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Finland announced the introduction of reverse charged import VAT as from 1 January 2018. This simplification allows businesses to report import VAT in the VAT return as input and output VAT instead of having to pay import VAT to the customs authorities. Reverse charge import VAT is usually referred as ´postponed import VAT accounting´.
The changes will bring a significant cash-flow advantage to businesses importing goods in Finland. There will also require changes in the tax administration, as import VAT will be monitored by the tax authorities (Vero) as opposed to the customs authorities (Tulli).
Some exceptional imports will still require the payment of import VAT at customs. This is the case for individuals or non-VAT registered companies importing goods into Finland.
Several countries in Europe allow simplifications to reduce cash-flow disadvantages of prepaying import VAT. Usually, these are deferment import VAT licenses, where the payment of import VAT is delayed to a later stage; and postponed import VAT accounting, where import VAT is reversersly charged in the VAT return. Finland has now joined the group of countries allowing reverse charge reporting of import VAT.