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Changes in withholding tax practices in dividend payments for nominee-registered shares in 2021

This information is directed to non-Finnish resident shareholders of Sampo plc. It is published to inform the shareholders about the changes in the taxation of dividends in 2021.

15 December 2020

Taxation of dividends in 2021

Withholding tax lower than 35% only exceptionally available at source for nominee-registered shares

Dividend recipients resident in countries which have a tax treaty with Finland providing a dividend withholding tax rate below Finnish domestic rate may earlier have benefited from the reduced (or even zero) withholding tax already at source by disclosing their identity and residence information to the Finnish securities account operator prior to the dividend payment. Alternatively such shareholders may have benefited from the so called “simplified procedure”, i.e. application of withholding tax at 15% or more.

From 2021 onwards, dividend payable on nominee-registered shares to an identified recipient will generally be subject to withholding tax at the rate of 35%, except if the identified recipient's country of residence and entitlement to tax treaty benefits are ascertained, as specified in the law, by a custodian which is registered with the new Finnish Register of Authorised Intermediaries and which is closest to the dividend recipient, and such information is reported to the Finnish Tax Authority.

Consequently, the rate of withholding that will be applied upon dividend payment will significantly depend on the actions of the shareholder's custodian and the information provided by the shareholder to its custodian. The shareholders should contact their custodian to inquire about the withholding tax rates applicable to them as of 2021 onwards.

Obtaining refund of withholding tax

If the dividend recipient considers itself to be entitled to dividend withholding tax at a rate lower than applied at the time of the dividend distribution, the dividend recipient may apply for a refund. The application can be made with the recipient's Finnish account operator through the chain of foreign custodians during the year of the dividend payment (quick refund, if available) and after that (for a period of three years) directly with the Finnish Tax Administration. The shareholders shall contact their custodian for more information or visit the webpage of Finnish Tax Administration (linked on the date of this information).

Additional information from the Finnish Tax Administration

The Finnish Tax Administration has published guidance on the changes to withholding taxation applicable to nominee-registered shares: Information on changes. Further information on withholding taxation can be found here: Information on withholding taxation.

Additional information on withholding tax matters can be obtained from the Finnish Tax Administration:

  • website: www.vero.fi/en
  • telephone for businesses: +358 (0)29 497 051
  • telephone for individuals: +358 (0)29 497 024

 

 

Updated 1 Jun 2020