Refund of VAT to foreign businesses established outside the EU

Date of issue
12/19/2013
Validity
In force until further notice

This Instruction is being updated (5.1.2017)

From 1st January 2017 the original invoices and customs decisions must no longer be appended to the application.

The applicant must specify the invoices and customs decisions on the application form. In addition the nature of purchased goods and services must be described by using specific codes, file attached

 

This is an unofficial translation. The official guidance is drafted in Finnish and Swedish languages.

Foreign businesses have on certain conditions the right to receive refunds of the VAT included in the price of goods and services purchased in Finland. This letter of guidance concerns the refund procedure of VAT when the applicant is a business established outside the EU. VAT refund must be applied in written from Uusimaa Corporate Tax Office with a form.

This letter of guidance explains who is eligible for a refund and what types of activities qualify for refunds of input VAT of purchases. It also lists the accepted types of purchases with input VAT. In the final part of the guidance, there are instructions how VAT refund can be applied and how an appeal can be lodged.  This letter of guidance is updated and re-edited so that it now reflects the VAT rules that are effective in 2013.

1 Introduction

This letter of guidance concerns the refund procedure of VAT when the applicant is a business established outside the EU. VAT refunds must be applied in written from Uusimaa Corporate Tax Office with a form.

Application for VAT refund must be submitted within 6 months of the end of the calendar year to which the refund period relates.

The guide is based on the provisions of the VAT Act (Arvonlisäverolaki 1501/1993). They define the circumstances that permit VAT refunding to businesses:

  • Established outside the European Union (§§150–156, VAT Act)
  • That are not liable to VAT for their sales in Finland, and that do not have a fixed establishment in Finland from which they are conducting business activities (§§122–126, VAT Act).

1.2 Rates of VAT

Basic VAT rate 24 %
Foodstuffs and animal feed
Restaurant and catering services
14 %

Certain other services such as:

Passenger transport, accommodation in hotels, sales of books

Services offered in order to facilitate physical exercise or sporting activities

Services offered in order to provide admittance to exhibitions, sports events, other cultural and entertainment events as well as entrance to the institutions that arrange such events.

10 %

1.3 Contact details of VAT refund authorities

Refund must be applied from Uusimaa Corporate Tax Office with Form 9550b. Completed form should be sent to:

Uusimaa Corporate Tax Office
Street address: Haapaniemenkatu 4 D, 00530 Helsinki
Postal address: PO Box 30, FI-00052 Vero, Finland

Telephone: +358 (0)29 497 063
Fax: +358 (0)29 512 6117

2 Requirements for applicants

Foreign taxable businesses may have the right to receive refunds of the VAT included in the price of goods and services purchased in Finland.  VAT may be refunded to foreign applicants if the following requirements are met:

  • The applicant has no fixed establishment in Finland from which the applicant is conducting its business
  • The business of the applicant in Finland does not include any other selling of goods and services than
  1. Sales to which VAT reverse charge is applied
  2. Sales in which the buyer is the State of Finland
  3. Sales of transportation services, and ancillary services to them, which is not taxable under §§71, 72 d or 72 h, VAT Act.

VAT reverse charge, referred to above in (1), concerns the following selling (and involves the obligation of the buyer, instead of the seller, to pay the VAT):

  • Sales of taxable investment gold (§ 8 a, VAT Act)
  • Sales of emission rights (§ 8 b, VAT Act)
  • Sales of construction work, and the renting out of employees to perform construction work (§ 8 c, VAT Act)
  • Any sales made by foreign businesses with no fixed establishment and VAT registration in Finland (§ 9, VAT Act).

The right to a VAT refund is not reciprocal, that is: The right to a VAT refund also applies to businesses from countries without a corresponding refund system.

VAT paid in connection with the importation of goods can also be refunded.

Situations in which a foreign business has a fixed establishment in another EU country

Businesses outside the EU may have a fixed establishment in an EU country other than Finland.  If such a fixed establishment has paid some expenses in Finland, request for VAT refund has to be submitted via the electronic portal maintained by the tax authority in the EU country concerned. The tax authorities of the EU country concerned will give further guidance in the matter.

Businesses with intra-Community sales or acquisitions in Finland

Intra-Community selling (also known as 'intra-Community supply') refers to the selling of goods under an arrangement where the seller, the buyer, or a third party on their behalf, will transport the goods from Finland to another EU country. Intra-Community acquisition refers to the buying of goods, against payment, under an arrangement where the seller, the buyer, or a third party on their behalf, will transport the goods to the buyer from one EU country to another.

