Excise duty refunds fuels used in aircraft
Fuels used by private aircraft for purposes of private leisure flights, such as hobby aviation, are subject to excise duty and the strategic stockpile fee. However, fuel used for commercial flights or authority aviation is exempt from excise duty, and the strategic stockpile fee need not be paid, either.
In other words, aircraft can use fuel exempt from tax if they carry, for example, paying passengers, freight or mail. Tax-exempt fuel can also be used for research flights, aerial photography and parachuting flights, and for rescue and surveillance flights.
Aircraft include aeroplanes, helicopters, autogyros, gliders, motor gliders, lighter-than-air aircraft and ultralight planes entered in the Transport Register maintained by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom or in another such register.
Usually the fuel you buy for aircraft includes excise duty, and you can ask the Tax Administration to refund the excise duty and the strategic stockpile fee afterwards. Refunds can be requested for aviation gasoline, motor gasoline, diesel oil, light fuel oil and LPG. A request for refund can be submitted by the registered owner, possessor or user of the aircraft.
Kerosene-type jet fuel, however, is sold for aviation use exempt from tax. If it is used for leisure aviation, i.e. for taxable purposes, an excise duty return must be filed.
You can also use a paper form. You can file on paper if electronic filing is not possible, for example due to technical difficulties.
When can you request a refund?
You can request a refund for the excise duty on fuels either for the whole year in one go or separately for January–June and July–December. Request a refund for the fuels you have used for tax-exempt purposes during the period. You can request the refund after the application period has ended.
The application must be submitted to the Tax Administration within three years of the end of the application period. The time limit for requesting a refund is counted from the start of the calendar year following the application period. You can submit a single application on all your aircraft in MyTax. However, you must specify the fuels used per aircraft in the application.
Volume of fuel used
The volume of fuel used is calculated based on the flight time and the average consumption of the aircraft: flight time x average consumption = fuel used during the flight. However, the calculated fuel volume may not be greater than the actual volume of fuel purchased.
Commercial aircraft can be used partly for private purposes. Because fuel used privately does not qualify for an excise duty refund, you should specify the portion of private leisure flights, if any, in your refund application.
How much of the excise duty can be refunded?
Aviation gasoline used in aircraft qualifies for a refund of the excise duty paid and the strategic stockpile fee. As regards other fuels, such as kerosine-type jet fuel, the Tax Administration confirms the refund level separately. The refund level means how much of the excise duty and strategic stockpile fee is refundable per litre of fuel. The refund level is confirmed every 6 months, for January–June and for July–December.
The refundable amount is calculated based on the excise duty and strategic stockpile fee on the date of purchase or based on the refund level. The minimum refund is €330; smaller amounts are not refunded.
Read more about excise taxation of fuels in aviation (available in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish)