Back taxes — how to pay them
This guidance is for individuals, self-employed operators of a trade or business, self-employed professionals, partners of general partnerships, partners of limited partnerships, and for individuals with agricultural operations including farm and forestry operators or owners.
If you pay an insufficient sum during the year in the form of withholding — or in the form of prepayments — you must pay up the difference afterwards as back taxes. Bank forms from the Tax Administration are enclosed with your Tax Decision. The due date of the first instalment of the 2017 back taxes is 3 December 2018; for the second instalment it is 1 February 2019.
If the amount to pay is higher than €170, it is divided in two instalments. If it stays below €170, you must pay it up fully on 3 December 2018.
Bank forms distributed to taxpayers in spring
The bank forms for back taxes are enclosed with the pre-completed tax returns you receive by mail every spring. If you make no corrections or additions to your return, the bank forms remain in force throughout the year. You should keep them and use them when it is time to pay the back taxes. However, if changes to your taxation are made over the course of the year, the Tax Administration sends you a new set of bank forms enclosed with a revised Tax Decision. This is done in autumn.
Always use the bank account number and bank reference code number marked in the bank form. Note: the reference codes for the first and second instalment are different.
When you use the paper bank transfer slip for sending us your payment you must use the international 'RF' code number. You must include the entire string of characters and not leave out the leading 'RF' from it. It may be that you cannot feed the entire string - then you can try leaving out the first four characters.
Requesting bank forms
If necessary, you can ask for new bank forms to be delivered to you so you can pay your back taxes. They will be sent to you within a week. We send you the new bank forms by post, to the address that the Tax Administration has on file. If there are more than one instalment, you will receive bank forms for all instalments. Request new bank forms (in Finnish and Swedish only)
Pay your back taxes with an e-invoice or by direct payment
Both e-invoice and direct payment are safe and easy ways to pay your taxes. These two electronic methods of payment are available to individual taxpayers and self-employed individuals who operate a trade or business. Direct payment is a method intended for those who do not use online banking.
Contact your bank at least three weeks before the due date of your back taxes to agree on e-invoicing or direct payments. You will see the e-invoice in your e-bank approximately two weeks before every due date.
Read more: vero.fi/elasku (in Finnish and Swedish)
Interest on back taxes
Interest on back taxes for the tax year 2017 is calculated from 1 February 2018 until the due date of the first instalment. The rate of interest for amounts below €10,000 is 0.5%. For the part going over €10,000 the rate is 2% in 2018 (this rate is the sum of the Bank of Finland's Reference Rate and 2 percentage points). The rate is reviewed every year. An automatic deduction of €20 is made from the interest. In practice, you will have to pay interest if you owe over €4,788 in back taxes for 2017.
Paying back taxes before due date
If you make a payment of either back taxes or supplementary prepayments in advance by 1 October 2018, you will receive a new Tax Decision and a new set of bank forms that have your arriving payment deducted from both the taxes and the interest on them. We will send you the revised decision and forms by the end of October.
If you still owe some back taxes, the due date for the first instalment of your back taxes is 3 December 2018. If less than €170 remains to be paid, you must pay it in December in one single instalment. However, if the amount you owe is €170 or higher, you should pay it in two instalments, one falling due in December, the other in February.
If you choose to pay up the first instalment in advance in October, November or December, the accounting system will apply your payment against the December instalment.
Example: You have a total of €300 of back taxes to pay. This is divided into two instalments of €150 each, the first one falling due in December, the second one in February. On 13 June 2018, you pay the December instalment of €150. Then you get a revised Tax Decision and a revised bank form. The due date of the remaining €150 is now December. This means that you cannot avoid the December due date by paying the first instalment in advance.
Example: You owe €550 in back taxes. You must pay €275 in December and €275 in February. On 18 July 2018, you pay €200. You get a revised Tax Decision and revised bank forms — the due dates are now €175 in December, €175 in February.
If you pay back taxes before the due date but after 1 October 2018, the Tax Administration does not send you revised bank forms. If you make a partial advance payment of an instalment, please use the same reference number when you pay the remaining amount.
Please note: The current supplementary prepayments will be abolished. You can pay supplementary prepayments according to the current practice up until 31 October 2018. After that, they will be replaced by additional prepayments. Read more about additional prepayments.
Reminder for 2017 overdue back taxes is displayed in the summary
The Tax Administration no longer sends printed reminder letters to taxpayers who have not paid their 2017 back taxes. Instead, we will add a reminder text to the monthly summary. Taxpayers can see their latest summary in MyTax, usually on the last day of the calendar month. Alternatively, if you have made the selection for paper-printed summaries, you will receive it by letter.
The MyTax summary includes the due dates for paying the taxes. If you do not have other overdue taxes outstanding, you will receive three reminders for the back tax. The summary that contains the third reminder is always sent by post. If you have still not paid the taxes by the due date stated in the third reminder, the Tax Administration will transfer the amounts to the enforcement agency for enforced recovery. Please note that any tax that has not been paid by its due date is subject to late-payment consequences. You can verify how much you must pay interest on an overdue tax by using the calculator in MyTax. Pay the interest together with the back tax in a single transaction.
If you are unable to pay the tax by the due date printed on the reminder, you can ask for a payment plan. Read more about payment arrangements
If the Tax Administration has transferred your tax debt to recovery by an enforcement office, you must follow their instructions and pay the debt to the enforcement office.
If you have any enquiries about paying your back taxes, you can call the Tax Administration service number 029 497 026. However, if you want to ask a question about the amount of back taxes or about your assessment decision (including your deductions), call 029 497 002. (Service numbers offer limited service in English.)
Frequently asked questions about payment
If you have accidentally paid the first instalment of a tax twice, the additional payment will be used to cover the second instalment.
If there are no instalments following the instalment you have paid twice, and if you have no other unpaid taxes or debts in enforcement that the payment could be used for, we will return the extra payment to you. Check or submit your bank account number in MyTax.
The payments will be allocated correctly even if you have used the reference number of the first or second instalment of a tax to pay for both instalments of that tax. The most important thing is that you use the correct tax year’s reference numbers.