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Finnish Government Reaches 2019 Budget Agreement

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A number of incentives have been included in the Finnish Government's 2019 Budget to encourage investment in the shares of both small and listed companies.

The Budget, agreed by the Government on August 29, directs the Finnish tax administration to draw up guidelines later this year to enable employees to obtain shares in their employer at a lower price than a private investor "without tax consequences."

It is also proposed that rules be drawn up easing the tax rules surrounding the ownership of stock options by employees of unlisted start-up companies. The aim is that any gains made from holding options will, in general, be taxed as capital income, and the tax paid only when such gains are realized.

The Budget also included plans to introduce a new tax-privileged equity savings account for retail investors, allowing them to invest in listed shares up to a maximum amount of EUR50,000 (USD58,400).

In other measures, the Budget restricts the the deductibility of interest paid on mortgages to 25 percent of the interest.

While the personal income tax burden will remain largely unchanged next year, the Government will ease tax on low income earners by increasing the tax-free allowance, the earned income deduction, and the pension income allowance.