The Finnish Government is planning to extend the obligatory use of personal taxation numbers to those working in the shipyards. On commencement of work, those employed there should have their own personal taxation numbers.
Since 2012, similar personal taxation numbers have been mandatory for those working on construction sites. This has been successful in curbing the grey economy and wage dumping.
All personal taxation numbers are published in the public register. This makes it easier to ensure that all employees are registered as taxpayers before the work begins.
The individual taxation number is a 12-character string of numbers that does not reveal the individual’s age, sex or date of birth. It is written on a name tag, that is obligatory to use at the construction sites – and in the future at the shipyards, too.
“There are a lot of foreign subcontractors in the shipyards, it is a closed workplace and includes elements that have been reducing the possibilities of control”, says Social Democratic Minister of Employment, Tuula Haatainen.
“In the construction branch, the taxation number has proved to be a good method to prevent wage dumping, the grey economy and it has also been generating significant tax revenues.”
Part of a bigger plan
On 11 June 2020, the Government adopted a strategy and an action plan for tackling the grey economy and economic crime for 2020–2023. Introducing the personal taxation number to the shipyards is part of this.
“The action plan tackles the grey economy and economic crime in many ways. For example, we are investigating ways of intervening in underpayment observed in labour-intensive sectors such as shipyards, construction sites and restaurants. The fight against corruption will be intensified in public procurement”, says Haatainen.
“We also have to clarify issues related to the interface between work carried out under an employment relationship and entrepreneurial work, because of the increasing amount of work in the platform economy and on digital platforms.”
To make the action plan a reality, the Government has reserved 15 million euro for the purpose.
In 2015, after the taxation number was introduced together with some other changes in the construction branch, the total amount of paid salaries grew by 300 million euro. The amount of taxes paid increased by 100 million euro.