Benefits

General information about reporting benefits payment data

What pension and benefits payment data is reported to the Incomes Register?

Data on the pensions and benefits paid is reported to the Incomes Register. Benefits are reported to the Incomes Register with income types. Read more about benefit income types.

The Incomes Register does not have information on the decision or its grounds. Neither does the Incomes Register have information on whether a benefit application is pending.

When can benefits be reported to the Incomes Register?

Benefits payment data can be reported to the Incomes Register as of 1 January 2021.

Does the benefit recipient have to have a Finnish personal identity code?

A benefit recipient does not need to have a Finnish personal identity code. Pensions and benefits paid to a non-resident taxpayer are also reported to the Incomes Register. If the income earner does not have a Finnish personal identity code, the data is reported using a foreign identifier. The benefit recipient's name, date of birth, gender, and address must be reported.

Read more in the instructions Benefits: Reporting data to the Incomes Register (Section 5, Reporting data in international situations).

The Finnish Tax Administration's customer service provides instructions for tax treaty issues and when a benefit recipient is considered a non-resident or resident taxpayer.

Before submitting a report, is it necessary to ensure that the person has received the paid benefit?

No. Only if the payment is returned to the pension and benefit payer –  for example, due to an incorrect account number – does the report need to be cancelled and a new report submitted. Read more in the Incomes Register instructions Benefits: Reporting data to the Incomes Register (Section 6.6.5, Refunded money).

What benefits and pensions are reported to the Incomes Register?

The following forms of pension and benefits income are reported as benefits to the Incomes Register:

  • statutory pension
  • pension based on voluntary pension insurance
  • all taxable benefits
  • tax-exempt benefits, which affect basic social assistance paid by Kela
  • the following tax-exempt benefits, which do not affect basic social assistance paid by Kela: expense allowance (unemployment benefit), increased expense allowance (unemployment benefit), and expense allowance for when abroad (unemployment benefit)
  • payments which the payer must report pursuant to section 28 a of the act on inheritance and gift tax (perintö- ja lahjaverolaki 378/1940).

Are VSELERIE (Annual information return on pensions and benefits) and VSELVYHT (Annual information return of the contact person of a pension and benefit payer) reported to the Incomes Register as of the year 2021? Where can we find the data record specifications for the reports?

As of 2021, the data corresponding to the VSELVYHT report is reported only to the Incomes Register. The VSELVYHT report is submitted for the last time in January 2021, for the year 2020. The Incomes Register will replace the VSELERIE annual information return only partially. Read more in the Incomes Register instructions Benefits: Reporting data to the Incomes Register (Section 1.1, Reporting obligation for benefits payment data).

The Finnish Tax Administration will publish the VSELERIE and VSELVYHT data record specifications on its website.

Does a benefit received from Sweden need to be reported to the Incomes Register?

Benefits from abroad granted and paid by a foreign benefit payer are not reported to the Incomes Register; for example, when a Finnish person has been working in Sweden, and the Swedish Försäkringskassan pays a benefit to the person.

Does social assistance need to be reported to the Incomes Register?

Social assistance paid by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) and discretionary social assistance paid by a municipality are not reported to the Incomes Register.

Does a service voucher granted by a municipality need to be reported to the Incomes Register?

Non-monetary benefits, such as service vouchers, are not reported to the Incomes Register.

Corrections

What is the correct procedure when an incorrect amount of paid benefit has been reported to the Incomes Register?

The payer of the pensions and benefits is responsible for the data it has reported and its correctness. The payer is responsible for correcting any incorrectly reported data. Read more about correcting benefits payment data.

Cancellation

Can an incorrect report also be cancelled retroactively if the report is for the previous tax year, for example? What if the payment date changes due to data communications problems?

An incorrect report must be cancelled in certain situations, even if it is for the previous tax year. If the report submitter does not know the date on which the payment reaches the income earner's account, the date on which the benefit payer made the payment should be reported. If the payer is informed of an incorrect or changed payment date, the payer must cancel the report and submit a new one. You can find more information in the detailed instructions for reporting benefits payment data, Section 6.5 (Cancellation of data).

Pensions have been paid to both the pension recipient and a substitute recipient, and we are notified of the pension recipient's account not being valid. Does the report need to be cancelled, as the money has been transferred to the substitute recipient's account?

