September 14, 2017
Preparing to reform its tax policy, Finnfund wishes to give all those willing to comment on its first discussion paper a chance to do so. The discussion paper will provide a basis for reforming Finnfund’s tax policy. It will also provide a basis for developing a tax tool which Finnfund will use to assess the responsibility of the tax behaviour of its project companies. Comments can be submitted until 28 September.
Developments in international tax regulation and the prevention of tax evasion are currently being widely debated. International regulations are undergoing reforms to enhance transparency and the exchange of information between national tax authorities. Finnfund supports the efforts of tax authorities and is reforming its own taxation policy.
The policy seeks to enable Finnfund to focus on its specific role as a development finance company and on such matters it is able to influence in the projects it finances. In principle, Finnfund is always a minority investor.
Finnfund’s tax policy takes into consideration both the joint guidelines on responsible tax practice, developed by the European development finance institutions, and also the co-operation these institutions engage in.
One of the objectives of Finland’s development policy is to support the taxation capacity of developing countries. Finnfund is implementing the Finnish Tax and Development Action Plan 2016–2019, and complies with the ownership steering guidelines issued by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ownership Steering Department in the Prime Minister’s Office.
On 1 September, Finnfund held a roundtable discussion where the topics discussed were the taxation capacity of developing countries and the role of development finance institutions. This event was part of Finnfund’s efforts in relation to its tax policy reform. Contributions to the discussion were made by non-governmental organisations, businesses, authorities, and the research sector. The keynote speakers were Professor Jukka Pirttilä from Tampere University and Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow at UNU-Wider, and Yvonne Bol, Tax Manager at the FMO development bank in the Netherlands. Speakers also included Director of Unit Max von Bonsdorff from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Executive Director Sonja Vartiala from Finnwatch, Assistant Professor of Business Law Tomi Viitala from Aalto University, and Chief Legal Counsel Päivi Kuitunen from Finnfund.
Finnfund will work on its tax policy taking into account the feedback it will receive. Finnfund will also provide its stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss the substance of the policy and the feedback received. The aim is to have the reformed tax policy and the tax tool ready for implementation before the end of the year 2017.
Päivi Kuitunen, Chief Legal Counsel, tel. +358 40 760 6628, paivi.kuitunen(a)finnfund.fi