Buyer of housing-company shares – pay transfer tax, and file your return

When you buy shares in a housing company and become the owner of an apartment in a high-rise building or townhouse, you must pay transfer tax and file the return to report it.

As the buyer, you are required to calculate and pay the transfer tax on your initiative. Exemptions from transfer tax may apply if you are a a first-time homebuyer, and if certain requirements are met. However, even in that case, you must file the return.

1

Calculate the tax

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 even though you might actually pay up the specific part of the housing-company loan when you sign the contract. You can use the transfer tax calculator to help with the calculation.

Example: Sarah buys a flat for €60,000 (this is the price advertised as “myyntihinta”). The housing-company loan balance allocated to the shares is €20,000. This means that the debt-free price equals €80,000. The transfer tax is calculated on the basis of the €80,000. The tax is 2% × €80,000  = €1,600. It does not matter whether Sarah pays off the housing company loans when she makes the purchase, or whether she pays them off gradually as part of her monthly maintenance charge.

2

File the return

Submit the transfer tax return in 2 months after you have signed the deed of sale or other agreement (if no realtor assisted you).

If you buy with the assistance of a realtor

  • the realtor submits the return to the Tax Administration
  • when he or she has done that, you will receive copy of an acknowledgement of receipt issued by the Tax Administration, saying that the electronically filed transfer tax return is received.

If you purchased a newly constructed house or apartment, file the return in 2 months after the date of transfer of ownership to you. Do this even if a realtor had assisted you.

File in MyTax

MyTax opens 8th November at 9 o'clock.

See instructions for how to fill out the form and the enclosures

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

3

Pay the tax

Pay the tax in 2 months after you have signed the deed of sale or other contract. If a realtor (real estate agent) has assisted you when you buy the shares, you must pay the tax when you sign the contract.

Please note that in order to pay the tax, you must use a bank reference number for transfer tax. We recommend that you look up your personal reference number before you go to the meeting where the contract is signed. Log in to MyTax to look up your personal reference number for transfer tax, or ask the telephone service to give it to you.

If you bought an item of new property, pay the tax within 2 months from the date when the right of ownership passes on to you. Do this even if a realtor had assisted you.

Pay in MyTax

See instructions for payment

4

Present the transfer tax certificate to the manager of the housing company

To have your name entered in the list of shareholders, show the manager one of the following:

  • your certificate on transfer tax. You received this document when your transfer tax is filed and paid (and you did not have a realtor assisting you with the contract). You will receive it by post, and you can print it out in MyTax as well.
  • the acknowledgement of receipt that you received from the realtor.

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.

New IT database to record all housing-company flats in Finland

In the future, the National Land Survey will keep an electronic database that contains information on current ownership of all flats in all housing companies. The introduction of the database means that shares will no longer be in the form of certificates on paper.

To implement this change, a plan has been made with the following stages: Housing companies set up after 1 January 2019 are automatically recorded in the new database along with all their flats and their owner-shareholders. As of 1 May 2019, lists of shares and shareholders for other Finnish housing companies are transferred to the database.

The ongoing reform of the records has no impact on the filing and paying of transfer taxes. If you acquire shares in a housing company that has already sent its information to the new database, the National Land Survey will automatically be  able to look up your payment of the tax. Read more about the database (in Finnish and Swedish).

Frequently asked questions

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

If the contract contains a specification of the price of the parking (or other space), fill in the price information in your transfer tax return.

In general, transfer tax must be paid after purchase of shares in a housing company in 2 months after signing the deed of sale-and-purchase or other contract.  If a realtor assisted you when you bought the flat or apartment, transfer tax must be paid immediately when the contract is signed.  In the future, these deadlines will be exactly the same even if there is a provision 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, they 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 had paid.