Finland: is this the end of tax transparency?
The tax data for 2018 of every Finnish citizen was made public on Monday. The Finnish tax authority also passed on a list with the names and key tax data of people with an annual income of more than 100,000 euros to the media, as it does every year. But this year there was a difference: top earners were allowed to have their names removed from the list. Finland's newspapers are not amused.
Only the start of secrecy
Ilta fears this new practice could be adopted by other countries:
“According to the law all tax data is public property. There is no law that obliges the tax authorities to delete data at someone's request. ... It's clear that the solution of removing names from the list for the media is incompatible with the transparency law. And also that it is not conducive to strengthening an open society. ... It wouldn't take much to go from deleting data to keeping all tax data secret. For this too, there have been demands. This is why the tax authorities' project of hiding data must be stopped before it starts. ”
Envy gets us nowhere
The debate about tax lists and wealth in Finland has taken a turn for the worse, Kainuun Sanomat laments:
“The whole envy-driven discussion that comes with 'tax day', and the desire to conceal data take things in the wrong direction. Finland needs to finally develop a proper appreciation of hard-earned assets and wealth. The rich make a major contribution to this society. That it's possible to be wealthy in Finland should be a cause for joy, and not for shame or mockery.”