Buyer of “new construction” – complete the return and pay the transfer tax
You purchase “newly constructed property”, as defined by tax rules, if you buy a new home, parking space, storage room or similar from a builder-developer during the construction stage. Then you are actually buying shares in a housing company or real estate company, and these shares entitle you to the possession of a flat or apartment in a block of flats, or of a terrace-house apartment.
File the return
File a transfer tax return in 2 months from the date when ownership was transferred to you. Do this even if a realtor assisted you when you bought the property.
- 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.
How to 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 purchase and sale agreement, of the builder-developer’s letter addressed to buyers, or a photocopy of the receipt proving that you have paid the final instalment.
Pay the tax
Pay the tax in 2 months from the date when ownership was transferred to you. Do this even if a realtor assisted you when you bought the property.
- 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:
- 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 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
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.
Make sure that the transfer of title is recorded in your name
If you find out that the housing company uses the new Property Information System, you must submit an application to the National Land Survey of Finland to have your ownership recorded in the register. See guidance for registration.
If the housing company where your apartment is has not entered into the new Property Information System, you must present your transfer-tax certificate to the manager of the housing company (isännöitsijä; disponent). After that, you can have your name on the housing company’s list of shareholders.
Ask the manager about any other documentation they might require for having your name entered in the list of shareholders.
If you re-sell the apartment before the building is completed
If an item of new property is sold when it is still under construction and before its ownership is transferred to you, such a sale goes ahead under a “contract on assignment”.
- If you receive “new” property by virtue of assignment, see this guidance
- If you are the reseller, see this guidance
Amount of transfer tax – newly constructed property
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. 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 help with your calculations.
Example: Sarah buys a flat for €120,000 (this is the price advertised as “myyntihinta”). There is a loan balance of €160,000 allocated by the housing company to Sarah’s flat. This means that the debt-free price equals €280,000. The €280,000 is the base for transfer tax. The tax is 2% × €280,000 = €5,600. 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
Transfer of ownership is specified in the sale and purchase agreement. In the case of new property (as defined by law), ownership is transferred when the building has been completed and you have paid the price in full.
In the case of a sale-and-purchase contract of ‘new construction’ as defined by law, the usual deadline for submitting the transfer tax return form and paying the tax is 2 months from the date when ownership rights are passed on to the buyer.
However, when a residential building is still unfinished and the company in charge of constructing it is in bankruptcy, and there is no commitment by the bankruptcy estate to continue with the construction work, you the buyer can either cancel the contract or assume responsibility for finishing the construction work. If you opt to deal with the construction work, please note that the deadline dates for transfer tax will come sooner.
If you cancel the contract
If your decision is to cancel the contract entirely, it requires no transfer tax return to be submitted and no tax to be paid.
If you continue with the unfinished construction work
If instead you decide to continue constructing the residential house or building, your requirement to submit a transfer tax return and pay the transfer tax gets an earlier deadline date. This is because the right of ownership is now transferred to you at an earlier date, compared to the original contract you had signed for purchasing the ‘new construction’. In this case, the counting of time for the transfer-tax deadline is no longer based on the date indicated by that contract.
Start date for the counting of time depends on whether you already paid the contract price in full: you may have paid it already, or there may still be an instalment that you need to remit to the bankruptcy estate.
- In the latter case, the date when you pay the contract price in full to the construction company’s bankruptcy estate will be the start date for the counting of time.
- In addition, if your paid-in amounts, at the time when bankruptcy begins, make up a higher sum than the true value of the housing-company shares you are buying, the counting of time starts from the date when your option to cancel the contract expired.
- Correspondingly, if you paid the contract price in full, the counting of time starts the date when your option to cancel the contract expired.
Which amount is the base for the transfer tax?
If you assume responsibility for constructing and finishing the unfinished building, you must pay an amount equalling the value, at the time when bankruptcy begins, of the housing-company shares that you bought. The unfinished building’s fair market value depends on its percentage of completion.
After the following calculations are conducted, the base of the tax can be determined:
- Sum of money paid to the construction company so far (typically, there are some instalments already paid, and others still unpaid)
- Add the sum of money, if any, paid to the bankruptcy estate
- Add the part of the housing company’s debt, which is attributed to the shares you are buying, and which you already paid for by the date of transfer of ownership
- Subtract the part of the housing company’s debt attributed to the shares you are buying, still remaining unpaid at the date of transfer of ownership
If you believe that you paid too much transfer tax, you can submit a transfer-tax refund application. Fill in a calculation outlining the amount of transfer tax that you should have paid, including clear reasoning of your position.
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.
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 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 you submitted a return before 8 November 2019 and you need to make corrections to any errors on it, please call the Tax Administration service number +35829 497 022 (standard call rates apply).
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.
When a residential building of a housing company is located on a rented lot with an option to buy, shareholders can choose from 2 options:
The shareholder can:
- Pay monthly rent for the land lot to the housing company
- Pay off the designated share of the land (=redemption)
After payment, the housing company can purchase that share from the plot owner. After the shareholder has redeemed the part of the plot this way, the shareholder no longer pays rent.
The date when payment for the plot can be sent is the date of completion or specific later dates to be announced by the building management. In some housing companies, the shareholder is only entitled to partial redemption of the plot’s designated share.
There is no need for the shareholder to complete a transfer tax return or pay transfer tax
To pay off the plot share is voluntary. It is not part of the purchase contract of housing-company shares to send the payment at all. In addition, usually the seller of the shares and the owner of the plot are not the same person or company. Accordingly, any payment an individual shareholder may make in order to pay for the plot will go to the plot owner, not to the seller.
As a result, when a shareholder carries out a redemption of the designated part of the plot, it is not a transaction that would require the filing and payment of transfer tax. The time when the redemption is carried out is not important, i.e. it may be when construction is completed or at a later date.
Transfer tax accounted and paid for by the housing company
If the housing company purchases a designated share of the lot where its residential building is located, it must file a transfer tax return to the Tax Administration and pay the transfer tax accordingly. In addition, the housing company must apply to the National Land Survey for registration of title.
Typically, the housing company presents an invoice to the shareholders containing this transfer tax as added to the price of the shareholders’ land. From the shareholder’s perspective, when he or she has paid the housing company’s invoice, it does not mean that the shareholder has paid transfer tax. Instead, the shareholder is only treated as having paid the amount necessary for redeeming the land.
First, do not forget to complete the tax return and pay the transfer tax accordingly.
Because your housing company is in the new Property Information System, you must submit an application for registration of your ownership to the National Land Survey. The National Land Survey will get the information confirming your payment of the tax automatically, so there is no need to show a paper certificate to your building manager.