The stamp duty on loans from Finnish banks and their branches abroad, now charged at 1.5%, would, under a plan initiated by the second minister of finance, be abolished. It has been claimed that stamp duties on loans, which in Europe are charged only in Finland and Denmark, discriminate against Finnish banks when compared with foreign banks active in Finland (other than Finnish branches of foreign banks, loans from which are also subject to 1.5% stamp duty).
The total annual amount of stamp duty on loans collected is estimated to be Fmk450 million (US$87 million). The amount, although not very large, has in recent years proved politically difficult to give up. The deficit in the state budget which would occur if the stamp duties were abolished as planned, would have to be covered by other forms of tax, of which value-added tax is the most likely candidate. Despite the fact that the Ministry of Finance has not yet finalized the plan to abolish the stamp duty on loans, it is generally expected that the tax will be repealed by the time the third stage of Emu begins.
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