Employees of the Finnish mobile game company Supercell took half of the top ten money makers as the 2017 taxation was published in Finland on Thursday.
The personal income of anyone is public information, but the Finnish media usually publishes only the top earners and the income of persons otherwise of interest, such as politicians, sports stars and artists.
Ilkka Paananen, the CEO of Supercell, had the largest income in Finland last year. His combined salaries and capital gains amounted to 65.2 million euros (74.4 million U.S. dollars).
The second in line of earnings was Mikko Kodisoja, with 57.5 million euros. He is also an executive of Supercell.
The third largest earnings got Alexander Hanhikoski, with 24.6 million. He is the founder and CEO of a startup that processes fast money transactions, national radio Yle reported.
The new digital "sharing economy" is something of a challenge. A total of 8,800 Finnish residents got income from short term home rentals, mainly Airbnb, and the revenue service was able to find out that 2,400 of them did not disclose the full level of their earnings, senior inspector Timo Puiro told Yle. The non-reported income from short term rentals was around 7 million euros.
The full details of the 2017 taxation were available to the media at 9 a.m. on Thursday and tax information dominated the news.
In all, Finnish taxpayers earned taxable income worth 140 billion euros, 10.5 billion of which was capital gains, and 30 billion was paid in taxes.
Finnish employers and other sources of income report salaries, dividends and other income directly to the Finnish revenue service. But if payments are channeled via foreign countries, the Finnish tax man can ask for information only if he can give details about the person.
NOT ALL FAVOR PUBLICITY
Finnish public opinion is split on the practice of making personal income public. Taito von Konow of the Revenue Service told news agency STT that the system of publicizing the taxation results is closely connected to the Finnish value background.
Present type of wide publicity dates back to the 1950s, but already in the 19th century information was available upon request.
A survey by news agency Uutissuomalainen this week indicated that only 28 percent of Finns back the current publicity level, and 38 percent of those questioned said the taxpayer should be allowed to decide whether his or her personal income is made public.
If the "neighbor's income" is not reported in the newspaper, the only way to find it out is to go to the revenue service office and look.