Finland: Proposed three-year limitations period, withholding tax refund claims

Finland: Proposed three-year limitations period

The government of Finland, in a draft bill, proposes to shorten the limitations period for all tax matters to three years, from the current five-year limitations period, starting in tax year 2017. This proposal would have implications for when claims for refunds of withholding tax could be allowed.

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The current limitations period for tax matters in Finland is five years. Concerning claims for refunds of withholding tax, the five-year period starts to run from 1 January after the year in which the withholding tax was levied. 

The limitations period amendments are proposed to be effective for the tax year 2017 and, if enacted, would apply to withholding tax that is levied from 2017 onwards. Accordingly, the tax year 2016 would be the last year for which the current five-year time limitation would apply. It is not expected that the proposed three-year limitations period would apply retroactively. Thus, refund claims for withholding tax levied by Finland in 2016 could be filed until the end of 2021, whereas refund claims for Finnish withholding levied in 2017 would be allowable until the end of 2020.

KPMG observation

There could be changes made to the proposals during the legislative process, but tax professionals anticipate that the three-year limitations period would apply from 2017 onwards.

 

Read a May 2016 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Luxembourg

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