Transfer tax when corporate stock is sold and purchased
When you buy corporate stock, you must file a transfer tax return and pay the tax (i.e. you buy shares of an entity that operates a business, i.e. not of a housing-company or real estate company). Examples of corporate stock include shares of a business enterprise or a telephone company. As the buyer, you are required to calculate and pay the transfer tax on your initiative.
If you buy shares listed on the stock exchange, you do not usually have to pay transfer tax or file the transfer tax return.
File the tax return
File the transfer tax return in 2 months from the signing of the deed of sale or other contract.
- If you buy together with a co-buyer – typically your spouse – both of you must submit a transfer tax return.
- To complete the tax return, you should have the deed of sale or other contract on hand. In addition, other documents may have had an important role in your transaction. They may have a bearing on the way the transfer tax is assessed.
- However, you generally do not have to add 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 deed of sale.
Pay the tax
File the transfer tax return and pay the tax in 2 months from signing the deed of sale or other contract.
If you pay the tax in MyTax, the reference numbers and other payment details are automatically pre-completed on the payment template in your e-bank. MyTax calculates the tax amount based on the transfer tax return you have filed.
If you make the payment in your online bank, you will need the Tax Administration's bank account number and your personal transfer tax reference number. 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 in the Transfer tax section under Other payment methods. You can find the Tax Administration bank account numbers at the end of the page.
- Call the service telephone number +35829 497 026 (Payment transactions, limited service available in English, standard call rates)
When paying, enter the amount of tax with two decimal points. Round out the tax amount to the nearest cent in accordance with the rounding rules. For example, if the exact amount is €345.67890, you must round it out and pay €345,68 in tax.
If there are multiple buyers – such you and your spouse – each buyer must pay their own share of the transfer tax using their own personal transfer tax reference number. The payment will be displayed in MyTax in 1–2 business days.
You receive a certificate of transfer tax
You will receive a certificate of the transfer tax in MyTax or by post. The certificate is usually displayed in MyTax in 2 business days after you have filed and paid the tax. How to find the certificate in MyTax.
If you filed your transfer tax return on paper, it may take longer for the certificate to become available in MyTax.
The amount of transfer tax on corporate shares
The tax is 1.6% 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.
If the buyer is a non-resident taxpayer
If the buyer of the corporate stock is a non-resident taxpayer (an individual from a foreign country, for example) and you are obliged to collect tax on the sale in question, you must file a transfer tax return on the tax you collected from the buyer, and then pay the amount on to the Tax Administration.
Examples of circumstances where you may be obliged to collect tax include a situation where you, a Finnish resident, sell shares of a Finnish business company (corporate stock) to a buyer who is a nonresident. In case there are several sellers, your obligation is simply to submit a transfer tax return and pay transfer tax only for the part that you yourself had collected. In the same way, you must only report your portion of the price and other compensation.
In addition, you and your buyer can agree that the buyer, a non-resident taxpayer, will account for transfer tax himself: More information is available in “Transfer taxation relating to sales and transfers of corporate stock and other securities” (detailed guidance in Finnish and Swedish, e.g. section 7.2).
If both the buyer and the seller are non-resident taxpayers, trading in corporate stock is not subject to transfer tax and there is no need to file a transfer tax return. Note that if the trading concerns other than corporate stock, such as shares in a housing company or real estate company, the buyer must register as a taxpayer with the Tax Administration and file and pay transfer tax. This rule also concerns buyers that are non-resident taxpayers in Finland.
- Read more about an individual's tax residency and non-residency
- Read more about the resident and non-resident tax liability of limited liability companies
When do I have to pay transfer tax on the acquisition of stock-exchange-listed shares?
If you buy listed shares outside of the stock exchange, you have 2 months of time to pay 1.6% of transfer tax on the sales price and other possible remunerations, and file a transfer tax return.
If you buy publicly listed shares (i.e. shares of a stock-exchange listed company), you do not usually have to pay transfer tax or file the transfer tax return. However, transfer tax must be paid in situations such as the following:
- you buy shares of a stock-exchange listed company directly from another individual or company, and a bank or another investment firm is not a party or an intermediary in the transfer of the shares
- your employer gives you a share award as compensation for your work.
File the transfer tax return and pay the tax in 2 months from signing the deed of sale or other agreement. The transfer tax is either 1.6% or 2% of the sales price and other possible considerations, depending on the type of the share. See the detailed guidance for more information about situations where purchases of corporate stock are subject to transfer tax (section 8.12, in Finnish and Swedish). Also see the detailed guidance for information about transfer tax rates.
Have you bought publicly listed shares through a foreign remote intermediary?
If you are a resident taxpayer in Finland and you buy publicly listed shares of a Finnish company through a foreign remote intermediary, you do not need to pay transfer tax on the shares.
The precondition for tax exemption is that either the remote intermediary files an annual information return with the Tax Administration on the sale, or you, as the buyer, file a transfer tax return on the shares. Check with the remote intermediary whether they will file the annual information return. If the remote intermediary does not file the annual information return, you – the buyer – must file a transfer tax return within 2 months of the transaction. Transfer tax does not need to be paid.
If you are a non-resident taxpayer and you buy shares through a foreign remote intermediary, you do not need to pay transfer tax on the shares and you do not need to file an annual information return or a transfer tax return.
Frequently asked questions
You must file the return even if the transfer tax is less than €10.
When corporate stock or shares in business premises are sold and bought, the transfer agreement is often made in stages.
- First the parties sign an initial agreement known as the Share Purchase Agreement. Then they agree on the conditions that must be met before the parties are obliged to conclude the deal. The parties also typically agree that they will draft the final transfer agreement after the conditions are fulfilled.
- The parties sign the final transfer agreement, i.e. the Closing Memorandum.
If the initial agreement is a preliminary agreement, then the due date of the transfer tax return and tax payment is determined based on the final transfer agreement. Enter the signing date of the final transfer agreement as the date of sale.
If the final transfer agreement contains a suspensive or resolutory condition, it has no effect on the due date of the transfer tax return and tax payment. The due date is counted from the date of signing the transfer agreement.