Application for an advance ruling – corporate entities
Corporations, companies and other organisations can ask for the Tax Administration’s ruling on a specific tax problem in advance. Advance rulings are binding decisions, giving an answer to the question of how the Tax Administration resolves a particular tax matter. Applications are accepted only in writing. However, the application letter is not required to have a predefined format. Rulings are issued against a charge.
In some circumstances, you can contact the Tax Administration and set a date for a pre-emptive discussion instead of submitting an application for an advance ruling. Read more about the situations where a pre-emptive discussion is recommended.
What kind of tax issues are best suited for advance rulings?
Applicants can only ask for advance rulings in matters that concern the tax assessment of their own company, organisation or corporate entity. Binding rulings cannot be prepared and given to applicants in advance for any tax issues of a general nature.
You can submit an application for advance ruling regarding income taxes and value-added taxes and concerning questions like how the provisions of current tax legislation will be applied on a specific business transaction (that your company is planning to carry out). For matters that concern VAT, taxpayers can also submit a request for written guidance, which the Tax Administration will provide free of charge.
You can submit an application for advance ruling regarding excise taxation if your question concerns the excise duty that must be paid on a certain product or if it concerns a business activity for which you are unsure whether excise duties must be paid or not. An advance ruling can only be given to applicants that file excise duty returns and pay excise duties. In other words, no advance ruling can be issued to applicants such as a product’s end user that has first paid the excise duties included in the product’s purchase price and then asks for refund. You can also submit an application for an advance ruling that concerns excise taxation in situations where the legal rules on customs are applicable to the assessment of excise duties. However, in this case, you must specify the Finnish Customs as the recipient of your application.
You can submit an application for advance ruling regarding car taxes, i.e. the way the act on car tax (Autoverolaki 1482/1994) will be applied in your vehicle’s tax assessment, including the amount of car tax and the vehicle’s tax value. See specific instructions for requesting advance rulings regarding car taxes.
Other types of tax for which advance rulings can be requested include transfer taxes, real estate taxes, income-tax preassessment and prepayments, employer's health insurance contributions and insurance-premium taxes.
Steps to take
Submit the application
Submit your application in MyTax. Please describe and explain the tax-related or business activity-related issue as clearly as possible. Your application for an advance ruling must contain all the relevant information. Add enclosures as necessary. If your application concerns a contract or some other document and issues connected to it, including the way your tax assessment will be affected, please enclose a photocopy of that contract or document.
If your application for advance ruling concerns income taxes, you must submit the application before the deadline date of the income tax return. In this case, even if the Tax Administration had extended your deadline to submit the return, you must submit the application by the original deadline.
If your application concerns another type of tax, not income tax, you must submit the application before the time when you must submit the relevant return or pay the tax, or before you must withhold taxes on a sum of money you are paying out.
If you cannot submit the application in MyTax, you can write a free-form application letter. In this case, complete Form 7300e, the Cover page for advance ruling, special permit or guidance application, and send your application with the cover page to the address stated on the first page of the form.
Note: Your application may contain corporate inside information. If so, submitting it via MyTax is not allowed. You must instead write a free-form application and send it to the Tax Administration by letter. To send an application with inside information, use the Tax Administration’s address stated on the form for the cover page. Read more about how the Tax Administration processes inside information (in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish).
Applications for advance ruling are processed
The Tax Administration processes your application as soon as possible when we have received all the documentation, additional accounts, etc. that are needed. However, it will speed up the handling of your application if you can enclose all the documentation when you send us the application.
If necessary, you can send further information for your application later. Correspondingly, it may also be that the Tax Administration will ask you to supplement the application later.
When the processing is still ongoing, you are entitled to cancel your application. This must be done in writing. In this case, the Tax Administration issues a written decision on cancellation, subject to a handling fee.
You can use MyTax to track the processing: First go to the Activities tab and then click Processing status of applications for advance ruling under Status of returns and requests.
You receive the decision and an invoice
Once your application is processed, you receive the Tax Administration’s written decision on the matter.
We send the decision letter to the address you indicated when you submitted the application, or to an address that you have given to the Tax Administration earlier. The decision will also be available in MyTax.
You will receive the invoice for the advance ruling in a separate letter. See Price list for the Tax Administration’s charged services (in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish).
Request implementation of the issued decision
After the decision has been issued to you, the law requires that you should separately request that the Tax Administration comply with the advance ruling during the assessment of your taxes. There are no format requirements; accordingly, you can write the request on your income tax return or you can enclose a copy of the advance ruling decision with the return before you submit it.
If your advance ruling concerns excise taxation, the Tax Administration will assess the excise duties as outlined in the advance ruling even if you do not submit a separate request.
In this case, please note the length of the decision’s period of validity.
Validity of the issued decision
Income tax-related rulings are only issued for a specific period. The maximum period of validity for an advance ruling is up to the end of the next calendar year following the date when the decision was issued.
For rulings regarding other taxes than income tax, the rules on period of validity are different.
Advance rulings only remain in force for the current tax year when they concern questions relating to reimbursement of expenses or the valuation of employer-provided fringe benefits for tax purposes.
Advance rulings are subject to charges
All the Tax Administration’s decisions that are issued on advance ruling applications are subject to a charge. It may consist of a decision fee, of a handling fee, or both.
If more than one rulings are issued in response to your application letter and they have to do with one tax issue, each one of these advance rulings is subject to 50% of the usual charges and fees. If you send an application letter for a decision that concerns the tax assessments of several applicants, the tax issues that concern each one of the applicants are processed one by one, as if every applicant had submitted their application separately.
We also collect the handling fee in the case of
- a Tax Administration’s decision to refrain from making an advance ruling,
- a tax issue that the Tax Administration must leave unexamined,
- an application that the applicant has decided to cancel,
- tax-related question about something general, so the Tax Administration cannot answer the question in the form of a binding advance ruling,
- an application that lacks required content, making it necessary for the Tax Administration to request further information