The benefits payment report must be cancelled, because the payment did not reach the income earner. The benefit payer pays the income again to a valid account of the income earner. A new report is submitted for the payment with the correct payment date. You can find more information in the instructions for reporting benefits payment data, Section 6, Correcting benefits payment data in the Incomes Register (particularly Section 6.6.5, Refunded money).

Use of benefits payment data

Who can access benefit-related data in the Incomes Register?

Data reported to the Incomes Register may be viewed and retrieved only by those organisations and authorities that are entitled to do so under the Incomes Register act. The data may only be used to the extent and for the purpose permitted by law. Read more on data users.

The payers of wages, benefits and pensions can view the reports they have submitted in the e-service.

Individuals can view their own earnings, pension and benefits information in the Incomes Register. All information is presented in the Incomes Register's e-service in real time. In the Incomes Register, everyone will only be able to view the data for which they have the rights or authorisation. Read more on how individuals can use the Incomes Register.

One-off remuneration

If a tax-exempt compensation for a permanent disability under the motor liability insurance or Workers' Compensation Act is paid as a continuous compensation, is its income type code the same as that of a one-off remuneration and is the related index increase also of the same income type?

Yes. In this kind of a situation, include the ‘One-off remuneration’ additional detail to the income type. The index increase is included in the amount of the income type paid.

Is a continuous, monthly paid compensation for functional limitation considered to be a one-off remuneration?

The payer can decide how to act when paying compensation for functional limitation. You can find more information in the Application instructions on the data contents of a benefits payment report (pdf). You can find information on one-off remunerations in the instructions Section, General income type details.  

Recovery

How should a recovery report be corrected if incorrect data was reported on it? Can the recovery report be submitted as a replacement report in such cases?

A recovery report can be corrected by submitting a replacement report or by cancelling the submitted report. 

If a benefit paid in 2020 is recovered in 2021, does the recovery need to be reported to the Incomes Register?

Yes. If recovery is implemented in or after 2021, the recovery is reported to the Incomes Register even if the original payment was made before 2021. Read more in the Incomes Register instructions Benefits: Recovery and recourse (in Finnish).

Reporting benefits of different types

Is pension paid to a former employee reported to the Incomes Register on an earnings payment report or a benefits payment report in 2021?

Employers report the pensions they have paid on an earnings payment report using income type 338 (Pension paid by employer).

How are index increases to pensions and benefits reported to the Incomes Register?

The amount of the benefit is reported to the Incomes Register itemised by income type. Any index increases made are not reported separately.

Are reimbursements of medical expenses and other reimbursements of expenses reported to the Incomes Register?

No, they are not reported. Reimbursements of expenses are not included in the Incomes Register's benefits payment data content. Read more on the data to be reported to the Incomes Register on the Incomes Register's website.

Are tax-exempt expense allowances related to earnings-related pension rehabilitation (such as reimbursement of travel expenses) reported to the Incomes Register?

The tax-exempt expense allowances related to rehabilitation benefits are not reported to the Incomes Register.

How should a compensation for a permanent functional limitation, paid as a one-off remuneration, be reported to the Incomes Register?

Data is reported to the Incomes Register by income type. The income type used is determined by the nature of the income. Specify ‘One-off remuneration’ if the payment in question is paid in a lump sum.

For more information, see the document: Benefits – Descriptions of income types and items deducted from income (pdf). You can find out more details of one-off remunerations in the detailed instructions Benefits: Reporting data to the Incomes Register (Section 3.5, Reporting one-off remuneration data).

Are the clothes supplement and related index increase paid from motor insurance benefits that need to be reported to the Incomes Register?

No. The clothes supplement and the related index increase are reimbursement of expenses, and the data is not included in the data contests of the Incomes Register's benefits payment report.

Does a rehabilitation benefit received by the employer need to be reported to the Incomes Register?

If the employer is a substitute recipient, i.e., the rehabilitation benefit is paid to the employer instead of the income earner, the rehabilitation benefit must be reported to the Incomes Register. You can find further information in Section 2.3, Substitute recipient, of the instructions for reporting benefits payment data.

Does an employer need to report the sickness allowance received from Kela on a benefits payment report to the Incomes Register in a situation where the employer has paid wages to the employee and, for this reason, has received the employee's share of the daily allowance from Kela?

No. Employers do not submit pensions and benefits payment reports.

