The new year will bring a number of changes to the tax system of Finland, reports Kauppalehti.
The most notable change for most taxpayers will be the income tax concessions worth a total of 515 million euros introduced at the turn of the year to offset the impact of the so-called competitiveness pact on the purchasing power of consumers.
The concessions will boost purchasing power across income groups: the income tax rate levied on monthly earnings of 3,300 euros, for example, will be reduced by 0.5 percentage points to 30.5 per cent, increasing the amount of disposable income available to such earners by 96 euros.
Both the lower and upper limits for real property tax rates will be raised. The general tax rate for real properties will be raised from 0.80–1.55 per cent to 0.93–1.80 per cent and the rate for residential houses from 0.37–0.80 per cent to 0.41–0.90 per cent. The Taxpayers' Association of Finland has estimated that the revisions will necessitate real property tax hikes in a total of 125 municipalities.
Municipal tax rates, in turn, will increase in 47 and decrease in 14 municipalities at the start of 2017.
The cost of petrol will increase by 2.5 cents per litre as the excise tax for liquid fuels is raised by 100 million euros. Prospective car buyers, however, will be pleased with the fact that vehicle tax rates will be reduced by a total of 180 million euros in 2017–2019 with a view to reducing emissions from road traffic.
The tax for heating fuels will be raised by 45 million euros, translating to a 42-euro increase in the annual heating costs of an oil-heated detached home and an 11-euro increase in those of a district-heated detached home.
The inheritance and gift tax will be lowered across the board. The threshold value for gift tax will be raised from 4,000 to 5,000 euros and the maximum tax rate levied on gifts lowered from 20 to 17 per cent. The tax rates levied on estates, meanwhile, will be capped at 19 instead of the current 20 per cent.
The tobacco tax will be raised to generate additional tax revenues of 135 million euros. The average price of a pack of cigarettes will consequently increase by 50 cents for the second consecutive year and the scope of the tax will be expanded to also include nicotine liquids intended for e-cigarettes.
The sweets tax will be abolished. Plant-based substitute milks and ice cubes will be exempt from the soft drinks tax.
The Finnish Government is also intent on levying a new tax on pleasure crafts and motorcycles at the beginning of May. The tax, which is to range from a minimum of 100 to a maximum of 300 euros, will be applied to boats over nine metres in length or with a horsepower greater than 50.
The owners of motorcycles and certain four-wheeled vehicles, such as certain all-terrain vehicles, will be liable for a tax of 150 euros. Mopeds and light motorcycles do not fall within the scope of the tax.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi