Strategy and action plan for tackling the grey economy and economic crime

Action Plans for tackling the grey economy and economic crime have been carried out without interruption since 1996. The new programme launched in 2020 is the eighth in a row. On this page, we will present the projects of this programme and provide updates on their outputs. Progress on the projects is monitored by an implementation group led by the Ministry of the Interior. 

The projects of the Action Plan for 2020 - 2023 are: 

Promoting healthy competition between companies and a fair labour market

Examining how to enhance the transparency of and public access to business information and how to ease the administrative burden of companies so that the obligations laid out in the Act on the Contractor’s Obligations and Liability can be fulfilled and effective action can be taken to combat the grey economy  

A cost-effective means of utilising the Business Information System to arrange public access to information and compliance with the Act on the Contractor’s Obligations and Liability when Work is Contracted Out will be determined. An impact assessment of the shadow economy benefits and effects of the implementation method on companies, the authorities and the public economy will be commissioned.  

Main responsible party: The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment with stakeholders   

An obligation to keep accounts will be imposed on foreign companies with a fixed place of business in Finland 

Legislative project 

Party responsible: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 

Enhancing the fight against corruption and abuse through expertise, supervision and openness 

Training and data analytics will be utilised to enhance anti-corruption activities. The expansion of the scope of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities to apply to legal persons owned by or under the control of the public sector will be evaluated. Increasing public access to information on the interest relationships of university research staff will be assessed.  

Party responsible: The Ministry of Justice with stakeholders 

The Government will examine new means, such as administrative sanctions, to intervene in intentional or grossly negligent underpayment 

Replacing criminal sanctions for labour law misdemeanours with administrative sanctions in order to speed up investigations of cases of abuse will be assessed.   

Parties responsible: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of the Interior 

Reviewing the interfaces between contractual employment relationships and entrepreneurship and the need for clearer regulation, and the application practices used by the authorities in new forms of work 

Needs to amend occupational legislation and specify concepts such as what constitutes an employment contract will be determined. How different authorities draw the line between an employment relationship and entrepreneurship in practice will be determined and opportunities to harmonise different interpretations will be assessed. 

Parties responsible: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 

More effective measures will be introduced to combat grey economy activities in the transport sector  

Project to amend legislation on goods transport by road. In addition, the functionality of legislation on taxi services will be assessed from perspectives such as preventing the shadow economy, and the necessary proposals on legislative amendments will be made. 

Main party responsible: Ministry of Transport and Communications  

Preventing grey economy and economic crime

The tax number system, which has worked well and prevented the grey economy in the construction industry, will be introduced in shipbuilding. The need to introduce the tax number system in other high-risk sectors, such as tourism and the restaurant sectors, will be assessed 

Legislative project. In addition, the expansion of the use of tax numbers to other high-risk fields of business will be assessed. 

Parties responsible: Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Tax Administration 

Options of ensuring better public access to information on share ownership in listed companies and better access to information on trading in nominee-registered shares will be examined 

The Tax Administration’s right to access information and the inclusion of information on the nominee-registered shares of listed companies in the public register will be assessed. Legislative amendment project on the concept of payment in lieu. 

Party responsible: Ministry of Finance  

In the European Union, Finland will work to extend the reporting obligation of beneficial owners to include all beneficial owners whose ownership is at least 10 per cent 

Finland actively promotes the proposed amendment in negotiations on EU regulations. 

Parties responsible: Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment  

The legislation on the disclosure of tax information will be amended to ensure that any changes to tax information made after the close of the tax year will be made public 

Legislative project 

Parties responsible: Ministry of Finance, Finnish Tax Administration  

A risk profiling model for preventing environmental crime will be developed 

Risk analysis development project  

Parties responsible: National Bureau of Investigation, Eastern Uusimaa Police Department, National Police Board of Finland 

An information campaign for immigrants and individuals at the start of their working careers will be launched 

A communications concept will be created for those entering the job market and those in the early phases of their career that focuses on preventing the shadow economy as part of being a responsible member of society.  The target group consists of young people and the potential workforce that has moved to Finland from abroad. Channels: social media and the Verokampus.fi site. 