The partial surrenders of a pure endowment include taxable profits and returns of tax-exempt capital. Do these payments need to be itemised on the report, or do we just report the total amount paid and the tax collected from it?

The data needs to be itemised. You can find additional instructions in the instructions Reporting data to the Incomes Register (Section 4.4, Reporting income that is partially taxable, partially tax-exempt).

Income types

In some cases, compensation for mental suffering can be paid from a motor liability insurance (Chapter 5, Section 4a of the Tort Liability Act). Does this compensation need to be reported to the Incomes Register?

Yes. The compensation is included in income type 1192 (Compensation for mental suffering to a family member (motor liability insurance)) if it is paid to a family member of the deceased. The provision you mentioned refers precisely to this. If, however, you meant compensation referred to in Chapter 5, Section 2 and 2c of the Tort Liability Act, they are reported using income type 1188 (Compensation for functional limitation, temporary (motor liability insurance)). This income type also includes compensation for mental suffering.

Immaterial damages paid from a motor liability insurance can be offset against each other. How, for example, can compensation overpaid for permanent functional limitation be reported as offset from compensation for permanent disfigurement if the compensation for permanent functional limitation is a benefit to be reported to the Incomes Register, but the compensation for permanent cosmetic disability is not?

Compensation for permanent disfigurement is not going to disappear from the data contents of the benefits payment report. The compensation has been combined with income type 1189 (Compensation for functional limitation, permanent (motor liability insurance)).

Substitute recipient

Does a benefit paid to the employer, such as rehabilitation allowance or Kela's sickness allowance, need to be reported to the Incomes Register?

The benefit payer reports the benefits it has paid to the Incomes Register and enters the employer as a substitute recipient. Read more in the Incomes Register instructions, Benefits: Reporting data to the Incomes Register (Section 4.3, Benefit payment to a substitute recipient).

What substitute recipient details are mandatory when reporting benefit payments?

The period of calculation of the paid benefit must be reported in the substitute recipient details. No other information is mandatory. Read more in the Incomes Register instructions, Benefits: Reporting data to the Incomes Register (Section 4.3, Benefit payment to a substitute recipient).

How is a report cancelled, when pensions have been paid to both the pension recipient and a substitute recipient, and we are notified of the pension recipient's pension account not being valid?

The benefits payment report must be cancelled if the payment did not reach the income earner. The benefit payer pays the income again to a valid account of the income earner. A new report is submitted of the new payment, with the correct payment date specified. Read more in the Incomes Register instructions Benefits: Reporting data to the Incomes Register (Section 6.6.5, Refunded money.

The substitute recipient has received too much compensation and, correspondingly, the benefit recipient has received too little. The overpayment is offset from the next compensation paid to the substitute recipient or, alternatively, the substitute recipient returns the overpayment. How is this reported to the Incomes Register?

The overpayment to the substitute recipient, i.e., unjust enrichment, or its repayment are not reported to the Incomes Register. The benefit payer reports the distribution of the compensation on a replacement report to the Incomes Register immediately after the issue has been detected. You can find more information in the instructions for reporting benefits payment data, Section 6.4.5. Too much benefit has been paid to a substitute recipient.

When the missing payment is made to the income earner, a new report must be submitted to the Incomes Register. The information "Payment reallocation – Yes” is used on the report to inform the data users that the payment is a payment of missing income and not a payment made on the basis of a new benefit decision.

If a motor liability insurance pays wages and other personnel expenses of a substitute to, for example, a taxi entrepreneur instead of compensation for loss of income, and the taxi company is a sole trader, do the wages of the substitute in question need to be reported to the Incomes Register?

Yes. If the decision on compensation for loss of income is made for a natural person and the payer is under the reporting obligation referred to in the Incomes Register act, the payment must be reported to the Incomes Register. In the substitute recipient details on the report, report the defined deduction type and the substitute recipient details (i.e. information that the payment was made to the taxi entrepreneur). Read more in the instructions for reporting benefits payment data, Section 4.3 (Benefit payment to a substitute recipient).

If a tax-exempt compensation has been incorrectly paid to a substitute recipient, does a replacement report need to be submitted to the Incomes Register for this as well?

Yes. For a compensation paid to a substitute recipient, the taxability information does not matter with respect to having to submit a correction report. You can find more information on substitute recipients and benefit payments to substitute recipients in the instructions for reporting benefits payment data, Sections 2.3 and 4.3.

