Paying back taxes – individuals
This guidance is for individual taxpayers and the self-employed. Guidance on back taxes of corporate entities is available here.
Your tax decision and the information for the payment will be available in MyTax in spring 2019. You will also receive them by post. However, if you have activated suomi.fi/messages, you will no longer receive paper mail from Finnish public authorities. In that case, your decision and information will only be available in MyTax.
When do I need to pay back taxes?
The due dates for your back taxes will be in the time between July and February. Most individual taxpayers must pay their 2018 back taxes by 1 August 2019.
Your due dates depend on the date when the Tax Administration completes your tax assessment. This varies from taxpayer to taxpayer. The end date of assessment depends on whether you or your spouse make changes to your pre-completed tax returns. The earliest day when a back tax can fall due is one month after the end date.
If the amount to pay is higher than €170, it is divided in two instalments. The second instalment’s due date is 2 months after that of the first instalment.
Check your personal due dates for back taxes in MyTax or in your tax decision. You can log in to MyTax with your online banking codes or with a mobile certificate.
You can pay your back taxes in advance of the due date. However, please note that the reference number for your back taxes is the same as the shared reference number for all your income taxes. This means that we use the same reference number for the prepayments you may have to pay on your rental income or business income if you receive such income. If you send money to the Tax Administration, we will use it on your first upcoming income tax. In other words, if you must make a prepayment and the due date of that prepayment is before the due date of your back tax, your payment will be used on your prepayment, not the back tax.
Example: Your back tax is €1,000 and its due date is 3 December. In addition to this back tax, you must pay €100 in prepayments. The due date for that is 23 November. On 10 November, you make a payment, intending to settle your back tax in advance. Because the due date of the prepayment instalment comes first, the Tax Administration will take €100 of the amount you paid in and use it on the prepayment. The remaining €900 is used on the back tax. If you then pay €100 on 23 November, the due date of your prepayment instalment, the Tax Administration will use that on the back tax.
Yes, you can pay both instalments all at once. Both of them have the same reference number, so you can pay the sum total of both instalments as one single payment. This reference number is the same for all the income taxes of an individual taxpayer. You can see your personal reference number on the bank transfer forms or in MyTax. When you use the reference number, remember that it is a shared reference number for all income taxes, including your prepayments (if you are a payer of prepayments). This means that when you send us a payment with this reference number, we will use it on your first upcoming income tax.
Where can I get the information for making the payment?
All the information necessary for paying your back tax is available in MyTax – the Tax Administration’s bank account number, the reference number, the amount of back tax and the due date. This information is also on the tax decision and on the bank transfer forms that are enclosed with it.
See the guidance: Checking your back taxes and payment information in MyTax
The bank forms for back taxes are enclosed with the pre-completed tax return you receive in spring. However, if you have activated electronic messaging in suomi.fi, you will not receive them by post.
If you make no corrections or additions to your pre-completed return, the bank forms will remain in force. You should keep them and use them when it is time to pay the back taxes. However, if there are changes to your taxation that occur during the year, the Tax Administration will send you a new set of bank forms enclosed with a revised tax decision.
How do I pay my back taxes?
You can pay your back taxes with the following methods of payment:
- in your online bank: enter the information stated on the bank transfer forms
- as an e-invoice or direct payment
- in MyTax, where all the necessary details are pre-filled in the online form
See the guidance: Paying back taxes in MyTax
When you pay in MyTax, the amount is debited from your bank account on the same day. You cannot change the due date.
Note: After you have paid the back tax, your payment is displayed in MyTax within 1 to 2 days.
Back taxes may accrue interest
Your back taxes are subject to late-payment interest with relief. The interest period begins on 1 February 2019 and continues up to the due date of the back tax concerned. The interest is included in the sum total that you see in MyTax and on your tax decision. The rate of late-payment interest with relief is 2% in 2019. However, we always deduct €20 from the interest that you have to pay (or we deduct the amount in its entirety if it is less than €20).