Foreigners carrying out either intra-Community sales or intra-Community acquisitions in Finland must report these transactions. They must register for VAT for reporting purposes, and file Tax Returns and Recapitulative Statements to the Finnish Tax Administration regularly.

Foreigners making intra-Community sales in Finland are not eligible for the VAT refund that usually can be made to foreigners because they have a sales operation in Finland. They must file Tax Returns in order to report their input VAT in the same way as Finnish businesses do.

Foreigners having intra-Community acquisitions are eligible for VAT refund if they are not liable to tax on their selling in Finland, and if they do not have a fixed establishment in Finland.

For more information, see VAT registration of foreigners in Finland.

3 Business operations that qualify for refund

The right to a refund requires that the purchases were made for applicant’s business operations abroad which, if carried out in Finland, would entitle to a refund or deduction in Finland (see section 3.1 below for more details). If the country where the business is established has a value added tax system, it is also required that the foreign business has purchased the goods and services for transactions giving rise to a right of deduction in the country of establishment (see section 3.2 below).

3.1 Operation that would entitle to deduction or refund in Finland

The main requirement for VAT refund is that the applicant has made the purchases for business operation abroad which if carried out in Finland would entitle to a refund or deduction in Finland. The right to refund is governed by the legislation of Finland.  The tax rules on VAT refunding include those that concern the liability to VAT of a business operation, those that concern partial right to VAT deduction and those that concern the restrictions of deductions. For more information on restrictions, see section 4 below.

To sum up, the right to VAT refund demands that one of the requirements below is met:

  • The purchase concerns the applicant’s business operations abroad, which, if carried out in Finland, would be taxable.
  • The purchase concerns the applicant’s business operations abroad, which, if carried out in Finland, would entitle the applicant to a refund according to the VAT Act (as activities known as 'zero-rated', see below in sections 3.1.1 and 3.1.2 for further details).
  • The purchase concerns the sales, effected by the applicant, of transportation services in Finland, and ancillary services to them, which is not taxable under §§71, 72 d or 72 h, VAT Act (see section 3.1.1 below).
  • The purchase concerns the sales of goods and services by the applicant in Finland for which the buyer is liable to pay VAT (what is known as reverse charge, for more information, see section 3.1.3 below).
  • The purchase concerns sales of goods and services by the applicant in Finland to the State of Finland.

3.1.1 Operations subject to a zero rate

If the purchase relates to applicant’s business operations abroad, which would be subject to a zero-rate if they were operated in Finland, the applicant is entitled to receive a refund for the input VAT. The supplies of goods or services are zero-rated but the supplier has a  right to deduct the input VAT of purchases.

If the foreign business has operated certain transport services or ancillary services to them, it is eligible to a refund of the input VAT when it has made purchases that relate to that operation.

If the purchase relates to some other operation in Finland, also subject to a  zero-rate (such as exempt international commerce, exempt vessels, or the selling of services relating to them), the applicant is not eligible for VAT refund normally offered to foreigners. To be able to deduct the input VAT in respect to these purchases, the foreigner must register for VAT in Finland. Then any VAT refunds are accounted for in the same way as for Finnish businesses.

For more information, see VAT registration of foreigners in Finland.

3.1.2 Investment gold, gold materials and semi-manufactured gold products

If the purchase relates to applicant’s business operation abroad, which if carried out in Finland would be treated as exempt sales of investment gold, the foreigner is entitled to VAT refund for:

  1. the tax paid on taxable investment gold bought from a supplier liable to tax,
  2. the tax, which is included in the purchase of gold that will be transformed by the applicant, or at its request, into investment gold,
  3. the tax paid on any services for the transforming of the investment gold or other gold in respect of form, weight or purity.

For more information (in Finnish and Swedish) on the VAT treatment of investment gold, see here.

3.1.3 Reverse charge

General liability to VAT under the reverse charge

Reverse charge is applied when the seller of the goods or the service is a foreign business that has no fixed establishment in Finland from which it is conducting business and has not applied for a VAT registration in Finland. For the sales made by the foreigner of this kind, the VAT is paid by the buyer. If the foreign business has no other selling in Finland than those falling into this category, it is entitled to VAT refund of the input VAT relating to its purchases in Finland.

