What is the “tax return”? What does it look like?

The tax return is a list showing an individual taxpayer’s income and deductions for the entire year. For the year that ended last, you always receive a tax return, sent to you in March or April.

If you have activated electronic messages from the authorities on Suomi.fi messages, you will be notified by e-mail when you can check your pre-completed tax return in MyTax. If you have not activated Suomi.fi messages, you will also receive your tax return by post.

Contents of the tax return

The majority of individual taxpayers receive their decision and certificate of tax assessment enclosed with the return. However, tax return contents are different for those taxpayers for whom the Tax Administration does not have all the necessary information available. Examples of these include self-employed individuals, agricultural taxpayers, and people who receive rental income or capital gains.

First page

See an example of the first page of the tax return (pdf)

The following information is on the return’s first page:

  • The due date for making corrections
    This is the final date when you can submit corrections and additions. If you file on paper, make sure the forms arrive at the Tax Administration by the due date.
  • How much you must pay as back taxes, or how much you will receive as a refund, including dates of payment
    Please note that the dates may be postponed if you or your spouse make corrections to your tax returns. The dates may also be postponed if the Tax Administration receives information from outside sources that have an impact on your assessment. If your assessment process is prolonged, we will inform you of it by sending you a letter, an information request, or a revised decision on assessment. The taxpayers who receive a pre-completed return with no assessment decision (e.g. the self-employed) will not receive information on refunds and back taxes.
  • The bank account where the Tax Administration will transfer your tax refund 
    Check your bank account number and, if necessary, make corrections in MyTax or on paper form. If you have not given us your bank account number, the first page of your return will contain a note to that effect.

Information serving as the basis for your taxation

See an example of information serving as the basis for taxation (pdf)

Please check the information and amounts that affect your taxation. If you notice errors or omissions, report any necessary corrections to us. The result of your tax assessment – whether you receive a refund or have to pay more tax – is determined according to this information. Your return may indicate that you must send us further details. These are listed under the sub-heading “Täydennettävät tiedot” or “Uppgifter som ska kompletteras”.

You can use MyTax to submit any corrections. If you opt for paper filing, the column on the right indicates the number of the form required for correcting each pre-completed entry.

Tax decision for 2020

See an example of tax decision (pdf)

Most individual taxpayers receive an envelope containing the pre-completed tax return with an assessment decision enclosed. The assessment decision contains the result of your taxation for the year. In addition, the decision includes the following information:

  • the end date of your tax assessment process
  • your tax refund and its payment date, or your back taxes and their due date.

If you make corrections to your return, or if the Tax Administration receives information from other sources (for example, from an employer) that has an impact on your taxes, you will receive a new, revised decision on your 2020 assessment. The new decision contains a new refund amount and its payment date, or your new back taxes and their due dates. If your assessment end date is postponed, it usually means that the payment date for refunds and the due dates for back taxes are postponed as well.

What is the impact of the “tax assessment end date”?

In the future, the end dates for the Tax Administration’s assessment process will vary for individual taxpayers. The end date can be postponed if a taxpayer or their spouse makes corrections to their tax return or the Tax Administration receives information affecting the tax assessment from a third party. The tax assessment end date has an impact on a number of things, including:

  • It determines the date when any tax refunds are paid to you, or the due date of your back taxes.
  • If you check your assessment information but do not notice an error until after the end date, you will be required to make a formal claim for adjustment.
  • Certain requests and claims must be submitted before the end date of assessment.  If these requests and claims are not submitted in time, no appeals can be filed against the resulting tax assessment based on them. These include requests for income spreading agreements, requests for dividing the credit for household expenses between spouses, and claims for deducting mandatory pension insurance premiums.

Notice of assessment

One of the enclosures is the notice of assessment (verotustodistus; beskattningsintyg). We recommend that you save this document for further use. However, electronically provided copies of the decision and the notice of assessment are also available in MyTax.

If no corrections or additions are made to the original tax return, the original version of your assessment decision – as well as the notice of assessment and bank forms enclosed with it – will continue to be in force. In these circumstances, the Tax Administration does not send you a 2020 decision or notice of assessment again.

Preliminary calculation of assessed taxes

It may be that you receive a pre-completed tax return but no decision. The reason for this is that the Tax Administration has not been able to access all the necessary information for your 2020 assessment. Your pre-completed return only contains a preliminary calculation of assessed taxes.

Typically, we send preliminary calculations to self-employed operators of a trade or business and agricultural taxpayers, who file their business or agricultural tax return form simultaneously when sending back corrections to their pre-completed returns. You may also receive a preliminary calculation if you are a beneficiary of rental income, capital gains income, or you have had a capital loss.

We may also send the preliminary calculation to shareholders in real estate partnerships or inactive business partnerships.  

Read more about what a real estate partnership is (in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish)

In these cases, we will not send you a tax assessment decision until we have processed both your tax return and your spouse’s tax return. Check the details on your personal tax return and make corrections if necessary.

You will receive a new tax decision by the end of October.

If the business partnership has not had any activities in the previous year, you do not need to file the partnership’s tax return.

If you have not had any income from the real estate unit in the previous year, you do not need to file the partnership’s tax return. If you have rented out the real estate unit in the previous year but you have not yet reported the rental income you received, file income details on Form 7K.