Tax refunds count as income for purposes of social assistance

A tax refund of more than 50 euros will affect social assistance. Tax refunds are paid between July and December. Most tax refunds will be paid in August.

Tax refunds will be paid between July and December this year. Most customers will receive their tax refund in August or September. Tax refunds can affect social assistance.

Social assistance is affected by the part of the tax refund that exceeds the maximum limit for minor amounts of income. A minor amount of income is defined as being under EUR 50 per person or under EUR 100 per family. For example, if a customer living alone receives a tax refund of EUR 200 in August, EUR 150 of the refund will affect the customer’s social assistance for August. A large tax refund can affect social assistance over several months.

The Finnish Tax Administration will confirm the August tax refunds during June. The tax refund may have been taken into account on the basis of preliminary tax information, if a decision on basic social assistance has been made before June. If the tax refund received by a customer is higher than in the preliminary tax information, Kela will review the decision on social assistance. In such a case, the amount of social assistance will be reduced.

If the tax refund is lower than in the preliminary tax information, i.e. the tax refund used in calculations for the decision on social assistance is too high, the customer must apply for a review of the benefit decision from Kela. The customer must also apply for a review of the decision if the payment date of the tax refund changes. The decision on social assistance sent to the customer includes instructions and information on how to apply for a review.

Social assistance is affected only by the part of the tax refund remaining after debt collection by enforcement

If the customer’s tax refund or part of it is collected as payment towards a debt being recovered by the Enforcement Authority, only the remaining part of the tax refund will affect social assistance. If the customer’s entire tax refund is collected by the Enforcement Authority, the tax refund does not affect social assistance.

In cases where the customer has received a decision on social assistance in which the tax refund has already been taken into account as income, but the tax refund is subsequently collected by the Enforcement Authority in full or in part, it is the customer’s responsibility to notify Kela. In such a case, Kela will review the decision on social assistance.

Additional information for customers