Buyer of a flat (housing company) – complete the return and pay the transfer tax

When you buy shares in a housing company and become the owner of a flat, apartment or terraced house, you must pay transfer tax and file the return to report it. 

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

If you are a buyer of “new construction”, see this guidance

1

File the return

File the transfer tax return in 2 months from signing the contract. If a realtor (= real estate agent) helps you buy, it is the realtor’s responsibility to submit the transfer tax return to the Tax Administration.

  • 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 deed of sale or other contract on hand. You may need the building manager’s certificate as well.
  • 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

How a business enterprise or other corporate entity can file a transfer tax return in MyTax

The paper-printed form can be used by individual taxpayers, general partnerships and limited partnerships. If the paper form is filed, you must enclose a photocopy of the contract.

2

Pay the tax

Pay the transfer tax in 2 months from signing the contract. If a realtor (real estate agent) assists you when you buy the shares, you must pay the tax when you sign 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 bank account number for the Tax Administration and the bank reference number for transfer tax. To get the bank account and reference numbers, you can:
    • Look them up in MyTax: Checking the bank account and the transfer tax reference number
    • Call the service telephone number +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 must pay their own share of the transfer tax on a separate bank transfer and enter their personal reference numbers. The amount will be displayed as a paid tax in MyTax on the following business day or the day after that.

Buyers in foreign countries – requesting a bank reference number

3

You receive a certificate of transfer tax

You will receive a certificate on filed and paid transfer tax in MyTax or by post. Normally, after you have filed and paid, the certificate will appear in MyTax in 2 days. Finding the certificate in MyTax. If you file your return on paper, wait for the certificate of transfer tax to become available in MyTax a little later.

If a realtor assists you when you buy the housing-company shares, you get the certificate proving the payment of the transfer tax from the realtor (the estate agent’s office). MyTax does not contain the certificate if the realtor issued it. 

If you buy shares in a housing company that has its information recorded in the new residential property information system, your transfer tax payment is recorded automatically in the database. You do not have to present any certificate to the manager. You can ask the manager whether the housing company’s information is in the new system.

If the list of shares and shareholders is not recorded in the new system, show the building manager your certificate to prove that you have paid the transfer tax. Taxpayers who have submitted the transfer tax return form before 1 November 2019 receive a stamped copy of the submitted return from the Tax Administration, and they can use it as their certificate. Ask the manager about any other documentation they might require for having your name entered in the list of shareholders.

Amount of transfer tax to be paid on a housing-company apartment

Transfer tax is 2% of the price (including any other consideration that had been agreed) and the unpaid part of any housing-company loan. The “debt-free price” (velaton hinta; bostadens skuldfria pris) contains both the price of the flat itself and the part representing the housing-company loan, if any.  In other words, transfer tax is collected on the debt-free amount. It is not important whether you pay up the specific part of the housing-company loan when you sign the contract or whether you pay it in small instalments every month.

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

Example: Sarah buys a flat for €60,000 (this is the price advertised as “myyntihinta”). There is a loan balance of €20,000 allocated by the housing company to Sarah’s shares. This means that Sarah’s “debt-free price” equals €80,000. The €80,000 is the base for transfer tax. The tax is 2% × €80,000 = €1,600. It makes no difference whether Sarah pays off her part of the company loan when buying the flat, or gradually as part of the monthly charge.

Frequently asked questions

After you have filed and paid transfer tax in MyTax, you receive your certificate in your MyTax mailbox. This usually takes 2 working days. You will also receive a certificate when you have bought your first home.

If you have filed your transfer tax return on paper, wait for the certificate of transfer tax to become available in MyTax.

Note: You cannot view the return in MyTax if you have submitted it before November 2019, with the old paper form. Read more: As I remember, I already submitted my transfer tax return. So why can’t I see my payment or transfer-tax form in MyTax?

