-filing penalty, because Maija made additions to her tax return on her own initiative after the filing deadline but before the tax decision has been issued.

If the Tax Administration had sent Maija a request for information regarding the kilometres driven and Maija had reported the correct information in response, the Tax Administration would have imposed a punitive tax increase.

When are late-filing penalties not charged?

If the information you file late reduces the amount of tax payable, you usually do not have to pay a late-filing penalty.

However, the Tax Administration may charge a late-filing penalty if you repeatedly neglect your obligation to report information (even if that information is to your benefit) or if you otherwise act in apparent disregard of your tax obligations.

Further, you do not have to pay a late-filing penalty in the following situations:

  • there are technical problems with MyTax or with the public telecommunications network
  • the negligence is minor
  • there is a good reason for the negligence, such as sudden illness or force majeure
  • there are other reasons for the apparent negligence, such as error due to miscommunication or a calculation or typing error.

Late-filing penalties are not imposed for car tax returns filed for tax years before 2021.

Punitive tax increase

You will have to pay a punitive tax increase if

  • you have filed a car tax return or other required information with some details missing or including incorrect information, and you have not made the required corrections on your own initiative before receiving a tax decision on the matter
  • you have not filed a car tax return at all
  • you file your car tax return late while also having taken the vehicle into taxable use before submitting a declaration of use
  • your tax assessment has been completed and the Tax Administration adjusts your taxation to your detriment due to your filing negligence
  • you submit missing information after your tax assessment has been completed, the added information increases the amount of tax payable, and the Tax Administration issues a supplementary tax decision on the matter
  • you have filed a refund application with some information missing or incorrect

Amount of punitive tax increase

In car taxation, punitive tax increase is calculated on the amount added to the amount of tax payable. The tax increase is calculated based on a formula, and it is 2% to 50% of the added tax amount. The amount of tax increase is calculated by multiplying the added amount with the percentage rate applied to the type of negligence in question. However, the amount of punitive tax increase is always at least €75 for a vehicle-specific tax return and €300 for a period-specific tax return, even if the amount of the increase according to the calculation formula would be smaller.

If you are imposed a punitive tax increase because you have filed a refund application with missing or incorrect information, the tax increase is based on the amount of the unjustified refund stated in the application.

A tax return may involve a number of different kinds of ways in which information is missing or incorrect. Whether a punitive tax increase is imposed and which rate is applied are determined separately for each mistake or instance of negligence. All the amounts of tax increase determined for each instance are then summed up. In the tax decision, this total amount is imposed in the form of a single punitive tax increase. 

A separate decision is always issued on punitive tax increase. Before the decision is made, you will receive a hearing letter on the matter. The Tax Administration will take your response into account in the decision.

Rates of punitive tax increase in car tax assessment:

Rates of punitive tax increase in car tax assessment
Basic rate: 10 %

Used in the following situations:

  • When there are no additional circumstances that would require a higher or lower rate than the standard increase.
Raised punitive tax increase: 15–50 %

Used in the following situations:

  • Repeated negligence.
  • The taxpayer’s actions show apparent disregard for tax obligations.
Reduced punitive tax increase: 5 %

Used in the following situations:

  • The case is ambiguous or open to interpretation (as referred to in the provision on the protection of legitimate expectations).
  • A punitive tax increase calculated based on the basic rate would be unreasonable for another special reason.
In connection with taxation by estimation: 25 %

Used in the following situations:

  • The Tax Administration uses taxation by estimation, because no car tax return has been received or the information given in the tax return is inaccurate and cannot be used as a basis of taxation.
Tax return corrected on the taxpayer’s own initiative: 2 %

Used in the following situations:

  • The taxpayer requests correction of an error at their own initiative after the completion of tax assessment.

Minimum increase 

75/300

Used in the following situations:

  • For example, if the taxpayer has neglected their filing obligation, but the tax amount is not increased.

Punitive tax increase is imposed according to the conditions described above for car tax returns filed for tax year 2021 or for later tax years, and for refund applications filed on or after 1 January 2021.

Example 2: Mikko has given incorrect information for his tax assessment

Mikko has filed his car tax return. The Tax Administration receives the return and sends Mikko a request for information concerning his car’s emissions data and kilometres driven. After Mikko has submitted his reply, it becomes apparent that Mikko has reported this information incorrectly. The Tax Administration imposes a punitive tax increase on the added tax amount for negligence in reporting both the emissions data and the kilometres driven.

If Mikko were to re-submit this information correctly on his own initiative after filing the tax return but before the tax decision is issued, the Tax Administration would charge a late-filing penalty.

When is a punitive tax increase not imposed?

If the information you file late reduces the amount of tax payable, you usually do not have to pay a punitive tax increase.

However, the Tax Administration may impose a punitive tax increase if you repeatedly neglect your obligation to report information (even if that information is to your benefit) or if you otherwise act in apparent disregard of your tax obligations.

Punitive tax increase is also not imposed in the following situations:

  • The negligence has little impact on tax assessment.
  • There is a good reason for the negligence, such as sudden illness or force majeure.
  • In view of the circumstances, a punitive tax increase would be unfair, and the preconditions for the reduced tax increase listed in the table above are met.

Negligence penalty

The Tax Administration imposes a penalty for negligence that is not related to filing tax returns. There are two categories of negligence penalty: up to €2,000, and up to €5,000.

You may be imposed a negligence penalty of up to €2,000 in the following situations:

  • You neglect to file a declaration of use or a declaration of tax-exempt use, or neglect to respond to an information request concerning these declarations.
  • You neglect to report changes to a fixed-term rental contract.
  • You are a motor vehicle inspector and neglect to make the required tax-related checks on the inspected vehicle.

You may be charged up to €5,000 in the following situations:

  • You do not fulfil your obligation to report information relating to vehicle registration, despite the Tax Administration requesting you to do so.
  • You do not fulfil your obligation to keep accounting records, a driver’s log, or other records, despite the Tax Administration requesting you to do so.

A separate decision is always issued on negligence penalty. Before the decision is made, you will receive a hearing letter on the matter, and your response will be taken into account in the decision.

When is the negligence penalty not charged?

A negligence penalty will not be charged if the negligence in question was minor or if there is an acceptable reason for the negligence. For example, sudden illness or force majeure are considered acceptable reasons. Further, if the apparent negligence is due to an error caused by miscommunication or a calculation or typing error, no negligence penalty is charged.

Negligence penalties are charged for negligence committed on or after 1 January 2021.

Read more in the detailed guidance on penalty fees in car taxation (available in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish). 

Page last updated 1/22/2024