Refunds of car tax due to export

Part of the Finnish car tax can be refunded to the owner if the car is exported. This requires that the owner submits an application, and that Finnish car tax on the motor vehicle was paid, and that the vehicle is going to be operated in a country other than Finland on a permanent basis (“the export refund”).

The size of the refund is determined on the basis of the amount of tax that would be levied, on the date of export, on a similar car that would be declared for Finnish car taxation as a used car.

Applications for export refund must be submitted to the Finnish Tax Administration no later than 14 days before the vehicle is exported. You can use the Online service for car tax.

Alternatively, the owner of the motor vehicle can submit the application in advance (for more information on the requirements, see “Prepayment refunds in car taxation” — Autoveron ennakkopalautus (in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish)).

Requirements for the export refund

Export refund applicants must give the Tax Administration an opportunity to inspect the car before it is exported and present proof that the relevant requirements have been fulfilled.  After the refund has been paid to the owner, the authorities may still in some cases send the owner a request for further information.

The applicant of the export refund must be the owner

Only the owners of vehicles can submit an application for refund when they take their vehicle to be operated in a country other than Finland. Export refunds can be paid to natural persons or legal persons including limited-liability companies. Normally, if the applicant is the registered owner of the vehicle, no further evidence of ownership is required. If the applicant's name is not on the register as the vehicle’s owner, the applicant must present a purchase receipt or several receipts leading back to the previous registered owner, to prove their ownership.

The owner does not need to be the same person who had originally declared the vehicle to the tax authorities and paid its car tax. Correspondingly, if a person leaves Finland to start living in a foreign country, he or she becomes eligible for the export refund; there is no need for the motor vehicle to be transferred to a new owner in order to secure the eligibility for the export refund.

Future driving and operation must be outside of Finland

Export refunds can only be paid for cars and other motor vehicles that are taken out of the country on a permanent basis. This must be proven with documentary evidence.

One way to give the Finnish authorities proof of this is to register the vehicle abroad on a permanent basis. Selling a vehicle to a purchaser established abroad can also be considered acceptable proof of the vehicle having left Finland on a permanent basis. 

Roadworthiness

The refunds can only be paid for vehicles that are roadworthy when exported. If the vehicle has not passed its most recent inspection, you must provide some other proof on its technical condition to ensure that it is safe for traffic. The tax authorities may also ask to inspect the vehicle before its exportation.

Finnish registration status: decommissioned

Export refunds can only be paid for vehicles that have been declared “off the road”, i.e. decommissioned, in accordance with the Vehicles Act. 

Vehicle age must be less than 10 years 

Car tax cannot be refunded on vehicles that are exported when 10 or more years have passed since the vehicle was first put on the road. 

The time when put on the road refers to the day when registered for the first time, in Finland or abroad. This also includes registering a vehicle for export purposes, or any other type of longer-term registration, in Finland or in another country. In general, the date when a vehicle is first put on the road is the day indicated in the Vehicular and Driver Data Register.

The vehicle’s car tax declaration had been correct

Export refunds cannot be paid for vehicles that have not been appropriately declared to the tax authorities at the time when the Finnish car tax was to be paid. 

Vehicle’s first tax date must be 1 April 2009 or later

The date when the vehicle was first entered for the car tax procedure in Finland must be 1 April 2009 or a later date. This means that the current rules on export refunds cannot be applied on vehicles for which 31 March 2009, or a date before that is recorded as the date of entry.  

Refund amount

The refund is equal to the car tax that would be levied on a similar vehicle if, on the date of export, that vehicle were to be taxed in Finland as a used car. In other words, the export refund equals the vehicle’s car tax that remains on the date when you take it out of Finland. 

The amount is determined in the same way for export refund purposes as when an actual second-hand vehicle is taxed. The actual date when you take the car away from the country is the base date for vehicle valuation when the Tax Administration assesses the amount of tax. Not only the vehicle’s used-car value but also its emissions value of CO2 is accounted for when the Tax Administration calculates the refund.

No more tax is ever refunded than has been paid on the vehicle. Tax is also not refunded in so far as the value of the vehicle, or the amount of tax payable on the vehicle, has increased after assessment due to modifications or accessories. No refund is paid if the amount would be less than €500.

Read more: Amount of car tax

How a prepayment is set off against the export refund

If there has been a prepayment of the refund for the car, the Tax Administration will only pay the export refund to the company that had been the beneficiary of the prepayment. The prepaid amount is subtracted from the final amount of the export refund. If the prepayment had been greater than the final amount, the Tax Administration will collect the difference from the beneficiary of the refund. 

Read more about the prepayment of the refund: “Prepayment refunds in car taxation” — Autoveron ennakkopalautus

The interest to be paid on an export refund

If the applicant demonstrates that the motor vehicle had originally been imported for a temporary period of operation in Finland, and that the length of that period had been entered on record before importation, the Tax Administration will pay interest on the refund. The period for interest accrual is the same as the vehicle’s period of operation that had been recorded in advance.

However, the Tax Administration refrains from paying the interest if it has already paid a prepayment refund for the vehicle. The Tax Administration also refrains from paying the interest in circumstances other than those described above.

Submitting your bank account number for the refund

Let us know your bank account number for refunds of car tax. In the case of car tax, this is done on a paper form. 

Submitting your bank account number for the refund

The bank account number you give for the refunds you may receive of car tax or excise duty can be a different from the one you have submitted to the Tax Administration previously. This way, the taxpayers that pay car tax or excise duties may have more than one sets of bank account details on file at the Tax Administration. For others, our database only has just one record of a taxpayer's account number.

Problems with the e-service

If necessary, submit the application on a paper form (available in Finnish and Swedish).