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Accountancy Practices in Finland:
Accounting & Notifications to Authorities

This is a brief guide only, and does not constitute legal advice. Always check the latest rules & regulations with the relevant authorities.

Primary Sources for this page: Enterprise Finland , Finnish Tax Administration

Finnish Accountancy in Brief
All persons and entities engaged in business, including self-employed professionals, are obliged to keep books.

The management of an enterprise is responsible for its accounting, regardless of whether accounting is carried out by an external firm. The obligation to keep books starts when founding the enterprise. The obligation to audit is dependent on conditions and thresholds. Financial statements must be compiled for each accounting period and submitted to the Trade Register for publication.

Companies have periodic and annual notification obligations to authorities. In addition, employer companies submit information on paid wages to their employment pension and accident insurance companies, and apply for reimbursement of occupational healthcare expenses.

Most notifications can be submitted electronically, including amongst others: periodic tax returns, annual notifications, tax returns, and reimbursement applications for occupational healthcare expenses.

See: Enterprise Finland > In English > Information on running a business > Doing business > Notifications to authorities

Financial Statements
Source: Leinonen Finland: Financial Statement, with notes on 2016 legislation changes.
A financial statement explains business activities and the events/details which made up company profit/loss during an accounting period. Companies must submit a financial statement to the Trade Register within 4 months of the end of an accounting period. In brief, the financial statement comprises:

Leinonen Finland is an authorised accounting firm. Their Newsroom page includes articles and advisories on Finnish accounting practices and legislation.

Obligation to Audit
A corporation or foundation is obliged to appoint an auditor and carry out audits in accordance with the Auditing Act and elsewhere in the law.
Thresholds: Unless otherwise provided by law, there is no obligation to appoint an auditor for a corporation where not more than one of the following conditions were met in both the past completed financial year and the financial year immediately preceding it:

  1. The balance sheet total exceeds €100,000 euros
  2. Net sales or comparable revenue exceeds €200,000 euros
  3. The average number of employees exceeds three

Source: Finnish Association of Auditors (formerly HTM-Auditors’ Association) , Auditing Act 2007
See also: Finnish & International Auditing Firms

Periodic Tax Returns to the Tax Administration

VAT and employer payment reports are normally submitted to the Tax Administration via periodic tax returns on a monthly basis. However, small companies may apply for a longer reporting and payment period.

Periodic tax returns submitted monthly or quarterly must be submitted by the 12th day of the calendar month during which a notification regarding the target period’s taxes or payments must be submitted by law. This due date applies to electronic notifications. Hard copy periodic tax returns must arrive by the 7th day of the month.

Organisations liable to pay value added tax and subject to the calendar year procedure must submit periodic tax returns for VAT; the notifications must arrive on the 28th February at the latest. If you have a VAT registration, or you are registered as an employer, you have to submit the periodic tax return for each reporting period even if no business operations have been going on.

For further information and instructions on submission of electronic notifications see:
Enterprise Finland > In English > Information on running a business > Doing business > Notifications to authorities
Finnish Tax Administration > In English > Companies and organisations > Tax Account > How to file Periodic Tax Returns

Annual Notifications to the Tax Administration

Nearly all annual notifications can be submitted electronically as files. Some annual notifications can also be submitted on online forms. The following are some of the main notifications:

Employer's Annual Information Return
Each employer must submit annual information returns to the Tax Administration on paid wages and certain other payments. Annual information returns are submitted once a year, usually by the end of January in the year following the payment.

Tax Returns
Companies must submit tax returns disclosing information for the past tax year. The tax year is determined by the company's accounting period.
Tax Return submission Dates:
Self-employed: No later than the beginning of April following the tax year (or as otherwise indicated on the tax return form). Self-employed individuals will also receive pre-completed tax returns on their personal income well in advance. This tax return only needs to be submitted if you make corrections or additions to it. The due date has been indicated on the front page of the form.
General partnership and limited partnership:The beginning of April, as indicated on the tax return form.
Limited liability company and cooperative: Within four months from the end of the accounting period.

Additional annual notifications include:

For information on annual notifications, and instructions on electronic submission see:
Enterprise Finland > In English > Information on running a business > Doing business > Notifications to authorities
Finnish Tax Administration > In English > Companies and organisations > Annual Information Returns

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