Non-resident taxpayer: Remember to request tax-at-source for stock dividends

News, 3/31/2020

Last year, many Finnish companies paid out stock dividends, i.e. dividends in the form of shares. If you are a non-resident taxpayer, dividends that you have received as shares are subject to tax-at-source. If tax-at-source should have been withheld on your stock dividends but it has not, the Tax Administration will issue a separate decision imposing the tax. If the Tax Administration has not already separately ruled that the tax at source must be paid, you must submit a request for taxation at source to the Finnish Tax Administration. You can read more about the taxation of dividends in kind in our news article on the subject (16 July 2019).

How to request tax-at-source and what enclosures to include

You request tax-at-source by filing a form issued by the Tax Administration. The forms for individual taxpayers and for corporate entities are different. If you are a representative making a request on the beneficiary’s behalf, you must include a power of attorney with the form. We also recommend that you include with your request a receipt or voucher issued by the bank or other intermediary on the income payment.

If the beneficiary wants the Tax Administration to apply the provisions of a tax treaty to the applicable tax-at-source, they must include with their request a certificate of residence issued by their country of residence for the year in which the income was paid.

If a corporate entity sees that they are comparable to a tax-exempt Finnish organisation and therefore exempt from tax at source, the corporation must include detailed grounds for their claim with the request. If necessary, the Tax Administration can ask the beneficiary to provide other documents relevant to the processing of the request.

Non-resident individuals 

Non-resident corporate entities

 Select the form based on the company from which you have received stock dividends.

The securities depository Euroclear Finland has also delivered these forms to account operators.

Deadline for requesting tax at source 

If a non-resident individual taxpayer has received stock dividends in tax year 2019, they must deliver a request for tax-at-source to the Tax Administration by 19 May 2020. They can also make the request within three years from the end of the year in which the tax should have been collected. If a non-resident taxpayer chooses the three-year deadline as opposed to the earlier due date, they may have to pay a late-filing penalty.

 

A non-resident corporate taxpayer must request tax at source within four months from the end of their accounting period. The corporate entity’s accounting period must be specified in the request. For example, if the corporate entity’s accounting period is the calendar year, the request should be made by 30 April 2020. If the request arrives late, the entity may have to pay a late-filing penalty. 

According to the Tax Administration’s decision (§ 1, VH/5450/00.01.00/2019), a non-resident taxpayer must report in their tax return any income on which tax is imposed in accordance with § 16, subsection 2 of the act on the taxation of non-residents’ income (Laki rajoitetusti verovelvollisen tulon verottamisesta 627/1978).

This section refers to situations where tax at source has not been withheld because of a reason other than negligence by the party responsible for collecting the tax (such as in the case of stock dividends).