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Buyer of real estate – remember the transfer tax and registrations of title

File and pay transfer tax if you are buying:

  • A real estate unit, which may consist of
    • a plot of land and the buildings located there, i.e. a house, etc.
    • a subdivision of land and a summer cottage located on it
  • Real property in the form of woodlands or agricultural fields
  • A fractional share in a parcel of land
  • A building located on leased land with a transferable contract of lease (a leasehold right). For example, a single-family house on a plot leased from the local municipal administration.

If you are a first-time homebuyer, see this guidance

1

File the return

Submit the transfer tax return to the Tax Administration before you apply for registration of the transfer of title. You must submit a request the appropriate registrations to the National Land Survey in 6 months from signing the contract. Even if a realtor assists you when you buy real estate, you must file your transfer tax return for it independently.

  • If you buy together with a co-buyer – typically your spouse – both of you must submit a transfer tax return.
  • To complete the return, you should have the purchase and sale agreement or other contract on hand. 
  • However, you generally do not have to add very many enclosures. In MyTax, a window will appear that tells you whether an additional enclosure must be attached or whether it is enough if you just complete the tax return.

File in MyTax

How to file a transfer tax return in MyTax

The paper-printed form can be used by individual taxpayers, general partnerships and limited partnerships.

2

Pay the tax

Pay your transfer tax before you apply for registration. You must submit a request for the appropriate registrations to the National Land Survey in 6 months from signing the contract.

  • If you use MyTax to send the payment, reference numbers and other bank details are automatically transferred to the template for processing by your e-banking service. MyTax calculates the amount of transfer tax.
  • If you pay via your personal e-bank instead, you need the Tax Administration's bank account number and the bank reference number for transfer tax. To get the bank account and reference numbers, you can:
    • Check them in MyTax: Click the Your tax types tab on the home page. Go to Payment status and click Paying taxes. You can find the reference number and  the Tax Administration bank account numbers in the Transfer tax section under Other payment methods.
    • Call +35829 497 026 (Payment transactions, limited service available in English, standard call rates)

The amount of tax to pay must have 2 decimal points. After you have made the necessary calculations to arrive at the right tax, round it out to the nearest cent as usual. Example: your calculation result is €345.67890.  You must round out the result in order to pay €345,68 as your tax. 

If there is more than one buyer – two spouses, for example – each one of the buyers must pay their own share of the transfer tax on a separate bank transfer and enter their personal reference numbers. The amount will appear in MyTax as a paid tax on the next business day or day after that.

Buyers in foreign countries – requesting a bank reference number

3

You receive a certificate of transfer tax

Normally, after you have filed and paid, a certificate proving this will appear in MyTax in 2 days. Finding the certificate in MyTax. It is also sent to you by post. 

If you file your return on paper, wait for the certificate of transfer tax to become available in MyTax a little later.

4

Request registrations, either for ownership or leasehold

Ask for registration of your ownership by confirming the transfer of title to you or for registration of your lease contract with the National Land Survey in 6 months from the date of signing the contract. If your purchase of property is handled in the Property Transaction Service, the automatic system will create a registration application for you.

Please note that you must file a transfer tax return and pay the tax before you can request registration. You do not have to enclose a certificate on paid transfer tax with the request. When both the payment and the return have arrived at the Tax Administration, the National Land Survey of Finland is automatically notified of the fact that you have taken care of your transfer tax.

Enclose the Tax Administration’s statement if you have received one. The statement may concern the amount of your transfer tax, etc. However, you may previously have asked for the statement to be delivered to the National Land Survey directly. In this case, you do not need to enclose it.

Amount of transfer tax on real estate

Transfer tax is 3% on the price paid, or on the value of other consideration. If the binding deed of sale or other agreement was signed before 12 October 2023, the tax rate is 4%.

You can use the transfer tax calculator to help with your calculations.

If you are unsure of how much of the property is subject to transfer tax, request a statement from the Tax Administration on the amount of transfer tax payable on the real estate unit.

Frequently Asked Questions

The date of contract is when the agreement is finalised. This means the moment when the digital signature of the last person who is expected to sign the deed has done so. That date and time must be recorded on the transfer tax return as the “date when the deed of sale or other contract is signed”.

Because the Property Transaction Service creates an electronic application for registration automatically, and because the deadline for transfer tax filing and payment is the time when registration is requested, the buyer must take care of the filing and payment at the time when the agreement is finalised.

If you submit the transfer tax return late, the Tax Administration may impose a late-filing penalty or punitive tax increase. If you do not pay your transfer tax on time, you must pay interest. Read more about transfer tax return or payments that are overdue.

If you do not request registration of title or lease within 6 months, you will have to pay late payment interest although you might have paid the transfer tax on time.

There is a 20-percent increase of transfer tax for each 6-month period that begins. However, this is only done up to a maximum of one hundred percent. Read more about penalty charges.

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If you need to make corrections to the information you submitted, submit a replacement. You can do this in MyTax or send a paper transfer tax return that replaces your original return. In this case, you must not only correct the mistakes but also complete the other spaces on the form again.

How to make corrections to a transfer tax return in MyTax

If you submit a replacement on paper, remember to tick the “Replacement transfer tax return” box on the first page.

