What business operations require or allow VAT registration?

A company selling goods or services in the conduct of business is usually liable to pay VAT and has to be entered in the VAT register. Value added taxation does not concern small-scale business or business operations specified as tax-exempt in the Value Added Tax Act. VAT liability does not depend on the company form.

There are also situations where the company has to be entered in the VAT register even if it does not conduct any business operations subject to VAT. Such situations include intra-Community acquisitions, i.e. purchases of goods from other EU countries to Finland. Sometimes a company may also voluntarily wish to register for VAT.

You can register for VAT in MyTax if, for example, your company already has a Business ID or if you are starting to operate as a self-employed individual.

When you register, select the activity type:

  • The company must be entered in the VAT register if its business turnover for the accounting period (12 months) exceeds €15,000 (the threshold was €10,000 until the end of 2020).
  • The company can register for VAT voluntarily even if its turnover does not exceed the threshold.

Read more about what is included in the company’s turnover:

  • Value added taxation of small businesses
  • Threshold of VAT-exempt small-scale business

If the company performs both business operations and primary production and its turnover for these two operations during the accounting period totals

  • more than €15,000, the company must be entered in the VAT register for both business operations and primary production
  • not more than €15,000, the company can register for VAT voluntarily for both operations.
  • You must register for VAT if you perform primary production (e.g. agriculture, forestry, horticulture, fur farming or reindeer husbandry) and your turnover for the accounting period is more than €15,000 (the threshold was €10,000 until the end of 2020).
  • You can register voluntarily for VAT for primary production even if your turnover does not exceed the threshold.

If you perform both primary production and business operations and your turnover for these two operations during the accounting period totals

  • more than €15,000, you must be entered in the VAT register for both business operations and primary production
  • no more than €15,000, you can register for VAT voluntarily for both operations.

Register for VAT for purchases and self-supply if your company’s operations are otherwise exempt from VAT but it is liable for VAT for

  • EU purchases of goods (intra-Community acquisitions) exceeding €10,000 in the current or previous calendar year
  • purchases of services from EU countries or non-EU countries (based on the reverse charge mechanism)

If your company’s operations are otherwise exempt from VAT but it is liable for VAT for self-supply of property management services or restaurant and meal services.

The company is obliged to report on the supply of services in the EU if the company’s operations are otherwise exempt from VAT but it sells such services in the EU that would be taxable as supply between VAT-liable companies in the buyer’s country (in an EU country other than Finland).

Note: In addition to the VAT return, you must complete a separate EU recapitulative statement on the supply to other EU countries.

  • Register for VAT if you sell works of art created by yourself and your company’s business turnover for the accounting period exceeds €15,000.
  • Creators of works of art can register for VAT voluntarily even if their turnover for the accounting period does not exceed €15,000.

For purposes of value added taxation, works of art include items such as paintings, original engravings, sculptures and tapestry.

You can request entry in the VAT register on certain conditions if you transfer the right to use a real estate unit to a tenant or a property company's shareholder who continuously uses the real estate unit, or part of the unit, for their VAT-liable operations. Attach a rental agreement or some other document describing your rental activity.

Note: You must request entry in the VAT register for transfer of real estate even if you already are VAT-registered for your business operations.

Intra-Community acquisition of goods refers to the purchase of an item from another EU country.

The company can register for VAT voluntarily for intra-Community acquisitions in certain situations. A condition is that your company’s operations are otherwise exempt from VAT and that the intra-Community acquisitions do not exceed €10,000 in the current or previous calendar year.

If the acquisitions exceed the threshold, the company must register for VAT. In that case, select the activity type Purchases and self-supply. 

A performing artist, another performer or an athlete can register for VAT voluntarily when they sell their own performances and their income comprises performance fees and compensation paid by event organisers for the sale of the performances. A company selling performances can also opt to register for VAT.

If the performance fee or other compensation is treated as earned income in income taxation, VAT registration is not possible.

After VAT registration, all other business operations are also subject to VAT even if the turnover does not exceed the threshold for small-scale business.

If you have already been entered in the VAT register for business operations but also wish to register as a performing artist or an athlete, you must request registration separately.