However, the reverse charge is not applied in the following circumstances, and the foreign business, being the seller, is always liable to pay the VAT if:

  1. the buyer, too, is a foreigner with no fixed establishment in Finland and no VAT registration in Finland.
  2. the buyer is a private person.
  3. the sale is what is known as a distance sale of goods from another EU country to private persons in Finland or to buyers equated with private persons. For more information, see Distance selling rules.
  4. the sale is passenger transportation services, or services associated with the admittance to teaching, scientific, cultural, entertainment or sports events, fairs, exhibitions or other such events.

If the foreign business has made sales in Finland that coincide with the above definition, it is not entitled to VAT refund for any part. To be able to deduct the input VAT in respect to these purchases, the foreign business must register for VAT in Finland. Then any VAT refunds are accounted for in the same way as for Finnish businesses.

For more information, see ”VAT registration of foreigners in Finland”.

Construction sector: the reverse charge

Certain construction work and related employee leasing is subject to the reverse charge in Finland. The reverse charge must be applied whenever both of the following conditions are met:

  1. Construction work is to be performed, or leased employees are offered for work in construction connected to real estate, and
  2. The buyer of the above services is a business that sells construction services on an ongoing basis, or has leased employees working in the construction sector on an ongoing basis.

Reverse charge must be applied to the selling in the case when a Finnish or a foreign business sells construction work to a foreign business, which in the course of its normal activities also is a seller of construction work on an ongoing basis. If the foreign buyer does not have a fixed establishment in Finland and has not registered for VAT in Finland, it is required that the foreign buyer applies for VAT Registration for reporting concerning construction services, and files Tax Returns to the Finnish Tax Administration. In this case, the Tax Returns should only contain information relevant to the construction services being rendered. To reclaim the input VAT on other purchases made in Finland, the foreign buyer may submit an application for VAT refund for foreigners on the condition that the general requirements for such refunding are met.

For more information (in Finnish and Swedish), see Reverse charge in value added taxation in the construction sector.

Buyers of emission rights: the reverse charge

As for the selling of emission rights (for combatting global warming) in Finland, the parties to the transaction must apply the reverse charge. What is meant by 'emission rights' is the allowance to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent during a specified period (within the meaning of the Council Directive 2003/87/EC on Greenhouse gas emissions). The party that must pay VAT is the buyer, if the buyer is registered for VAT in Finland. If the buyer is not VAT registered, the seller of the emission allowance is liable to account for the VAT and pay it on the sale in the usual way. In this case, the foreign seller who has made sales in Finland that coincide with the above definition, is not entitled to VAT refund for any part of its operation. To be able to deduct the input VAT in respect to these purchases, the foreign business must register for VAT in Finland. Then any VAT refunds are accounted for in the same way as for Finnish businesses.

Buyers of gold: the reverse charge

If the purchase of goods or services is related to foreigner’s selling of taxable investment gold, gold materials, or semi-manufactured gold, in Finland or in foreign countries, and the reverse charge has been applied to the sales transactions, the foreign business is entitled to receive a refund for the input VAT. A condition for the refund is that the foreigner’s business activity abroad would entitle to option for taxation if carried out in Finland. The right to refund also concerns the goods and services that have been purchased for the purposes of selling a taxable intermediary service of taxable investment gold.

3.1.4 Financial services, insurance services, sales of tax-exempt banknotes and coins

If the purchase of goods or services is related to the selling of financial services, insurance services, sales of exempt banknotes and coins, as referred to in VAT Act, the foreign business is entitled to a refund for the input VAT. This requires that

  • the buyer is a business that does not have a domicile or a fixed establishment in EU territory or
  • the selling is directly connected with goods intended for export from the EU.

3.2 Operation qualifies for deduction in the country of tax residence

If the country where the business is established has a VAT system, there are additionally a number of other requirements that concern it. The right to refund requires that the foreign business has purchased the goods and services used for transactions giving rise to a right of deduction in the country of establishment.  In these circumstances, no more can be refunded than the amount that would be refundable as set out in the law of that country.

What is meant by 'the country of establishment' is the country where the business has its domicile, or a fixed establishment through which the business carries out transactions.

A foreign business may carry out selling in the country of establishment that in part is treated as deductible, and in part, as non-deductible selling of goods and services. The rules that primarily determine the amounts of VAT refund are the Finnish VAT rules that concern the liability to VAT of a business operation, those that concern deductions of VAT and those that concern the restrictions of deductions. Although Finnish VAT rules determine the amount of refund, its maximum can be no higher than what is deductible in the country of establishment.

If the purchase of goods or services is only partly intended for purposes that are deductible, this fact must be reported on the refund application form. For each invoice and import document, the applicant must list the deductible portions both as a percentage and as an euro amount.

