Excluding other employers and looking only at the construction industry, the situation is even worse: whenever an inspection was carried out 3, the agency always found one construction company with foreigners who had not been granted employment rights in Finland.
– It is likely that the current conditions in Ukraine will exacerbate the situation, so the number of illegal workers will continue to grow. The more migrant workers we get to Finland, the higher the demands on the Finnish authorities, because we need to monitor the activities of foreign workers and ensure that they have a legal right to work here, to control an adequate level of legal pay, to control the workforce. withholding of taxes and employer contributions, explains Janne MarttinenHead of the Gray Economy Information Unit of the Tax Administration.
The regional government agencies have units responsible for health and safety at work that monitor the working conditions of foreign workers, including compliance with work permits and compliance with statutory minimum wages and bonuses. Foreign nationals who have not been granted the right to work but who have still taken a job in this country have an increased personal vulnerability and risk of being exploited by a malicious employer.
– In supervisory activities, we often come across jobs where the salaries paid to foreign citizens – who do not have the right to work – are below the minimum level required by Finnish law. On the other hand, we also encounter situations where it is difficult to know what the real conditions of work are. For this reason, when we go to work, we increasingly turn to foreigners themselves and start talking to them, he says. Riku Rajamäki From the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland.
The task of the tax administration, in turn, is to carry out the necessary control measures to secure the national income from employers’ taxes. Last year’s audit performance statistics show that the Tax Administration revealed about € 32 million in unreported payroll payments. However, a significant proportion of undeclared employees are not identified in tax audits.
Detailed information and statistics on the gray economy are published today on the authorities’ joint website: Prevention statistics – Gray economy & financial crime (vero.fi). In addition to the regional administrative agencies, inspections are also carried out by the Tax Administration, Kela, Customs, Police, Prosecutor’s Office, Bankruptcy Ombudsman, Executive Agency, Accident Insurance Center, Labor Fund, ELY Centers, Harantevan control measures aimed at
Surveillance in the field is important: new programs will soon be introduced in other sectors to complement existing controls on passenger traffic
Despite the ongoing pandemic, authorities fighting the gray economy were able to conduct coordinated site inspections in the construction industry.
– Making a personal visit is a major deterrent that promotes general control over illegal practices. During the first year of the pandemic, we made progress in other ways, including data analysis methodologies. Although these areas of co-operation between administrations have improved and the choice of the right company to examine has now become easier, there is no substitute for the strong impact that going to work can have, says Janne Marttinen, Director of the Tax Administration. Gray Economic Information Unit.
In the last months of last year, the media paid a lot of attention to the inspections carried out in the field to verify the compliance of taxis. The co-operation authorities were the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, the Tax Administration and the regional units responsible for occupational safety.
– Companies that meet the requirements of the industry benefit the most from our control activities. When everyone sees that scammers tend to get caught / When breaking the rules has consequences, there is justice in our society. The completed audits will also reduce the tax deficit in Finland, says Janne Marttinen.
The authorities will soon co-operate in introducing a new approach to the abuse of foreign workers. The police lead coordinated surveillance work. We are experimenting with a new approach in sectors with a large number of foreign workers: this means large construction sites, berry farms and the household cleaning industry. This is part of the Finnish government’s anti-gray economy program.
Facts: Highlights from 2021 control statistics
- Last year, the police recovered about 40 million euros in criminal proceeds. The number of pending financial crime cases has remained stable. Variations in the number of pending cases depend on how many requests for police investigations are received by the police from other authorities.
- Based on the tax administration’s inspections of the gray economy, EUR 40 million in VAT and EUR 11 million in employer contributions were collected. The tax administration revealed a total of EUR 147 million in undeclared income.
- The Centers for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment in various regions have assessed the question of whether their typical non-Finnish applicants for entrepreneurial status are persons who meet the standard requirements for starting a business in Finland. 1,123 people applied to the local ELY center. According to last year’s statistics, the centers approved 55% of the applications. The centers carry out a written assessment of the applicant’s personal ability to meet the requirements, as this assessment is one of the annexes to the foreign national’s residence permit decisions.
- Last year’s Customs statistics show an efficiency rating of EUR 26 million based on taxes and fees collected and Customs’ criminal investigation activities.
Source: Tax Administration
Source: The Nordic Page