also known as VAT, GST, Sales Tax
There are 3 ALV rates in Finland, the most common of which is the general rate. In 2015 the rates are
- 24 %: General rate
- 14 %: Reduced rate for foodstuffs, restaurant and catering services, and animal feed
- 10 %: Reduced rate for books, pharmaceutical products, passenger transportation, accommodation, and certain other goods and services
- More details: Search "Rates of VAT" at www.tax.fi
ALV is already included in most Finnish prices. In the case of supermarkets, shops and department stores you never have to calculate it and add it yourself. Services are the most likely prices not to have ALV included. In written prices a notation should always be present telling you whether ALV is included or not, similar to:
Hinta sisältää alv:n 24% - Price includes 24% VAT
Hinnat eivät sisällä alv. - Price does not include VAT
Top Tip: If you giving or receiving a quotation, make sure ALV is taken into account and that both parties are clear as to whether or not it is included in the price. This can prevent misunderstandings, which can be embarrassing &/or costly!
Note: Restrictions and exceptions to the following rules apply. For example, new motor vehicles and excisable goods such as tobacco and alcohol are subject to different tax and import laws.
EU Retailers: If you make an online purchase from a Finnish retailer or from another EU member state, ALV / VAT will be included in the price under the EU VAT Agreement. These purchases will not be liable to additional sales tax or customs duties upon arrival in Finland.
Non-EU Retailers: Online purchases from outside the EU may be liable to customs duties &/or sales tax. Very briefly:
Duty free threshold: There is no customs duty if the total value* of goods does not exceed €150
Tax-free threshold: There is no VAT if the total value* of goods does not exceed €22
*Total value is not just the purchase price. It also includes items such as postage. See the Customs page below for details on calculating total value.
More information: Finnish Customs' Shopping Online section, which includes the informative PDF Online shopping – guide for private persons