4 Accepted types of purchases with input VAT

What entitles the foreign business to a VAT refund includes the following taxable purchases:

  • Hotel accommodation, travel in Finland
  • Fuel and lubricants for cars, spare parts for cars, short-term car rental, and parking
  • Purchases for conferences, exhibitions and fairs
  • Samples of goods
  • Office supplies, photocopies, maps and professional literature.

The right to VAT refund is similar in extent to what Finnish VAT registered businesses can deduct as reclaimed VAT. The restrictions of deduction rights that are set out in VAT Act also apply to VAT refunds payable to foreigners. In this way, the following purchases, among others, are not eligible for a VAT refund:

  • A unit of immovable property that the taxable person or his employees uses as a residence, a kindergarten, a recreational or leisure facility as well as goods and services connected with it or its use.
  • Goods and services related to transportation in between the residence and place of work of the taxable person or his employees
  • Purchases intended for the private consumption of the taxable person or his employees.  Such a purchase is e.g. breakfast in connection with hotel accommodation.
  • Goods and services for representation i.e. entertainment purposes
  • Purchase of a passenger cars and purchase of goods and services related to passenger car when the passenger car has not been purchased solely for VAT-deductible use. No refund is paid in case a passenger car is used for purposes that are VAT non-deductible, even if such use would only represent a small percentage of the total.
  • Expenses associated with the selling of exempt investment gold
  • The goods and services that a foreign travel agent has bought from other businesses in his own name, and which are used directly for the benefit of the passengers or travellers. Travel agency services are within the margin tax scheme. For this reason, the input VAT on such goods and services cannot be deductible and cannot be refunded.
    For more information (in Finnish) on the taxation of travel services, click here.

No refund is paid on purchases that are exempt from tax, such as airline tickets for international flights. No refund is paid when the invoice should be exempt but it wrongly includes VAT. Thus, if the seller has raised an invoice for goods or services with VAT, but no VAT should be payable in the circumstances, the Tax Administration will not pay refund. Instead, the buyer should contact the seller to request for refund of incorrect VAT.

5 How can VAT refund be applied?

5.1 Refund period

At least three consecutive months of the same calendar year, and no more than one full calendar year is the required length of the refund period (in other words, 3 to 12 months that all must fall into the same calendar year). Application period may only consist of entire calendar months, not parts of a calendar month. However, an application can cover less than three months e.g. concern December only, that is, if this is all that remains of the calendar year.

Application periods must be in the past. This means that if the date of submittal is 15 June, the period concerned cannot include the month of July. Consequently, such an application cannot include any invoices dated for July that year.

An application cannot be submitted only on the basis that the applicant has received the invoice. In addition, is required that the goods has been supplied, or service has been rendered, or payment has been made. The input VAT on the purchases is related to the refund period during which the latter of the two following events occurred:

  • Goods were delivered, service rendered, or full or partial payment was made in advance of delivery
  • Invoicing is done for the goods or services.

If the application concerns VAT on imported goods, its refund period must be the month of customs clearance.

If the applicant has forgotten to include an invoice relating to an earlier period during the current calendar year in a previous application, it is permissible to include that in another application that concerns the same calendar year. In this way, an applicant who has forgotten a January purchase invoice from his application for the January-to-April period, it is permissible to include the input VAT on that invoice in another application, made at the end of the year. In this case, it is required that the application period is specified as "January to December".

Examples:
'A' participates in a seminar held in February 2014. However, the invoice for this seminar arrives to 'A' earlier, and it is dated 15 November 2013.’A’ settles it on 7 January 2014. Conclusion: 'A' must include this invoice in a refund application during the 2014 calendar year.

'B' submits a refund application in May 2013 for the period 1 January to 31 March 2013. In the following July, ‘B’ notes that one of the invoices of February 2013 has been left out. ‘B’ submits a new application on 31 August 2013 for the period 1 April to 30 June 2013. To correct the situation with the forgotten invoice, it is permissible for ‘B’ to include it in this application, but ‘B’ must change its period to 1 February to 30 June 2013. In January 2014, ‘B’ will set up one more application for the 2013 calendar year. Its period is 1 July to 31 December 2013.

In July 2013, 'C' submits a VAT refund application for the period 1 January to 30 June 2013. However, in February 2014, ‘C’ finds out that two invoices that were dated for May 2013 have been left out. The two forgotten invoices would yield a VAT refund of 40 euros. 'C' does not have any other 2013 invoices that would qualify. Conclusion: because the minimum to be refunded is €50.00, 'C' cannot submit a new application for the two forgotten invoices.