If you made changes, please wait until you receive your new tax decision and new instructions for payment. If you or your spouse made changes to the tax return, the due dates for the back taxes will change. The amount of the back taxes may change as well. You will receive a new, revised decision letter that contains a new amount and new instructions for payment. Please note: the original due date for your back tax may pass by before you receive the new decision. You can see in MyTax whether your tax return is still in process or whether you have already received a new tax decision.
What if I paid the back taxes already?
If you made changes to your tax return but still paid the original amount of back taxes, you may have paid too much. We will send back any excess amount on the refund date stated on your new, revised tax decision, unless you have prepayments falling due or you have some other overdue taxes from before.
- If you must make a prepayment and the due date of that prepayment is before the due date of your back taxes, your payment will be used on the prepayment. Any amount remaining after this will be refunded to you within a week. A paid-in amount that we may have used on your other taxes is not accounted for in your new tax decision that contains the new instructions for paying your back tax.
- If your prepayment has been paid in full this way, or if you have no prepayments to pay, the amount you paid will be used on your other unpaid taxes or on a tax debt in enforced recovery. Any amount remaining after this will be refunded to you within a week. The paid-in amount used on your other taxes is not accounted for in your new tax decision that contains the new instructions for paying your back tax.
If the changes you made to your tax return lead to an assessment result that causes your back taxes to increase, and the amount you originally paid is too small, you will receive a new tax decision with revised bank forms for payment. If you must make a prepayment and the due date of that prepayment is before the due date of your back taxes, your payment will be used on the prepayment. If your prepayment has been paid in full this way, or if you have no prepayments to pay, the amount you paid will be used on your other unpaid taxes or on a tax debt in enforced recovery.
Note: We recommend that you log in to MyTax from time to time to stay on top of your taxes and payments.
It probably happened because the reference number for your back taxes is the same as the shared reference number for all your income taxes (including prepayments and additional prepayments). This means that when you send us a payment with this reference, we will use the money on your first upcoming income tax.
For example, you must pay two instalments of prepayments: 24 June and 23 July. In addition, you have a back tax, falling due on 1 August. In these circumstances, we would first use any incoming payment on your prepayments (due in June and in July) and not cover the back tax until later.
When you pay back taxes, you must always use your reference number for income taxes. You can see it and the bank account number of the Tax Administration on your tax decision and in MyTax. If you pay back taxes in MyTax, the reference and bank account numbers are pre-filled.
The format of the reference number for back taxes is called RF. Enter the reference number in full, including the letters RF. If you cannot enter it in full, you can leave out the first four characters.
Sometimes you may be unable to enter the reference number. This may happen if you are using a foreign bank’s online service. In this case, you can enter it in the message field.
If you have paid too much, the Tax Administration will use the excess amount on your other income taxes. This is done in the order of their due dates, including upcoming instalments that will fall due soon. When all your income taxes have been settled, the remaining amount will be used on your other overdue taxes, such as real estate tax. If you do not have any debts in enforced recovery, your payment will automatically be refunded to your bank account.
Starting in 2018, the Tax Administration gives credit for the prepayments that it has imposed on individual taxpayers. Prepayments are credited in the tax assessment for the year for which they were imposed. The credit is equal to the original value of the prepayment. This rule concerns both the prepayments imposed during the tax year, and those imposed after the end of the tax year if they relate to the same tax year.
This means that a prepayment imposed for a tax year will be credited in that year’s tax assessment even if the taxpayer has not paid it. For this reason, unpaid prepayments are no longer re-imposed on the taxpayer as a back tax.
However, if the taxpayer fails to make a prepayment, late-payment interest will be added to it, starting on the day after the due date, up to the date when the taxpayer pays it. The rate of late-payment interest is 7% in 2019. An unpaid prepayment may be transferred to the enforcement authorities for recovery.
If you have made prepayments that are not needed to cover your tax liability for that tax year, we will credit them to you by reducing your future prepayments. Unnecessary prepayment instalments will be cancelled. The Tax Administration will also cancel any unpaid prepayments, including any interest on them, if it turns out that they are not needed to cover the year’s taxes.