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

File and pay transfer tax and ask for registration of your ownership with the National Land Survey of Finland (Finnish: Maanmittauslaitos, Swedish: Lantmäteriverket) if what you are buying is:

  • a unit of real estate i.e. a specific lot and any house or other building located there – and a subdivision of land with a summer house located on it, etc.
  • real estate in the form of woodlands or agricultural fields
  • real estate consisting of a fractional share in a parcel of land
  • a building located on leased land with a transferable contract of lease (a leasehold right).

As the buyer, you are required to calculate and pay the transfer tax independently. However, it may be that it remains unclear what exactly is the tax base. If you find yourself in this situation, you can submit a free-text request in MyTax or complete Form 6020e, Request for a statement for registration of title and other legal confirmation.

Exemptions from transfer tax may apply if you are a first-time homebuyer, and if certain requirements are met. However, you must file a transfer tax return and ask the National Land Survey to register the transfer of title to yourself.

Individual taxpayers, general partnerships and limited partnerships can file a transfer tax return either in MyTax or on paper. Corporate entities such as limited liability companies can only file a transfer tax return in MyTax. If you have engaged the services of an accounting firm or some other agent, read more about authorisations.

1

Calculate the tax

The rate of transfer tax is 4% on the price paid, or on the value of other consideration or compensation.

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

2

File the return

File the transfer tax return in 6 months from the date when you signed the deed of sale or other agreement. If a contract on real estate is made on 1 November 2019 or later, you must file a transfer tax return.

If you buy together with several co-buyers, every one of them must submit a transfer tax return as well. You cannot submit information on the other buyers on the same return form (including your spouse’s information).

File in MyTax

MyTax opens 8th November at 9 o'clock.

Individual taxpayers, general partnerships and limited partnerships can file a transfer tax return either in MyTax or on paper form.

If you file on paper, enclose a photocopy of the deed of sale (other contract) with the appropriate signatures. When you file in MyTax, you are often relieved from the obligation to send enclosures – a window will appear that tells you whether an enclosure must be sent. The Tax Administration may ask for more information later.

Even if a realtor assists you when you buy real estate, you must file your transfer tax return for it independently. 

If you file the transfer tax return late, you must pay either a late-filing penalty or surtax.

3

Pay the tax

Pay the tax in 6 months from the date when you signed the deed of sale or other agreement. Please note that in order to pay the tax, you must use a bank reference number for transfer tax. Log in to MyTax to look up your personal reference number for transfer tax, or ask the telephone service to give it to you.

See instructions for payment

4

Request registrations

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 after you have signed the deed of sale or other agreement.

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 transfer tax to 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you file less than 60 days late (or exactly 60 days late), you must pay a late-filing penalty. Its amount is

  • €50 for individuals and estates of a deceased person
  • €100 for other taxpayers, and for third parties that have the obligation to file transfer tax (such as companies and real estate agents).

If your transfer tax return is late by more than 60 days, you have to pay a punitive tax increase. Read more about late-filing penalties and the punitive tax increase.

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

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.

If you requested the registrations on time but did not pay transfer tax in 6 months after the date when the deed of sale was signed, you must pay transfer tax with an additional late-payment interest (if signed on 1 November 2019 or later), or with an additional surtax (signed prior to 1 November 2019).

Use the calculator to estimate the amounts of late-payment interest or surtax.

If the previous owner has neglected their title registration obligations, you as the buyer must pay 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 for 10 years if the date of purchase was prior to 1 January 2017.

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

If you bought a building on a rented lot, the following to alternatives will apply:

  1. The building can be located on a lot for which there is a transferable contract of lease; this may mean that the local council owns the land, and it is permissible to transfer the rights of leasehold and rights of use to third parties without the council’s consent. Look up the relevant provisions of the lease contract to see whether it is transferable. If you buy or acquire a building on a rented land under such a contract, submit the transfer tax form, pay the tax (4%) and ask the National Land Survey of Finland to register the leasehold to yourself.
  2. The building may have been bought without the land or without a transferable lease. Read more: Building, such as an allotment cottage

It may be that you do not have to pay transfer tax on a unit of real estate or part of it if you receive it in a division. However, if you paid a payment for the real estate in money or assets that are outside the divided whole, you must find out whether you are expected to pay transfer tax. For more information, see "Changes of ownership after a division of matrimonial property" (in Finnish or Swedish): Osituksen yhteydessä tapahtuvat omistajanvaihdokset ja niihin liittyvä varainsiirtoverotus

See also "Inheritance, transfer of part of estate, receiving assets by last will" (in Finnish or Swedish): Perinnönjako, pesäosuuden luovutus ja testamenttisaannot.

If you buy a lot for building the house, you must pay the transfer tax for it, submit the transfer tax return, and ask for registration of the transfer of title to you first.

Later, you can request refund when construction is finished and the authorities have inspected your house and declared it ready. You can submit a refund application in MyTax or on a paper form.  If all the requirements for exemption are met, we will refund the tax you paid.

Requirements on the site of a building

The exemption can maximally be applied on a lot that has been created in accordance with the local zoning plan. If you have bought a site in an area that has not been zoned, your maximum exemption from transfer tax is for 10,000 square metres. This definition only limits the maximum tax-exempt size of the building site. The site used for the calculation of real estate tax is considered to be the tax-exempt building site.

You must pay transfer tax on the part of the price that you have paid for any land outside the tax-exempt maximum area. Examples of what you must include in such a price would be what you paid for woodland, field areas, or other sites suitable for construction of houses. In this case, you must present a calculation that shows the consistent parts of the price.

Alternatively, you can ask the Tax Administration for a statement in order to obtain a calculation of the transfer tax you must pay.

Read more about first-time homebuyer’s exemptions when purchasing real estate. (in Finnish and Swedish only).

Don’t forget the real estate tax

The party who is registered as the owner of the real property at the beginning (on January 1st) of 2019 must pay the tax.

Read more about the real estate tax.