Finnish Customs’ actions against the shadow economy have had a direct and indirect impact amounting to almost 80 million euros in 2016.
Over the years 2012–2015, Finnish Customs collected a total of 41.5 billion euros in taxes and charges for the Finnish state. The share of unrecovered taxes and tax-like charges imposed by Customs amounted to 63 million euros, which is only 0.15 per cent of the total amount of taxes and charges collected.
Through subsequent taxation, Customs has collected 170 million euros for the Finnish state based on corporate audits and document controls over the years 2012–2015. As regards 2016, the amount of subsequent tax recovery proposed by the corporate audits and document controls amounts to almost 60 million euros, that is, 35 per cent of the amount of subsequent recovery in 2012–2015.
Over the period 2012–2015, the societal impact of Customs’ prevention of economic crime amounted to 87.1 million euros. By the end of September 2016, the societal impact of Customs’ prevention of economic crime in 2016 has amounted to a total of 18.23 million euros. Over the same period, the value of property recovered as part of economic crime prevention amounted to 2.28 million euros. The results achieved over the years 2012–2016 show that Customs’ economic crime prevention efforts have been efficient and well-aimed.
Two million euros in subsequent recovery from distance sellers of alcohol
Intensified control of distance sellers of alcohol has been undertaken by Customs in 2016 as part of its combat against the shadow economy. By means of analysis and customs control, Customs has intervened in the distance sale of alcohol, which has seen a steady growth with the rise of online commerce.
During 2016, Customs’ Excise Taxation Unit has collected almost two million euros in excise duties, including tax increases and surcharges, as subsequent recovery from distance sellers of alcoholic beverages. Consideration of taxes is still pending as regards several distance sellers. In addition to the excise duties collected by Customs, the Tax Administration will also collect VAT on the distance sale through subsequent recovery in these cases.
In 2016, Customs’ Economic Crime Investigation Unit has investigated the biggest distance sellers of alcohol. The companies under investigation in these cases have been operating from Estonia and running online stores in Finnish for sale of alcohol. The companies have not had a tax representative in Finland, and no excise duties or import VAT have been paid to Finland.
It can be difficult for consumers to realise that the cheaper price of the products sold is due to the fact that the company does not pay taxes. The unpaid taxes have a negative impact on the national economy and distort competition between companies, thus hampering the activities of law-abiding tax-paying companies.
The fight against the shadow economy goes on
Customs will continue its efficient actions against the shadow economy in cooperation with other authorities. In line with its strategy for the years 2016-2020, Finnish Customs will combat the shadow economy efficiently, as well as protect society by ensuring product safety and preventing serious cross-border crime.
A national strategy for the years 2016–2020 has been drawn up regarding the shadow economy and economic crime prevention, as well as an action plan. Customs has set up a programme against the shadow economy encompassing 23 projects for the years 2016–2020.
The contents of programme can be divided into the following main areas:
Finnish Customs is a part of the customs system of the European Union. Customs is a state agency supervised by the Ministry of Finance through management by results. Finnish Customs cooperates with the trade community as well as with domestic and foreign authorities. Finnish Customs has approximately 2 200 employees.
© Koodiviidakko Oy - Y-tunnus 1939962-1