Note: if you submit the replacement past the deadline date for transfer taxes, the Tax Administration may impose a late-filing penalty or punitive tax increase.

If by this time, you already paid the transfer tax, look up the specific guide for correcting payment and the submitted return.

If the previous owner has neglected their title registration obligations, you as the buyer, jointly with the previous owner, carry responsibility for paying the outstanding transfer taxes for the earlier transfers, including the late-payment penalty charges for a 3-year period. You bear responsibility for the taxes and their late-payment charges for 10 years if the date of purchase was prior to 1 January 2017.

You cannot have the transfer of title registered in your name, for your ownership and for your leasehold, until the transfer taxes and related penalty charges are paid and the transfer tax return form has been submitted.

If you bought the real estate at an auction for enforced sales (pakkohuutokauppa; exekutiv auktion), you are not responsible for the previous taxes.

Read more in “being responsible for the unpaid transfer taxes on earlier sales” – Vastuu aiempien luovutusten varainsiirtoverosta (in Finnish and Swedish)

When you buy a building that is located on rented land, two different scenarios may apply:

  1. You have bought a building located on land for which there is a transferable contract of lease. For example, the building is located on land rented out by the local municipality, the rental contract is fixed-term, and the rights of leasehold and rights of use to the land can be re-transferred without the owner’s consent. Check in the rental contract or its terms whether the leasehold right is transferable. If you purchase a building on rented land under this kind of contract, file the transfer tax return, pay the 3% tax (4%, if the sales contract was signed before 12 October 2023), and ask the National Land Survey of Finland to register the leasehold right to you.
  2. You have bought just the building without the land or a transferable leasehold right to it.  Read more: Building, e.g. an allotment cottage

You must file and pay transfer tax if after a distribution of matrimonial assets, you get a unit of real estate that your ex-spouse and you owned together, or that your ex-spouse owned independently (this may be a 50-percent part of a house that you used to own jointly), and you are now paying an amount of money as a consideration, and this payment is financed from a source outside of your matrimonial property.

The amount is sourced from outside in connection with a divorce, if you have taken a loan in order to make the payment and the loan contract was signed after your divorce became pending, or if you make the payment with funds regarded as being outside your previous matrimonial property due to a prenuptial agreement or due to a clause in a deed of gift. However, if there has been a loan that relates to the assets within the matrimonial property and you assume responsibility for the loan repayments, this is not a paid-in consideration that would have been financed with outside funds.

If you are paying your ex-spouse an amount of money as an adjusting payment, no transfer tax return or transfer tax payment is required for the house you received (or the real estate you receive). Such a payment can be regarded as “adjusting payment” under the definition of law only if the agreement on the distribution of assets contains the amount to be paid and sets out the obligation on you to make the payment. This requires that the agreement on the distribution of matrimonial assets lists all of the spouses’ assets and property and the values.

Read more and see related examples in “Changes of ownership after a division” – Osituksen yhteydessä tapahtuvat omistajanvaihdokset ja niihin liittyvä varainsiirtoverotus (in Finnish and Swedish)

If you find it difficult to determine whether you must pay transfer tax or you cannot calculate the amount, you can ask the Tax Administration to prepare a statement for you.

If assets of a death estate have been distributed and you get a house under the condition that you must pay an amount of money to other heirs, and you finance this payment with funds from outside the estate, you must file and pay transfer tax on the transaction. If necessary, ask for a statement regarding the amount of the tax (link).

The amount of money paid to others is sourced from outside if you have spent your personal funds for it, you have borrowed money from outside in order to make the payment, or if you use funds that come from a previous partial distribution of an estate.

Read more in detailed guidance: Vastikkeellinen saanto jäämistöosituksessa ja perinnönjaossa (in Finnish and Swedish)

When the contract for buying a unit of real estate has been made in the name of a company that has not yet been established fully, the party that should submit the transfer tax return can be either the person signing the contract or the company that is in the process of establishment.

We recommend that you use the buyer’s or the company’s name consistently: the same party should file the return and apply for registration of title to the property. 

If an official notary public submits the application for transfer of title, the records will indicate that the applicant is the person who had bought the real estate on behalf for the company. In this case, the party submitting the transfer tax return and paying the tax should be that person, not the company. This ensures faster processing of the tax return.

After the company’s process of setting up is complete, and an application for transfer of title must be submitted, we recommend that the new company does that. The company should also submit the transfer tax return and pay the tax.

After the person who bought the real estate has submitted the transfer tax return, can the Tax Administration change the records so that the return had been submitted by the new company?

No, if an individual buyer has submitted a return or paid transfer tax, the Tax Administration cannot change the records i.e. make the company the applicant. After the buyer has submitted the return and paid the tax, the obligation to file and pay transfer tax is fulfilled. However, when the records are finalised, the National Land Survey will grant the transfer of title to the company.

If necessary, the Tax Administration may contact the taxpayer. However, in most cases the information on thew transfer tax return and tax payment is sent to the National Land Survey automatically.

Don’t forget the real estate tax

The party who is registered as the owner of the real property at the beginning of the year (on January 1st 2024) must pay the tax.

Read more about the real estate tax.

Page last updated 2/24/2017