When can a foreign company’s or organisation’s vehicle be used exempt from tax in Finland?
A vehicle registered abroad can be used exempt from tax in the operations of a company or an organisation in Finland only if all the following conditions are met.
- The vehicle is used in the operations of a company, an organisation or a non-governmental organisation that is located in a country other than Finland. Please note that a subsidiary located in Finland, for example, does not fulfil this condition.
- The vehicle is imported to Finland by a person who lives permanently abroad.
- The user of the vehicle lives permanently abroad.
- The vehicle is used in Finland for no more than 7 months during a period of 12 months.
If you use the vehicle in Finland and all the above conditions are met, you do not need to submit a declaration of use to the Tax Administration.
If the conditions are not met, the tax-exempt use ends and you must file a declaration of use and a car tax return.
What should I do if I need the vehicle for more than 7 months?
The time limit for tax-exempt use cannot be extended. If you want to continue using the vehicle in Finland after 7 months, you must file a declaration of use and a car tax return. Read more about filing a declation of use and a car tax return (available in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish).
What options do I have when the tax exemption period is over?
You can stop using the vehicle in Finland. If you stop using the vehicle by the time the right to tax-exempt use ends, you do not need to submit a declaration of use or a car tax return. You are not required to pay the car tax, either.
Also, you do not need to pay the car tax to Finland if the vehicle is exported permanently to another country as soon as possible after the time limit for tax-exempt use has ended.
If you continue using the vehicle in Finland or if someone else starts using the vehicle in Finland, a declaration of use and a car tax return must be filed and the Finnish car tax must be paid. Liability rests on the person using the vehicle.
Who is responsible for the declaration of use and the car tax return?
Usually the first user is the party having the use of the vehicle when it is used in traffic in Finland for the first time. If the vehicle was originally in tax-exempt use, responsibility is decided based on the situation that prevails when the preconditions for the tax exemption end and the vehicle’s use becomes taxable.
For example, if a company's employee uses the company's car primarily for business purposes, the first user is the company and not the company's employee, or driver. Where only private individuals are concerned, the first user is the person on whose behalf or for whose purposes the car is used, even if they do not drive the car themselves. If the first user cannot be named or accounted for, the first user is the owner of the vehicle. In that case, the owner is responsible for the filing.
Keep in mind
The Tax Administration may ask the driver to explain how the vehicle has been used and what the grounds for tax-exempt use are. The Tax Administration can also request an account from the company or organisation in whose operations the vehicle is used.