5.2 Minimum VAT refund

If an application that relates to the entire calendar year or to its remaining part, no refund is paid if the refundable amount is less than €50. In this context, the 'remaining part of a calendar year' refers to October, November and December. Moreover, it must be noted that if application is submitted during the calendar year, the minimum amount is €400.

5.3 Information required on the application form

A refund of VAT must be applied for, in written, from Uusimaa Corporate Tax Office with Form 9550b. It may be filled in either in English, Finnish or Swedish. The signature on the completed form is treated as an affirmation that all the facts and information are reported correctly. The person signing has to have the right to sign for the applicant. If a representative has submitted the application the person signing has to have the right to sign for representative’s company.

Refund of value added tax to foreign business, form 9550b.

The applicant’s Tax reference number in home country

Applicants must give their VAT registration number or their tax identification number (in the field marked with an asterisk (*)). These numbers are marked on the certificate issued by the tax authority in the applicant’s home country. The certificate must be enclosed to the application. If the applicant does not have a VAT registration number or a tax identification number (e.g. because the tax authorities in applicant’s country do not use them) he must give the Trade Register number of the company or a similar identifier.  In this case, the applicant must enclose an original copy of the Trade Register excerpt.

If the applicant is a member of a VAT group in their home country, the application must be submitted by the VAT group. However, if the individual entity has a VAT registration number of its own, it is entitled to submit an application independently concerning the purchases the entity has made.

It is mandatory to give a registration number issued in the home country. When the applicant submits a new application sometime in the future, it must continue using the same registration number.

Bank details in a bank located in an EU country

The Finnish Tax Administration pays the refund to the applicant or to a payee designated by the applicant. The refund will be paid by bank transfer, either to a bank in Finland or in another EU country. The refund will not be paid to any bank outside the European Union. It is important that the applicant provides complete bank details. Name and address of the bank, the 'IBAN' account number, and the 'BIC' code of the bank have to be mark on the application form. The refund is paid in euros.

Representative may complete the application form

It is permissible for an agent to complete the VAT refund application form on applicant’s behalf. Such an agent may be domiciled in Finland or elsewhere. If an agent is used in applying for the refund, an original letter of authorisation must be enclosed.

Click here for a model Power of Attorney (pdf).

However, letters of authorisation drafted by applicants in free-text format are also accepted, but they must contain all the required facts.

Specification of invoices (section 10 of the application form)

Each invoice and customs clearance document has to be listed on section 10 of the application form as follows:

  • invoice date, invoice number, name of seller
  • (Specify goods and services separately) do the acquisitions refer to goods or services
  • invoiced price, as printed on the invoice
  • the amount of VAT in euros.

If the country where the applicant is established has a VAT system, the applicant must state a percentage rate for each purchase indicating what part of it has been used for VAT-deductible business purposes (for more information, see section 3.2 above). Fill in the ”Requested amount” field with the corresponding euro amount.

Information on the invoices

It is required that the invoices enclosed to the application have the following information printed on them:

  • Date of issue
  • Invoice number
  • Seller's VAT registration number
  • Names and addresses of the seller and buyer
  • Quantity and category of goods sold, extent and category of services sold
  • Delivery date of goods, completion date of service delivery, or date of payment of an advance payment, if such a date can be defined and it is not the same as the date of issue of the invoice
  • Base of VAT, specifically for different VAT rates if applicable, unit price without VAT, any credits and discounts, if they have not been included in the unit price
  • The rate of VAT that applies to what is being sold
  • Total amount of VAT charged
  • Reference to a previous invoice, if the invoice is intended as a correction to it.
Simplified information

Invoices with simplified information are acceptable in the following circumstances:

  • Sale of goods or services is for €400 or less
  • The invoice concerns retail sales (or similar, where almost all selling is made to private individuals)
  • The invoice concerns restaurant and catering services or passenger transport services
  • The invoice is a printout from a parking meter or a similar device.

In this way, simplified information may be on receipts from a department store, train tickets, bus tickets, machine-printed receipts for parking fees etc.

The following details are required for them

  • Invoice date of issue
  • Seller's name and VAT registration number
  • Quantity and category of goods, or a category of services
  • Total amounts of VAT charged specifically for each VAT rate, or bases of VAT, specifically for each VAT rate.
Signature

Completed application form must be signed. The party putting the signature on the form must be someone with the right to sign for the applicant (if the representative signs the application, someone with the right to sign for the representative).

