An idea for Finland Fanboi Shearer to Ponder

David Shearer is a big fan of Finland…perhaps he will soon start suggesting this solution, taxing unpaid work:

FINLAND’S tax authority is trying to find new ways to increase revenue and is considering going so far as to tax unpaid labour, an official has told public broadcaster YLE.

The tax office was looking at service exchanges in particular, such as time banking, where reciprocal services are exchanged using units of time as currency, or more informal arrangements such as that between two neighbours. 

“If the neighbourhood electrician and carpenter are involved in each other’s private house construction the value of the work performance is already quite high. It would be extraordinary if neither of their work would be taxed,” a leading tax expert from the Finnish Tax Administration, Sami Varonen, told YLE.

He said it didn’t matter that not a single cent had been paid.

“The value must be determined and declared to be taxed,” he said.

“We have a tax deficit due to many causes, but the most serious problems are in sectors that deliberately want to avoid taxes and also function this way,” Varonen said.


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  • PlanetOrphan

    Community service at minimum wage to make up for the untaxed “Time” spent ?
    There’s an incentive to work less if I ever heard one M8!.

  • maninblack

    what about spending less..

    When govts are spending more than they earn, why do they look to earn (tax) more?
    they should do what I do, and every else does.. spend less..

    • Mr_Blobby

      Beat me to it. Same for Councils.

      So you pay cold hard cash on income you didn’t actually earn. Just goes to show how desperate incompetent greedy Governments get.

  • Michael

    Have to pay for the extremely “comprehensive” welfare system some how.

  • Rodger T

    How about halve the Inland Revenue staff by 50% and increase the tax on the remaining staff by 100% ,problem solved.
    Don`t thank me,plenty more gems where that came from.

  • peterwn

    I suspect that IRD can already tax the value of ‘barter’ transactions if they became aware of the arrangements. IRD has the power to (and do) access building, plumbing, etc permits so could lay bare some such transactions.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Sheep texted me to say that this is a policy Labour will be announcing for the 2014 election. Sheep is also looking at introducing the following taxes.

    1. Marriage tax – when two people get married, each will be taxed a one time fee of $10.000. Sheep estimates with gay marriage sure to become law, he can raise the revenue

    2. Child tax – each time a child is born or adopted, the couple will have to pay a child birth tax of $10,000. The tax will progressively reduce by $2,000 for each subsequent child

    3. School Entry tax – When the child is first enrolled in school, an education levy of $5,000 per child will be charged

    4.School Exit tax – when the child leaves the school, an education levy of $5,000 per child will be charged

    5. Then there will be tertiary entry, exit levies…then death levy….you get the drift folks.

    Sheep is promising free education and free healthcare in return. Kiwi suckers voted for tax raise in 1999, why not again in 2014?