Correcting benefits payment data in the Incomes Register

Any errors in pension and benefits income paid on or after 1 January 2021 must be corrected in the Incomes Register.

Pensions and benefits paid prior to the year 2021 are reported to the Finnish Tax Administration using annual information returns, and the related withholding and tax at source using the tax return for self-assessed taxes. Any corrections required in this data are also reported to the Finnish Tax Administration. Exceptions include recovery or recourse  taking place on or after 1 January 2021. These are reported to the Incomes Register, even if the original income was paid prior to 2021.

Payers must correct any incorrect or incomplete reports immediately

Benefit payers must correct any errors in the benefits payment data reported to the Incomes Register immediately after they have noticed an error.

If a benefit recipient notices any error in their data, they must request the payer to correct the error. The Incomes Register authority or income earners cannot correct data in the Incomes Register.

Data reported to the Incomes Register can be maintained and corrected as long as it is retained in the Incomes Register. Data is retained in the Incomes Register for 10 years from the beginning of the year following the year in which the data was registered.

Data is usually corrected by submitting a replacement report

Any errors in pensions and benefits payment data is usually corrected by submitting a replacement report. In certain situations, the original report must be cancelled, after which a new report with correct data must be submitted.

All incorrect data must be corrected

All incorrect data given in a report must be corrected and any missing data must be added.  If errors are not corrected, decisions made by data users will be based on incorrect or incomplete data. This may lead, for example, to the recovery of a benefit from its recipient.

An error in a report may be related to reporting or a payment.

A reporting error means that income was paid correctly but reported to the Incomes Register incorrectly. There may be a typing error in a report, or income may have been reported under an incorrect income type.

Reporting errors are usually corrected by submitting a replacement report. The number of corrections that can be made is unlimited.

A payment error means that the report was correct considering the income paid, but the amount of the income paid was incorrect. 

The payment of benefits is based on decisions. The paid amount is correct if it corresponds with the data of a benefit decision. The amount of a benefit may change if a benefit decision is adjusted or revised, and a new decision is issued for an income earner.

If more benefits are paid to an income earner based on a new benefit decision issued over the same period, the benefit payer must submit a new report on the additional payment to the Incomes Register no later than on the fifth calendar day following the payment date.

If the amount paid to an income earner decreases based on a new decision issued over the same period, the benefit payer must report the excessively paid amount to the Incomes Register as an unjust enrichment. The unjust enrichment must be reported no later than within one month after the decision on the unjust enrichment has been issued.

Benefits paid into an incorrect account

If a benefit is paid into an incorrect account because the income earner has reported an incorrect account number, the payer does not need to correct data in the Incomes Register. If the error is attributable to the payer, data must be corrected.

An error in an amount paid to a substitute recipient

If an excessive part of a benefit has been paid to a substitute recipient, the substitute recipient must repay the excess part to the benefit payer. Only the part paid later to the benefit recipient must be reported to the Incomes Register. The transfer of funds between the substitute recipient and benefit payer is not reported.

Correcting withholding tax

In certain situations, withholding is carried out in accordance with a formula-based percentage if the income earner has not given their tax card to the payer. Any extraneous amount withheld can be returned to the income earner if a tax card valid on the payment date is provided for the benefit payer regarding the income in question. 

The withheld amount returned to the income earner must be reported to the Incomes Register using a separate benefits payment report, if the extraneous amount withheld has been paid into the income earner's account. The extraneous amount withheld must be reported to the Incomes Register as a negative amount.

The extraneous amount withheld must be returned to the benefit recipient during the same calendar year. It cannot be adjusted during the following year by reporting a negative amount withheld. If an extraneous amount withheld cannot be returned on time, it can no longer be returned to the benefit recipient. Instead, the full withheld amount will be accredited to the benefit recipient in the payment year’s taxation.

Benefits payment data can be corrected via the technical interface or in the e-service

How the original report was submitted is irrelevant considering the correction of data. For example, reports submitted via the technical interface can be corrected using the web form in the e-service, and reports submitted via the upload service can be corrected via the technical interface.

Infographic depicting how to correct benefits payment data in the Incomes Register.