Value Added Tax was introduced into Finland in 1994, and is termed Arvonlisävero locally.
Finland’s main VAT rules are found within the Values Added Tax Act and VAT Ordinance. The National Board of Taxes publishes regular updates and leaflets on the application of Finnish VAT. Non-resident companies deal with the Tax Office at Unusimaa.
Like all EU member countries, Finland is required to implement the EU VAT laws (Directive) into its local legislation. This governs the broad rules for Finnish VAT registrations, returns, Intrastat, compliance and related declarations.
Should you register for Finnish VAT?
The requirement to register for Finnish follows the rules for the rest of Europe. Finland is able to deviate within a number of derogations contained with the VAT Directive. The situations in Finland include:
- Importing goods into Finland for the first time into the EU
- Intra-community sales (dispatches) or purchases (acquisitions) of goods from other European Union states
- Buying and selling goods in Finland
- Holding goods in Finland in a warehouse as consignment stock for sales to local customers. Call off stock arrangements, where the stock is held for one customer, is exempt but requires negotiation with the local tax authorities.
- Sales over the internet to non-VAT registered customers. This is subject to a Finnish annual sales threshold.
- Running events, conferences and exhibitions where admission is charged on the door.
- If a company is otherwise a non-VAT trader, but is receiving services in Finland under the reverse charge rule.
- The self supply of goods.
Finland no longer requires non-residents to register for the provision of services in Finland. Typically the customer accounts for these under the reverse charge rules.
Note that providers of electronic, broadcast or telecoms services to consumers in Finland only have to VAT register in one EU country under the MOSS scheme to file a single return covering all 27 member states.
If you do need to VAT register, read our Finnish VAT registration briefing to understand the requirements, including any VAT registration thresholds that may apply.
There may be further exemptions from the requirement to VAT register in Finland that you should consider. Please read our Finnish VAT Reverse Charge briefing.
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