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. If the amount to pay is less than €10, it is not collected from you at all.
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.
When you use the paper bank transfer slip for sending us your payment you must use the international 'RF' code number. You use it in the same way as the traditional domestic reference number. You must include the entire string of characters and not leave out the leading 'RF' from it (as in RF55 5305 8282 8282 8091 197). It may be that you cannot feed the entire string - then you can try leaving out the first four characters.
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.
If your back tax payment consists of two instalments, extra payments are allocated to th second instalment.
The QR code at the top right corner of the bank transfer facilitates mobile payments.
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
By requesting your e-bank for an e-invoice or making a direct payment agreement with your bank, you can pay your taxes conveniently and no longer need to remember due dates. Request the e-invoice or make the direct payment agreement at least 3 weeks before the due date.
If you now request an e-invoice for your real estate tax, or have done so earlier, you will also receive an e-invoice for possible back taxes and prepayments. Similarly, if you request an e-invoice for back taxes, you will hereafter receive one for your real estate tax as well as prepayments. This also goes for direct payment. If you don't want to pay by e-invoice or direct payment, you can cancel your request. Please note that this also cancels the e-invoice or direct payment of your real estate tax and prepayments.
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 beforehand, you 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. For this to happen, you must pay by 30 September.
Note! As 30 September 2018 is a Sunday, supplementary prepayments can be made until Monday 1 October 2018. We will send you the revised decision and forms by the end of October. If you still owe some back taxes, the due date 3 December 2018 continues to be in force for the first instalment. If less than €170 remains, you must pay it in December in one single instalment. However, if the amount you owe is €170 or higher, you 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 revised bank forms. The due date of the remaining €150 is now December. This means that you cannot avoid the December due date by paying up 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.
Payments that you make after the actual due dates are credited with late-payment interest which you must add to the tax yourself. Use the same bank form. Use the late-payment calculator to figure out the exact amount. If you must pay surtax, and your payment is past due date, you must add late-payment interest to that as well.
Interest period starts on the day after the due date, and ends on payment, and the interest calculation includes both these dates. The interest rate is reviewed every year. For 2018, the rate is 7%. Its threshold amount is €3.
- Late-payment calculator (www.vero.fi/viivekorkolaskuri)
The Tax Administration sends only one reminder letter for both of the two instalments for tax year 2017.
If the due date printed on the reminder letter passes and the tax is still unpaid, we normally transfer the matter to the enforcement authorities for recovery. If you are unable to pay the tax by the due date printed on the reminder letter, you can ask for a payment plan to be agreed with you.
If your tax is undergoing recovery by an enforcement authority, you can no longer pay it to the Tax Administration. Instead, you must pay it to the Enforcement Agency according to the instructions you have received from there. The Agency will collect an additional charge for their services even in cases where the taxpayer had paid the amount to the bank account of the Tax Administration directly.
Note: 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 Tax 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.