Business Operations in Finland (Portfolio 7120)

Antti Lehtimaja



Marko Vuori



At a glance

I. Finland - The Country, Its People, and Economy
II. Operating a Business in Finland
III. Forms of Doing Business in Finland
IV. Principal Taxes
V. Taxation of a Resident Corporation
VI. Taxation of Foreign Corporations
VII. Taxation of a Branch
VIII. Taxation of Partnerships
IX. Taxation of Other Business Entities
X. Taxation of Individuals - Residents
XI. Taxation of Nonresident Aliens
XII. Inheritance and Gift Tax
XIV. Special Provisions Relating to Multinational Corporations
XIII. Intercompany Pricing
XV. Avoidance of Double Taxation
XVI. Advance Rulings and International Assistance



By way of an introduction, there is an overview of the foreign investment, trade, and commerce regulations, and immigration and labor laws in force in Finland. The Finnish corporate law and the taxation of domestic corporations are examined in more detail. The Portfolio explains the principal tax rules affecting foreign corporations, and the principles of international taxation, including the foreign tax credit provisions, avoidance of international double taxation, the tax treaties with the United States, and the few provisions relating to transfer pricing and tax haven operations.
The income taxation of resident and nonresident individuals, the inheritance and gift taxes, local taxes, the value-added tax (VAT), and some other taxes that may be relevant to a foreign investor are also discussed. Although the VAT is the biggest single revenue raiser for the government, only the main features of the VAT system are discussed. The VAT ordinarily is not considered to provide as substantial tax planning or saving opportunities as income tax. However, VAT issues can be quite complicated in practice.
The rates of local income taxes, although varying between approximately 17% and 22% within the country, are not individually provided because they are not relevant in the consideration of the location of a business. Instead, the regional incentives that are available in Finland may be more important, and these are discussed at various points.
Although effort was made to provide information on all matters of relevance to a foreign investor intending to operate in Finland, for obvious reasons, such individuals should use this Portfolio in conjunction with appropriate professional counsel.
Among the Worksheets are a list of countries with which Finland has a tax treaty, a list of withholding tax rates applied with respect to Finland, the text of the tax treaties between Finland and the United States, and some tax forms. A complete list of the Worksheets is shown in the Table of Worksheets.

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