How to claim adjustment to income tax – limited companies and cooperatives

Limited-liability companies and cooperative societies can make an appeal against a decision on their income taxes. All tax decisions that come with an enclosure containing instructions for appeal are appealable.

Submit your appeal in the form of a “claim for adjustment” and send it to the Assessment Adjustment Board (oikaisulautakunta; rättelsenämnden).

Who can submit an appeal?

In addition to the limited companies and cooperatives themselves, other parties that may appeal against tax decisions are those whose taxes might be affected by the tax imposed on the limited company or cooperative, or who would have to pay that tax due to a third-party liability.

For example, after a corporate merger is carried out, the receiving company can appeal against the income taxation of the company that merged into the receiving company. A parent company, however, is not allowed to appeal against the taxes imposed on its subsidiary companies.

How to appeal

Prepare your claim for adjustment in writing

Alternatively, you can write a letter to make a free-form claim. All claims for adjustment must contain the following information:

  • Appellant's name and Business ID
  • Reference to the tax year and the decision appealed
  • Information on the requested changes to taxation
  • The reasons for the changes

Completed claims for adjustment must be provided with the appellant’s signature. Supporting documentation to which the limited company or cooperative society refers should also be enclosed, unless it has already been submitted to the Tax Administration.

Deadlines

You can make a claim for adjustment as soon as the Tax Administration has finished the tax assessment process. When the assessment process is still ongoing, you can submit a new tax return before the end date of assessment in order to make any necessary adjustments or changes.

From tax year 2017, the length of the appeal period is 3 years

Claims for adjustment with regard to tax year 2017 and later years must be filed within three years in such a manner that the start of the 3-year period is the beginning of the calendar year following the assessment. “Instructions for appeal” are enclosed with the tax decision you have received. We recommend that you read the instructions to check the deadline.

For the majority of Finnish limited-liability companies and cooperative societies, the tax year is the same as the calendar year. The exception to this is when the company’s or cooperative’s accounting period is not the calendar year. Then the tax year is the accounting period or periods that closed during the calendar year.

However, the end date of tax assessment cannot be later than 10 months from the end date of the final calendar month of the company’s or cooperative’s accounting period. If two (or more) accounting periods have closed within one calendar year, the 10-month appeal period starts on the closing date of the most recent accounting period.

Starting tax year 2018, every taxpayer entity has its own end date for tax assessment. This date is stated on the tax decision. However, for limited liability companies and cooperative societies, the end date for tax assessment is no later than 10 months from the closing of their accounting period. If two (or more) accounting periods have closed within one calendar year, the 10-month appeal period starts on the closing date of the most recent accounting period.

Example 1:
The accounting year of a limited-liability company was 1 January to 31 December 2017. Claims for adjustment with regard to the company’s tax year 2017 must arrive at the Tax Administration by 31 December 2020.

Example 2:
The accounting year of another limited-liability company was 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018. Claims for adjustment for that company’s 2018 tax year must arrive at the Tax Administration by 31 December 2021.

Tax year 2016 and earlier: the appeal period is 5 years

In the case of older tax years such as 2016 and before that, you must submit the claim for adjustment within 5 years. The counting of time begins at the start of the calendar year following the end date of tax assessment.

For the majority of Finnish limited-liability companies and cooperative societies, the tax year is the same as the calendar year. The exception to this is when the company’s or cooperative’s accounting period is not the calendar year. Then the tax year is the accounting period or periods that closed during the calendar year.

The process of tax assessment for limited companies and cooperative societies has ended 10 months after the end of the last calendar month of the company’s or cooperative’s accounting period. If two (or more) accounting periods have closed within one calendar year, the 10-month appeal period starts on the closing date of the most recent accounting period.

Example 1:
The accounting year of a limited company was the calendar year 1 January – 31 December 2012. The Tax Administration finished its assessment process for 2012 on 31 October 2013. Claims for adjustment with regard to tax year 2012 must arrive at the Tax Administration by 31 December 2018.

Example 2:
The accounting year of a limited company was 1 July 2012 – 30 June 2013. The Tax Administration finished its assessment process for tax year 2013 on 30 April 2014. Claims for adjustment with regard to tax year 2013 must arrive at the Tax Administration by 31 December 2019.

Example 3:
The accounting year of a limited company was the calendar year 1 January – 31 December 2016. The Tax Administration finished its assessment process for tax year 2016 on 31 October 2017. Five years from the beginning of the calendar year following the assessment will have elapsed on 31 December 2022. Because 31 December 2022 will be a Saturday, claims for adjustment for tax year 2016 must arrive at the Tax Administration by Monday 2 January 2023, which is the following business day.

Has the Tax Administration initiated the adjustment?

Taxes may also be adjusted by the Tax Administration. After the taxation process has ended, some new information may become available to the Tax Administration. In this case, the Tax Administration may make an adjustment of its own accord.

As with other decisions, appeals may be made against the adjustment decisions made by the Tax Administration. You can do so by sending a claim for adjustment to the Assessment Adjustment Board.

Check the appeal deadline on the instructions for appeal enclosed with the tax decision. The deadline is either 5 or 3 years, depending on whether the date of the tax decision is before or after 1 January 2017.

If the appellant’s claim for adjustment contains new information

If new information is found in the submitted claim for adjustment, the Tax Administration will process the claim and send a supplementary tax decision to the limited company or cooperative. The procedure of corporate income taxation that involves the use of supplementary tax decisions has been in use from tax year 2018 onwards.

Typically, the new information in a claim of adjustment is an item of income, deduction or credit that the limited company or cooperative had not reported at the time when it submitted its tax return and financial statements enclosed with the tax return.

If you need to make an appeal against a supplementary tax decision, you can do so by filing a claim for adjustment with the Adjustment Board. The appeal period is the same as for the original tax decision. The instructions for appeal, enclosed with the supplementary tax decision, contain information on the appeal deadline.

Only claims submitted within the appeal period are processed

It is important that you submit your claim for adjustment in time. Remember to allow enough time for postal delivery, to make sure that your documents arrive at the Tax Administration by the last day of the appeal period. Claims that arrive late will not be examined.

Tax must be paid even if an appeal is pending

Even if an appeal has been submitted, limited companies or cooperatives must still pay the taxes imposed on them by the original due dates. However, the appellant can petition the Tax Administration to issue an order preventing or postponing any recovery proceedings. Although an order is in effect and the recovery proceedings do not continue, late-payment interest will accrue because the tax is still unpaid.

Appeals to the Administrative Court and Supreme Administrative Court

The time limit for an appeal to the Administrative Court changed on 1 January 2017. Appeals must now be made within 60 days after the appellant has received notice of the decision issued on the claim for adjustment. This time limit has been in effect since 2017. In some cases, it is also applied to tax decisions concerning previous tax years.
If you have received a ruling from the Administrative Court but you are not satisfied, you can make an appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court if the Supreme Court grants leave for this.

For more detailed instructions on how appeals are made, see the “Instructions for appeal” enclosed with the decision letter.

Appeals to the Administrative and Supreme Administrative Courts may be subject to a charge.

Read more about the charges, and find the addresses of Administrative Courts on the website of the Judicial Administration (oikeus.fi)