Main party responsible: Finnish Tax Administration  

Ensuring the ability of authorities to combat the grey economy and economic crime

Legal provisions governing the sharing of information between the authorities will be developed so that grey economy actors can be identified and the phenomenon can be combated more effectively 

Gaps in information exchange between several authorities will be assessed.  Includes legislative projects.  

Main parties responsible: Ministries according to their administrative sectors  

Ensuring Finnish Tax Administration’s access to information 

A legislative project to expand the information disclosure obligations of third parties in the platform economy. In addition, the information disclosure obligations of third parties will be determined more broadly. Ensuring access to financial institution information in tax control will be assessed.  

Parties responsible: Ministry of Finance, Tax Administration  

The Finnish Tax Administration and the Finnish Customs will be provided with additional resources to investigate grey economy activities. The adequacy of the sanctions concerning the reporting obligation and the obligation to present documents will be reviewed 

The inspection rights and powers of the Tax Administration and Customs in tax inspections will be developed. 

Parties responsible: Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Tax Administration, Customs 

Ensuring access to the tendering information entered in the tendering system and its use in the combating of the grey economy 

Information system development project 

Party responsible: Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority   

Use of artificial intelligence in the processing of criminal investigation material 

Project to develop the Police information system and data analytics 

Parties responsible: National Bureau of Investigation, National Police Board of Finland 

Analytics will be applied to ensure better identification of grey economy and economic crime actors during the enforcement stage  

Project to develop the information system of the enforcement authorities, in which data analytics will be employed to find assets and income concealed by shadow economy actors.  

Party responsible: The National Administrative Office for Enforcement 

Expansion of the information content of VAT returns and transaction-based reporting will be examined 

A project set up by the Tax Administration will submit a proposal and carry out an impact assessment of the reform of the information content of VAT declarations as well as assess different alternatives for implementing transaction-specific reporting. 

Parties responsible: Ministry of Finance, Tax Administration  

Developing measures to combat the grey economy and economic crime and improving cooperation between authorities

Efforts will be made to enhance the effectiveness of cooperation between the authorities and supervision in the prevention of offences and undeclared work 

Efforts to prevent undeclared labour will be promoted both in Finland and at the EU level. The current situation in identity misuse and necessary amendments to legislation will be assessed. A monitoring system for anti-shadow economy personnel resources will be created. Operational cooperation between multiple authorities will be developed. Enhancing efficiency in monitoring unjustified VAT refund applications from other EU countries will be assessed. A co-operation model will be created for the Finnish Food Safety Authority and Customs for preventing cross-border food fraud. Prevention of crime in the food chain will be developed at the Finnish Food Safety Authority. 

Supplement to the project on 10 September 2020: 

Determining blind spots in communication and analyses during cooperation of authorities from several branches of government in the control of labour immigration. Examining procedures for preventing the abuse of migrant workers in different countries. Examining prerequisites of authorities granting work-related residence permits to detect the risks of abuse. Developing analyses in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and new operating models for cooperation of authorities from several branches of government.

Parties responsible: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of Finance and stakeholder authorities   

The obstacles to sharing information in the national prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing and the need to share information on these offences will be examined 

The current state of information exchange and the measures necessary to enhance its efficiency will be assessed. A shared online site will be implemented for the authorities. 

Parties responsible: Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs, and employment and stakeholder authorities   

Obligation to report on bankruptcy estate administrators and corporate restructuring administrators 

An investigation request model will be created for estate administrators and the possibility to obligate liquidators to declare any suspicions of crime observed in the performance of their duties will be assessed.  

Parties responsible: Office of Bankruptcy Ombudsman, Police, National Prosecution Authority, Tax Administration  

Opportunities for expanding independent investigative activities on the grey economy to also cover aggressive tax planning and the activities of private persons will be explored, and sufficient resources will be ensured for this 

The expansion of the powers of the Grey Economy Information Unit of the Tax Administration to apply to the activities of private individuals will be assessed. The expansion of independent investigation of aggressive tax planning will be assessed in terms of the resources required and to whom the task will be assigned, for instance.   

Parties responsible: Ministry of Finance, Tax Administration  

Government Resolution on a Strategy and an Action Plan for Tackling the Grey Economy and Economic Crime for 2020–2023 (PDF 500 kB) 

Press release of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland on 21 September 2020: Supplementing the action plan for tackling the grey economy and economic crime (in Finnish) [.fi]›