Tax transparency: Entrepreneurs top the list of Finland’s biggest tax payers

November 1st has become a red letter day for Finnish media who gleefully report the incomes of the rich and famous.

File image of Vero tax office / Credit: Vero Facebook

Today is the day when Finnish tax authorities reveal who are the country’s biggest tax payers.

This year, three young entrepreneurs top the list.

The founders of gaming company Supercell Ilkka Paananen and Mikko Kodisoja earned over €65 million and €57 million respectively. While in third place another startup entrepreneur Alexander Hanhikoski earned more than €24.5 million.

And Finland’s most-taxed woman Ulla Sjöström paid taxes on the €9 million of dividends earned thanks to selling her family business last year.

Helsingin Sanomat also notes that some of Finland’s wealthiest individuals are missing from the list, because they take specific (legal) steps to minimize their tax exposure. This is not a road the top Supercell earners have gone down which is why they might not be Finland’s wealthiest individuals, but they still pay the most tax.

Finland’s tax transparency system

November 1st has become a red letter day for tax transparency, when all tax payment information is revealed online, and anyone can see how much anyone else paid.

It’s become something of a national obsession in Finland, at least, as far as the media is concerned.

Many media outlets will spend today day pouring over figures to report on high earners, politicians, celebrities, sports personalities and business leaders to see how much tax they paid on their income.

If you want to find out how much tax your friends, family, neighbours, colleagues or celebrities paid last year, you will need to visit a tax office to look at terminals. You can’t print out the information, but you can make notes on the screen. The tax authorities will also give the information by phone which is charged at €10.