How to find the certificate of transfer tax in the MyTax mailbox

  1. After you have logged in to MyTax, select Mailbox on the home page. You can see the latest certificates of transfer tax you have received under Decisions and letters.

  2. When the Mailbox tab is open, click Show all. This will display all the decisions and letters you have received in MyTax.

  3. If you have received multiple certificates of transfer tax, you can identify them by the sale date. The sale date is shown in the Period column.

    Click on Filter, enter the sale date in the text field (e.g. 12.12.2019), and click on Filter again (or press Enter). MyTax will now display all the certificates of transfer tax for that date.

Transfer taxation has only been handled in MyTax as of 8 November 2019. In MyTax, you can see:

  • Any returns and notices you have submitted in MyTax.
  • Any paper transfer tax returns you have submitted after 1 November 2019 on the new paper form that was released at that time. In general, there is always a delay before a paper return becomes available for viewing in MyTax.

When you have used a new transfer tax return, a certificate of your transfer tax will be stored in MyTax for viewing after both the return and the payment have been recorded in the Tax Administration’s data system. Finding the certificate in MyTax

If the housing-company shares are the type that entitle you to start living in a flat of the housing company, hand the certificate over to the building manager. This enables the building manager to enter your name in the list of shareholders.

If a realtor assists you when you buy the shares in a housing company, you will receive the certificate proving the payment of the transfer tax from the realtor (the estate agent’s office). MyTax does not contain the certificate if the realtor issued it. In the case of “new construction”, if you bought the shares for a newly built flat, you must submit the transfer tax return independently. After you have done that, the certificate will be stored in MyTax for viewing.

Older tax returns

You cannot view the return in MyTax if you submitted it before November 2019, with the old paper form. Please do not re-submit the return. If you need a copy of such a return, i.e. the one with a stamp on, please call the service number on +35829 497 022 (transfer taxes); sometimes the superintendent of a housing company may demand that you show a stamped form.

If you submitted your transfer tax return in Lomake.fi, it cannot be viewed in MyTax. Instead, you can view it in My e-Services where it is stored for 2 years and where you can print it out on paper. If more than 2 years have elapsed since you submitted it, call +35829 497 022, the service number.

If a space for parking or storage is part of the contract, remember to pay the transfer tax on it and remember to include the parking or storage in the information you report on the transfer tax return.

If the contract contains a breakdown of the price of the parking or storage space, fill in the specific price information in your transfer tax return.

In general, transfer tax must be paid in 2 months from the date of purchase of shares in a housing company i.e. from signing the contract. If a realtor assists you, transfer tax must be paid immediately when the contract is signed.  These deadlines are the same even if there is a clause for redemption in the housing company’s articles of association.

If a third-party buyer comes forward, invoking their rights as a redeemer of the flat you were going to acquire, that buyer must pay the transfer tax and file a tax return on it in two months after redemption. In this case, you will no longer be the buyer and you can ask for refund of any transfer tax you may have paid.

If you file the transfer tax return late, you must pay either a late-filing penalty or an increased tax. If you do not pay your transfer tax on time, you must pay interest.

Read more about the consequences of late filings and late payments.

If you need to make corrections to the information you submitted, submit a replacement. You can do this in MyTax or file 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 remedy errors of 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 transfer tax return past deadline, you may have to pay a late-filing penalty or a tax increase.

If by this time, you already paid the transfer tax, look up the specific guidance on how to make corrections to the payment and the filed return.

If you submitted a return before 8 November 2019 and you need to make corrections to its errors, please call the Tax Administration service number +35829 497 022 (standard call rates apply).

Many homes in Finland are already on the new Residential and Commercial Property Information System. This is a database owned by the National Land Survey.

The way your housing company has stored the records has no impact on the filing and paying of transfer taxes. If you buy shares in a housing company that has its information in the new database, the National Land Survey will automatically be able to look up your payment of the tax. There is no need for you to present a paper certificate to your building manager. For more information, please contact your building manager.

Read more about the Residential and Commercial Property Information System.