Does an overpayment of a tax-exempt compensation paid to a substitute recipient (e.g. compensation for permanent functional limitation paid partially to the account of the parent of an underage child and partially to the child's account) also need to be reported to the Incomes Register?

Yes. If the benefit recipient in the benefit decision is an underage child, the child is also the actual recipient of the benefit on the benefits payment report.

If the substitute recipient is a registered association, does the income need to be reported to the Incomes Register?

Yes. If the payment to be made is a pension or a benefit referred to in the act on the incomes information system, the pension or benefit must be reported to the Incomes Register. It does not matter whether the pension or benefit is paid to a substitute recipient. The share paid to a substitute recipient is reported on a benefits payment report if the deduction type must be reported. This also applies to situations where the substitute recipient is a registered association. You can find further information on the deduction types in the application instructions for a benefits payment report (pdf), page 32.

What substitute recipient details are mandatory when reporting benefits payments?

Substitute recipient details are not mandatory data. Read more in the instructions: Reporting benefits payment data to the Incomes Register, Section 1.3.

Rights of recourse

What does recourse mean in the Incomes Register?

You can find more information on the recourse situations referred to by the Incomes Register in the following detailed instructions: Recovery and recourse (in Finnish) and Reporting benefits payment data to the Incomes Register, Section 8.

Are retroactively paid benefits always reported on several reports if the benefit is paid to the recipient retroactively on the same payment date for three months, for example?

Not always. If retroactively paid pensions and benefits have the same payment date, the pensions and benefits can be reported on one report. In the case of retroactive income of a one-off nature, only the calendar year of the paid income needs to be reported. It is recommended, however, that the income type itemisations of a retroactive payment are always allocated to annual level – also when a period of less than three months of the earnings period is in the previous year.

How is the data reported in a situation where a pension comes into effect retroactively, the retroactive part of the pension has been paid as a one-off remuneration and it is known that the pension is continuous?

The data can be reported payment date specifically. If retroactively paid pensions and benefits have the same payment date, the pensions and benefits can be reported on one report. In the case of retroactive income of a one-off nature, only the calendar year of the paid income needs to be reported. It is recommended that the income type itemisations of a retroactive payment are always allocated to annual level – also when a period of less than three months of the earnings period is in the previous year.

Are retroactively paid benefits reported on several reports if the benefits are paid to the income earner on the same payment date?

If retroactively paid pensions and benefits have the same payment date, the payments made can be reported on one report. In the case of retroactive income of a one-off nature, only the calendar year of the payment needs to be reported. Read more in the Incomes Register instructions Benefits: Reporting data to the Incomes Register.

If recourse of a taxable compensation comes into effect retroactively (e.g. the Traffic Accident Board's statement changes the attribution of guilt) and recourse is carried retroactively from several years, are only those benefits paid from 2021 onwards reported to the Incomes Register?

No. The payer of the later benefit must report the recourse deduction made in the Deductions data group. You can find more information in the instructions on reporting benefits payment data to the Incomes Register, Section 8.5 (Recourse on benefit outside the Incomes Register).

Penalty fees

What is the consequence of the benefit payer not reporting data to the Incomes Register?

The payer must report data to the Incomes Register correctly and on time. The Finnish Tax Administration will impose a penalty fee to the payer for neglecting the reporting obligation. Read more on penalty fees on the Incomes Register's website.

Is a penalty imposed on a benefit payer if an incorrect report is corrected more than 45 days after the original payment date?

The Finnish Tax Administration will impose a penalty fee on the payer for neglecting the reporting obligation if previously reported data is corrected more than 45 days after the deadline. However, no late-filing penalty is issued if the amount of the paid benefit does not increase due to the correction. Read more on penalty fees on the Incomes Register's website.

Is the report late if the benefit payer discovers that the amount of benefit paid in January 2021 was too small, and the payer corrects the payment in, for example, March?

If the pension or benefit is paid to a benefit recipient in March and the earnings period is January, the report is not late. Further information on penalty fees related to reporting to the Incomes Register.

Will a penalty fee be imposed in a situation where an attempt was made to report a pension or benefit payment, but the report cannot be received due to a technical issue, i.e., it does not go through?

The Tax Administration's customer service will provide instructions in these kinds of situations. Further information on penalty fees related to reporting to the Incomes Register.