How to manage your tax return, step by step
It is likely that you have received or are about to receive your pre-completed tax return, the Government's document to inform you if you have to pay any back taxes or if you have the right to some return
Are you a taxpayer in Finland? Of course your are if you live in this country.
In Finland, like anywhere else in Europe, anyone who works or owns some property or has any kind of rental or capital income or simply purchases goods and services is a taxpayer. And taxes are not low, by the way.
So, if you are among the long-suffering group of taxpayers in Finland, it is likely that you have already received or are about to receive your pre-completed tax return. This is a personal document that the Finnish Tax Authority (Verohallinto or just Vero) will send to your home by postal mail and that summarizes your degree of compliance with the tax obligations during the previous year.
Through this pre-completed tax return you will be informed if you must make any additional payment as back taxes or if, on the contrary, you should receive a refund, according to the information held by Vero.
The website of the Finnish Tax Authority explains that if you are an employee you should have received your pre-completed tax return by the end of April. The information included in the document must be reviewed and, if it is not correct or additional information is needed, it must be changed before the due date stated in the document.
If you have already received it and you need to make corrections, the deadlines announced in Vero's website are 7 May, 14 May or 21 May 2019, depending on the case. Do not forget to check your specific due date on your tax return or through MyTax, the electronic service that allows taxpayers to manage most of their tax obligations just from a single platform and with their own laptops, phones or tablets.
On the other hand, self-employed business operators (entrepreneurs) and agricultural operators as well as their spouses receive their pre-completed tax returns in March. For them, the deadline to make corrections is 2 April 2019.
What to do with your tax return
1. Check it carefully. This year 2019 comes in a new format. The document is just a printout with the details on your tax assessment and there are no empty spaces to fill. Most individual taxpayers only receive their decision and certificate of tax assessment enclosed with the return. However, the content is different for self-employed individuals, agricultural operators or the people who receive rental income or capital gains. On the first page of the document you will already see the most important information:
- How much money you must pay as back taxes or how much you will receive as a refund, and the date of the refund.
- The due date for making the corrections. Due dates might be postponed in some cases (if you or you spouse make corrections or the Tax authority receives additional data with an impact on your assessment...).
- The bank account where the Tax Administration will transfer your tax refund. Check your bank account number and, if it is necessary, make corrections in MyTax or on paper form. If you have not provided your account number, the first page of your return will inform you of that.
- You can see an example of a tax return first page explained in English HERE
2. If you think all the information included in your pre-completed tax return is correct, then you do not have to do anything. According to Vero's website, if you have not made any changes by the deadline date, the Tax Authority will consider that you have submitted your return with the contents that were included in it.
3. If the information included is incorrect or the document lacks any details, then you must access the service of MyTax in order to correct it. You can also send the corrections in paper forms, if you prefer. But make sure that Vero gets the forms by the due date.
If for any reason you cannot meet the due date that Vero has established for you, then you still have the possibility to request an extension of time for filling your tax return.
For this purpose, you can fill in an application form and submit it to the Tax Authority. Once more, remember you must do it before the deadline stated in your pre-completed tax return. And remember also that you must be able to prove that you have a valid reason for that.