5.4 Mandatory enclosures

Certificate describing the nature of business

Application form must be enclosed with a certificate issued by the tax authorities in the applicant’s home country stating the nature of the applicant’s business operations. This certificate must be enclosed as an original copy, and it is treated as being valid for one year starting from its date of issue.
When the applicant is a seller of taxable investment gold, the certificate must show that the applicant is a supplier of taxable investment gold in its home country.

Letter of authorisation (power of attorney)

If a representative is used in applying for the VAT refund, the applicant must enclose an original power of attorney given to the representative. It must state whether the representative is only authorised to submit the application form or if the representative also is authorised to receive payment.

If it remains in force until further notice, having no given end date, there is no need to enclose it with any subsequent application forms unless any changes have been made.

See here for a model Power of Attorney (pdf).

Original receipts, invoices, customs decisions

The applicant must enclose original invoices, or other comparable documentation from the seller, and the original customs decisions with attachments. The Finnish Tax Administration returns them to the applicant as enclosures to the VAT refund decision.

5.5 Last date to apply for refund

Applications for VAT refund must be made within 6 months of the end of the calendar year to which the period relates. For example, 30 June 2014 is the last date to apply for a refund relating to expenses occurred in year 2013. Application forms arriving after that date will not be taken into consideration.

5.6 Refunds paid to applicants by mistake are reclaimed

If insufficient or incorrect information has been given by the applicant, the Tax Administration will order the VAT refund to be paid back.

If undue or excessive refund has been paid because of the above reasons, the Tax Administration may reclaim it. The Tax Administration must make the debiting decision within three years of the end of the calendar year of the VAT refund period.

Such debiting decisions may order the reclaimed amounts to be increased by maximally 30 percent, if the application form or its enclosure has contained incorrect information. If the reason for giving incorrect information is aggravated negligence or deliberate action, reclaimed amounts may maximally be increased threefold. In addition, surtax will be added to the amount.

Debiting decisions are either made separately or the debited amounts may be deducted from the applicant's upcoming VAT refunds.

6 Decisions may be appealed

A written complaint can be submitted to the Helsinki Administrative Court in order to lodge an appeal against a VAT refund decision or a debiting decision. Appeals cannot be made concerning purchases that have not been included in the original VAT refund application.

The appeal brief should be addressed to the Helsinki Administrative Court, but sent to Uusimaa Corporate Tax Office. Appeals cannot be delivered by email. They must be written either in Finnish or Swedish.

Original invoices with their specifications must be enclosed. Appeal briefs must contain the following information:

  • Appellant's name
  • Decision against which the appeal is being made
  • Specification of the part of that decision that the appeal concerns, and the suggested change to the decision, and
  • The justifications for the appeal.

If a representative lodges the appeal on behalf of the appellant, an original copy of the representative's letter of authorisation must be enclosed. The text of the letter of authorisation must contain a reference to the representative being authorised to make an appeal.

As the first instance, it is Uusimaa Corporate Tax Office that processes the appeals. Insofar as the Corporate Tax Office does not correct its decision, the appeal is assigned further to the Helsinki Administrative Court for decision.

The appeal must be made within three years of the calendar year of the period the refund decision concerns. However, the appeal period is always at least 60 days from receiving the notification of the decision, excluding the notification date. Decision documents are treated as having arrived to their recipients and therefore notified to them on the seventh day after the Tax Administration has sent them via postal services.

Examples:
'A' wants to make an appeal against a VAT refund decision dated 7 October 2013 and made by Uusimaa Corporate Tax Office. The VAT refund decision concerns period from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012. Conclusion: 'A' must send the appeal by 31 December 2015, and follow the "Instructions for Appeal" enclosed with the decision. The appeal brief should be addressed to the Helsinki Administrative Court, but sent to Uusimaa Corporate Tax Office.

'B'wants to make an appeal against a VAT refund decision dated 13 May 2013 and made by Uusimaa Corporate Tax Office. The VAT refund decision concerns period from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2009. 'B' received it on 20 May 2013. The normal appeal period for a decision relating to year 2009 would end on 31 December 2012. However, because the decision date of Uusimaa Corporate Tax Office is 13 May 2013, 'B' has 60 days from receiving the notification of the decision (excluding the date of notification) time to make the appeal. Conclusion: 'B' must send the appeal to Uusimaa Corporate Tax Office by 19 July 2013.

Page last updated 4/20/2017