Buyers in foreign countries – requesting a reference number for Finnish transfer tax

To pay transfer tax, it is required that you use a special reference number for payments of transfer taxes. This ensures that the received amount is entered into accounting as it should. If you have engaged the services of a realtor for helping you buy a home or other real estate, your reference number for transfer-tax payments must be available on the day when the contract is signed.

If you are based in a foreign country and your information is not on the Tax Administration’s register, it is required that you apply for registration before the contract is signed. After that, the reference number can be issued to you. Registration can be requested by yourself, or by someone with a letter of authorisation form you who will request it on your behalf: this would typically be your realtor or other representative.

An individual buyer from outside Finland

The reference number for transfer tax payments may be issued to a foreign individual after the information regarding the individual’s identity has been registered at the Tax Administration. A photocopy of the individual’s passport and some personal data are required.

To have your information entered in the Tax Administration’s register for this purpose, you can submit a free-form application and deliver it to an office of the Tax Administration for processing. Alternatively, send your application with required enclosures by post to: Helsinki Area Tax Office, CDKM Process Manager, P.O. Box 400, FI-00052 VERO.

Your free-form application must contain the following personal data and an explanation of the reason for registration.

  • Include your full last name and first name or names,
  • your address information in your country,
  • your date of birth,
  • male/female,
  • citizenship,
  • foreign Social Security Number or other identity code.

Please enclose a photocopy of your passport. If you ask for registration on behalf of someone else, you must additionally enclose a letter of authorisation or power of attorney signed by that other person.

When registration is complete, the Tax Administration issues a reference number for transfer taxes, made out specifically for the individual whose information has now been registered.

Foreign company as a buyer

First, foreign companies have to apply for a Finnish Business ID. The way to apply for it is to submit a completed corporate start-up notice form:

  •  Y1 Corporate entities
  • Y2 Business partnerships or consortia
  • Y3 Self-employed business operators

Forms are available for downloading on ytj.fi (the Business Information System).

You need to submit the following information:

  • company name or business name
  • registration code (the TIN or trade register number or equivalent, issued in the foreign country)
  • country of tax residence
  • address
  • line of business
  • start and end dates of company accounting period, and
  • the names of the individuals authorised to sign for the company

Fill in Additional Information with a statement that your company asks for a Finnish Business ID, which is needed for payment of transfer tax.

Please enclose your company’s trade register extract, making available a translation into English, Finnish or Swedish as necessary. If the extract does not contain company name, country, line of business, accounting period, and the names of the people who can sign for the company, you must additionally enclose its Articles of Association, charter or a similar document with the above information, with a translation into English, Finnish or Swedish as necessary.

Send the completed form to the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH):

Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) – Tax Administration
Business Information System
P.O. Box 2000
FI-00231 HELSINKI

Submitting the form by e-mail or at a tax office

If you prefer, you can use e-mail to send a scanned version of the completed start-up papers and the required enclosures to transfertax(at)vero.fi.

Yet another option is to visit an office of the Tax Administration to drop them off. Download and complete the start-up notification and take the above documentation with you. We will send your registration request form on for further processing.

Generally, the reference number for transfer tax can be issued to an applicant in 3 to 4 days, provided that the applicant has no ongoing operation in Finland that would have an impact on the applicant’s fiscal status in Finland. We recommend that you include either your e-mail or your representative’s e-mail in your application. This will speed up processing.

The representative must have an authorisation

If the foreign company has a representative handling the application process for registration in Finland, a power of attorney (letter of authorisation) must be issued to him or her. The power of attorney must be signed by someone who is authorised to sign for the company.

After the IT system has generated a Business ID for you, we send you your reference number for transfer taxes

The Tax Administration will primarily deliver the requested reference number to the e-mail address of the company or its representative. If no e-mail address is included in your application for registration, the Tax Administration delivers the reference number to the official postal address of your company (or representative). When you complete your transfer tax return, enter your newly issued Business ID in the appropriate fields.