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Country Rankings - Finland


  • Sep 19, 2016   Finland: too much information

    Further evidence that the legal pendulum is swinging in favor of governments came in the form of the Swiss Supreme Court's decision on September 12 to grant a group request to the Dutch tax authorities under the Swiss-Netherlands tax treaty, after a lower court had blocked it on the grounds that it resembled a phishing expedition. And this observer eagerly awaits the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in a case that will determine whether a Finnish newspaper has the right to publish taxpayer information as it would last weekend's soccer results.
    Source: http://www.tax-news.com/news/ECHR_To_Decide_Finnish_Tax_Data_Publishing_Case____72234.html


  • May 09, 2016   Finland: nannying

    I expect that not every reader will be familiar with this particularly British turn of phrase. Essentially, it refers to the actions of an overbearing government that has a propensity for telling people how they should be running their lives. In other words, nanny knows best. Perhaps the most obvious example of the nanny state is in the mollycoddling health and safety laws in place in many countries, which tend to treat people like errant toddlers and which are the bane of many a responsible citizen. Another example is when a government attempts to discourage certain activities deemed undesirable. Traditionally, this has entailed restrictions on, or laws against, such things and drug-trading and taking, or the possession of weapons. But in the modern day, undesirable activities are just as likely to encompass cake eating, wine drinking, and cigarette smoking. And while engaging in all three of these scandalous activities is unlikely to land you in jail, it could leave you seriously out-of-pocket due to the high "sin taxes" that some countries, like Finland, now charge. It might also give the Minister in charge of Discouraging Undesirable Things cold sweats if done in his line of vision – although his colleague at the Treasury won't be quite so judgmental. That's because there's no hard evidence that "sin taxes" reduce the level of sin – but they are a good little earner for the coffers.
    Source: http://www.tax-news.com/news/Sin_Taxes_Put_Finland_Top_Of_Nanny_State_Index____71121.html


  • May 03, 2016   Finland: mean

    And finally, if something's too good to be true, it probably is. This, at any rate, seems to be the case for Finnish pensioners who have decided to see out their dotage in the mild climes of Portugal, at Europe's south-western corner. And who can blame them? I'm sure Finland is a beautiful country, but personally, if forced to choose, I'd rather spend my winters in the Algarve rather than on the Arctic circle, any day of the week. However, thousands of Finns haven't been attracted to Portugal just for the weather; it may also have been a fiscal decision. Portugal offers retired foreign expats meeting certain conditions a very generous income tax holiday for the first ten years of their stay. Except that the Finnish Government got wind of this tax-free bonanza, and after years of nagging the Portuguese Government, it has finally got its way – an amendment to the Portugal/Finland double tax treaty. It's not immediately clear what the outcome of these changes will be. The pensioners in question won't know their fate for sure until the grisly details of the changes emerge at some point in the near future. However, it would appear that the amendment will give Finland the right to tax more of this pension income. It seems a bit mean to drop this bombshell on someone who's slaved and saved hard for a comfortable retirement. But you can hardly blame the Finnish Government, can you? I mean, what self-respecting government misses an opportunity to double, triple, or even quadruple tax a person's income? If you're unlucky enough, you could be taxed when you earn it, taxed when you save it, taxed when you retire, and taxed when you die. But without tax, governments wouldn't have a reason to exist, would they...
    Source: http://www.tax-news.com/news/Finland_Portugal_Agree_On_Pension_Taxation____71091.html


  • Sep 22, 2015   Finland: also expedient

    It's certainly getting harder for the world to ignore the mass migration of persecuted and war-weary people into Europe. And I can understand the frustrations of the countries bearing the brunt of the migrant crisis in Europe, when there are several larger and considerably better off nations that seem to be turning a blind eye to it all. But I sincerely hope the countries on the front line aren't using the emergency as an excuse to dream up new taxes. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case. Hungary's Government, which is certainly creative when it comes to finding new sources of revenue, has said that the influx of refugees into the country (the majority of whom are trying to reach Germany) has cost it over EUR109m (USD124m) so far, and a budget "adjustment" – aka, a tax hike – will have to be made sooner or later to cover the costs of policing and security. I suppose Hungary does have some justification to raise taxes. Surely the same can't be said of Finland, which is hardly on the front line of all this (Finland has agreed to take two percent of the 120,000 refugees to be relocated across the EU). Nevertheless, the Finnish Government has announced proposals to hike income tax and introduce a "solidarity tax" (aka "the government is broke tax") to help cover costs associated with housing asylum seekers. What really needs to happen is for these governments to cut spending elsewhere, but it's a lot easier and politically expedient just to invent a "temporary" crisis tax when the going gets tough. I'm aware that this is a very sensitive issue, and emotions are running high in certain parts of Europe right now. But this calls for a collective solution from the world's richest nations, and one that goes beyond the blunt instrument of national tax hikes.
    Source: www.tax-news.com/news/Finnish_Government_Proposes_Wealth_Tax_Hike____69155.html


  • Apr 18, 2013   Finland: mistreat China

    One country which is conspicuous by its absence from the TPP talks is of course China. Although there are ongoing negotiations between the Middle Kingdom and various other countries, and China has FTAs with a scattering of other countries, notably including ASEAN and New Zealand, on the whole it is lagging. And it considers itself as an injured party in trade affairs, complaining this week about the level of "dumping" and "counter-vailing" measures it is subject to, particular emanating from the USA. A lot of the problem revolves around the designation of China as a "non-market economy" (NME). For anyone who, like me, finds it extraordinary that China should still be regarded as an NME, a word of explanation is in order: an NME is a country in which the State subsidizes enterprises or indulges in other non-market behaviour, despite WTO rules against it. So, an NME is allowed to cheat, if you will; but the other side of the coin is that for an aggrieved counter-party, the burden of proof is lower in anti-dumping proceedings. China's accession agreement to the WTO allows it to retain NME status only until 2015; but the change is not in China's gift, and both the USA and the EU persist in regarding China as an NME, despite frequent requests from China for them to treat it as a market economy.
    Source: www.lowtax.net/asp/story/front/China_Sees_Itself_Subject_To_Increasing_Trade_Friction____60398.html


  • Sep 27, 2012   Finland: one up, one down

    It seems mean to bring Finland into the rankings with an execration given that it is quite a business-minded country, nearly managed to prevent the EU's Greek bail-out, and has such good music. It deserves one though for increasing taxes in all directions in its 2013 budget. On the other hand they are saying the right things about cutting public spending (don't they all?) and there are some pro-business measures tucked away at the bottom. So I'll let it slide into neutral territory. But I'm on the case, although my Finnish is weak (did you know that it's closely related to Hungarian?). Out of space, or I would treat you to an essay on why Google translate is going to change the world. (Phew! - ed.)
    Source: http://www.lowtax.net/asp/story/front/Finland_Outlines_Tax_Changes____57376.html


  • Sep 27, 2012   Finland: one up, one down

    It seems mean to bring Finland into the rankings with an execration given that it is quite a business-minded country, nearly managed to prevent the EU's Greek bail-out, and has such good music. It deserves one though for increasing taxes in all directions in its 2013 budget. On the other hand they are saying the right things about cutting public spending (don't they all?) and there are some pro-business measures tucked away at the bottom. So I'll let it slide into neutral territory. But I'm on the case, although my Finnish is weak (did you know that it's closely related to Hungarian?). Out of space, or I would treat you to an essay on why Google translate is going to change the world. (Phew! - ed.)
    Source: http://www.lowtax.net/asp/story/front/Finland_Outlines_Tax_Changes____57376.html



 

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