Refund on transfer taxes paid

If undue or excessive taxes have been paid, the Tax Administration will refund the excess amount of tax paid. The minimum amount of refund is EUR 5. Transfer tax refunds are subject to a written application.

The Tax Administration may pay a transfer tax refund for the following reasons:

  • You have paid taxes unduly.
  • The sale was cancelled or a discount was given on the purchase price.
  • The conditions for the tax exemption of a first-time home buyer were not fulfilled until after the tax was paid.

Example: Janne buys a lot and pays transfer tax on the purchase. A detached house is built on the lot. It is Janne's first home. After the first home has been taken into use, Janne can apply for a refund on the transfer tax he paid when he bought the lot.

Submit the application in writing and remember all the necessary enclosures

Apply for a transfer tax refund using form 6017 (Application for transfer tax refund). A tax refund application can also be submitted on a separate document in your own words. Tax refund applications cannot be filed online.

In the application, present the grounds for being eligible for a tax refund.

The following documents must always be enclosed with a tax refund application:

  • a copy of the deed of conveyance (e.g. a deed of sale, deed of transfer, deed of division of marital property, deed of distribution of an estate)
  • a copy of the proof of payment of transfer tax
  • other necessary clarifications.

Other enclosures are needed in the following situations:

Conveyance of securities:

  • a copy of the transfer tax return.

Conveyance of real property:

  • a copy of the certificate of title or certificate of registration
  • a copy of the record of a handover inspection or final inspection if the first-time buyer's house is a new building.

Also remember the letter of authorisation for tax representation:

  • If you are acting as a representative and are applying for a transfer tax refund on behalf of someone else, enclose a signed letter of authorisation for tax representation with the tax refund application. Attorneys and public legal advisers do not need to be authorised by a letter of authorisation for tax representation.
  • If the applicant is someone other than the person whose personal identity code or Business ID is given in the message field of the proof of payment of tax, a letter of authorisation for tax representation must be enclosed with the tax refund application form.

The tax refund application can be submitted to any tax office or other office of the Tax Administration.

By when should the application be submitted?

The deadlines for transfer tax refund applications changed on 1 January 2017. The deadline is determined based on whether the sale or conveyance took place before or after 1 January 2017.

Submit the application within 5 years 

  • If undue or excessive taxes have been paid, the transfer tax refund application must be submitted within 5 years from the end of the calendar year in which the transfer tax was paid.
  • If the conditions for the exemption from transfer tax of a first-time home buyer already existed at the time of payment, the transfer tax refund application must be submitted within 5 years of the end of the calendar year in which the transfer tax was paid.

Submit the application within 10 years

  • In the case of a cancelled sale or discount in purchase price, the transfer tax refund application must be submitted within 10 years of the end of the calendar year in which the transfer tax was paid.
  • If the conditions for the exemption from transfer tax of a first-time home buyer are not fulfilled until after the transfer tax is paid, the transfer tax refund application must be submitted within 10 years of having fulfilled the conditions for exemption from transfer tax.

Submit the application within 1 year

  • If the conditions for the exemption from transfer tax of a first-time home buyer are not fulfilled until after the transfer tax is paid, the transfer tax refund application must be submitted within 1 year of fulfilment of the conditions.

Submit the application within 3 years

  • If undue or excessive taxes have been paid, the transfer tax refund application must be submitted within 3 years of the beginning of the year following the year in which the conveyance of real property or securities occurred or tax liability otherwise started.
  • If the conditions for the exemption from transfer tax of a first-time home buyer already existed when the transfer tax was paid and undue transfer tax has therefore been paid, the transfer tax refund application must be submitted within 3 years of the beginning of the year following the year in which the conveyance of real property or securities occurred or tax liability otherwise began.

Submit the application within 10 years

  • In the case of a cancelled sale or discount in purchase price, the transfer tax refund application must be submitted within 10 years of the beginning of the year following the year in which the conveyance of real property or securities occurred or tax liability otherwise began.

You will be sent a decision on the transfer tax refund

The Tax Administration will send you a decision on a transfer tax refund, in which the amount of the refund will be stated. The Tax Administration will pay the refund within approximately 3 weeks from the decision date.

Interest paid on a refund

Interest will be paid on the transfer tax to be refunded, from the date of payment of tax to the date of payment of the refund.

The interest rate on tax refunds is the reference rate confirmed by the Bank of Finland minus 2 percentage points. However, the interest rate on tax refunds is always at least 0.5%. The interest rate is checked annually. In 2017, the interest rate is 0.5%.

The refund is paid into a bank account or as a money order

The Tax administration will pay a transfer tax refund directly into the bank account of the recipient of the refund if a bank account number has been provided to the Tax Administration for the payment of the refund.

If no bank account number has been provided to the Tax Administration, the transfer tax refund will be paid as a money order via OP Financial Group. Tax refunds under €15 are paid as money orders only at the taxpayer’s request. The Tax Administration sends you a notification of the money order to the address you have provided for the Tax Administration. For you to be able to accept the money order, the address must be in Finland.

Once you have received a notification of a money order, you can redeem the transfer tax refund from the OP co-operative bank offering cash withdrawal and deposit services. Redeem the transfer tax refund within 28 days from the date of the notification. More detailed instructions will be provided in a notification sent to you by the bank. Cooperative banks charge a service fee for money orders based on their price list for services.

The transfer tax refund will be available to you around one week sooner, if it is paid directly into your bank account rather than using a money order.

Note. If you have any questions about the payment of a transfer tax refund, contact the Tax Administration's telephone service number for payment transactions, +358 (0)29 497 026. If you have questions regarding a tax decision on transfer tax, contact your local tax office. Contact details are provided in the tax decision.

Decisions on refund applications are open to appeal

The Tax Administration's decision on a refund application is an appealable decision. How and when an appeal should be made is affected by whether the decision was made before or after 1 January 2017.

If the decision on a refund application was made before 1 January 2017, any appeals must be submitted directly to the Administrative Court.

If the decision on a refund application was made on or after 1 January 2017, any claims for adjustment must be submitted to the Assessment Adjustment Board.

  • Submit a claim for adjustment using form 6018 (Claim for adjustment of transfer tax)
  • A claim for adjustment can also be submitted in a separate document in your own words, as long as the document includes the same information that would have been reported on the claim for adjustment form.

The deadline for submitting a claim for adjustment is 3 years from the end of the tax year, but no less than 60 days from the date when the taxpayer received the decision. Tax year is the calendar year when real property or security was conveyed or tax liability otherwise started.

Example: If a sale took place on 1 February 2017, the deadline for submitting a claim for adjustment on the decision on a refund application would be 31 December 2020. However, if the refund application was submitted in late 2020 and the applicant did not receive the decision on the refund application until 2021, the deadline for submitting a claim for adjustment would be 60 days from the date when the decision was received.

Appeals to the Administrative Court

If you are not satisfied with the decision made by the Assessment Adjustment Board, you can lodge an appeal against the decision with the Administrative Court within 60 days of the date when you received the Assessment Adjustment Board’s decision.

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