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Deputy Ombudsman Sakslin investigates the actions of the Ministry of Finance and the Customs in the car tax issue

Deputy-Ombudsman Maija Sakslin has requested reports from the Ministry of Finance and the Customs on the action they have taken to amend the legislation and taxation practices associated with car tax.

Sakslin also expects an account of how information about car tax refunds and the rectification procedure has been distributed.

A decision concerning the Netherlands had been issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2013. By virtue of this decision, Finland should also have observed the requirement of non-discrimination in the taxation of second-hand vehicles imported to Finland as from 2008.

In Sakslin's opinion, the Ministry and the Customs should have taken immediate action in the aftermath of this decision to ensure that European law is effectively implemented.

- The decision made the legal state of Finnish car taxation clear. The national tax regime has not guaranteed that after 2008, the remaining part of car tax on a vehicle purchased in another EU Member State in no circumstances exceeds the remainder of car tax on a vehicle purchased in Finland.

The customs official representing the interests of the state appealed the decision of the Helsinki Administrative Court to the Supreme Administrative Court, which issued is decision in this matter in December 2014.

In Sakslin's opinion, the Customs should have assessed the appropriateness of appealing the decision from the perspective of efficient implementation of European legislation, and also from the viewpoint of fundamental rights implementation.

Deputy-Ombudsman Sakslin's decision No 786/4/14, further information available from Principal Legal Adviser Riitta Länsisyrjä, tel. +358 (0)9 432 3363.