The Digital and Population Data Services Agency and Finnish Tax Administration:
The Katso service will be terminated on 31 August 2021 – if you act on behalf of an association, a company or another organisation, please enable Suomi.fi e-Authorizations
From the beginning of September, the Katso ID and the Katso authorisation will no longer work in any central government e-services. From then on, acting on behalf of other parties will be handled within the Suomi.fi services. Many companies, associations and other communities continue to only use a Katso ID. It is wise to review the new practices for acting on behalf of another party before the deadlines arrived.
You can still use Katso to manage matters relating to tax and the Incomes Register until the end of August. In services other than the Tax Administration's e-services, the use of Katso ended at the beginning of the year.
‘The Tax Administration decided twice to extend the time given to Katso users to make the transition. This additional time was given because the transition to Suomi.fi e-Authorizations was slower than expected at the turn of the year. The final extension period ends now at the end of August,’ says Senior Officer Juha Kartano from the Tax Administration.
The Katso service has been used for tax matters by, among others, agricultural and forest property partnerships, associations, foundations, estates of deceased persons that have a business ID, and foreign companies. For any person or organisation needing to handle tax matters electronically, Suomi.fi e-Authorizations must be taken into use immediately if this has not already been done.
Katso user: make sure you complete new the authorization process by the end of August
The authorisations currently used within the Katso service will not be automatically transferred to the new service, but must instead be re-done as Suomi.fi e-Authorizations. Each e-service, such as the Finnish Tax Administration, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland or Finnish Customs, has instructions for the new procedures on its own website.
There are two ways to create a new mandate: Most people are able to authorise themselves in Suomi.fi e-Authorizations, while others must apply for mandate rights with a mandate application.
The majority of companies and organisations can use Suomi.fi e-Authorizations independently
In many cases, you can act on behalf of your own company or organisation without a separate mandate. When a person uses an online services, Suomi.fi e-Authorizations checks in the background the person’s right of representation from sources such as the Trade Register. There is no need for separate Suomi.fi e-Authorisations. Instead, logging-in to the e-service takes place using one’s own means of personal identification, such as banking codes or a mobile certificate.
Accounting agencies and other agents always need Suomi.fi e-Authorizations to manage matters on behalf of their client companies.
‘In practice, individuals such as the company's CEO or other signatories found in the Trade Register can manage the company's matters independently in the e-service. If the CEO wishes to give, for example, an accounting agency or financial administration the right to manage the company's financial or salary matters, they can themselves use Suomi.fi e-Authorizations to authorise them to do so,’ explains Development Manager Mika King from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
90 per cent of Katso users can create Suomi.fi e-Authorizations independently using the Suomi.fi online service. These include limited companies, cooperatives, self-employed people, some associations and most tax partnerships.
In such cases, a separate mandate application does not need to be made.
Foreign representatives of companies and organisations that have used Katso identification in cases where these representatives do not have a Finnish personal identity code or a means of identification and yet must transfer from the Katso service to Suomi.fi e-Authorizations. Such persons should first register with the Finnish Authenticator Identification service a foreign identity code. They will then use this to identify themselves in the services.
What kind of organisations need to apply for authorisations through a mandate application?
For some Katso service users, there is not available any reliable electronic register of basic data from which Suomi.fi e-Authorizations could check the right of representation. These organisation types include municipalities, government agencies, foundations, estates of deceased persons that have a business ID, and foreign companies. Many associations must also submit a mandate application.
These communities can initiate the registration of authorisations by submitting a mandate application in the Suomi.fi Web Service. The instructions for the mandate application first makes use of a short questionnaire to identify the organisation type and give detailed instructions on, for example, what attachments are needed for the mandate application and who must sign it. The instructions provide advice to different types of organisations for the special situations that can apply to them.
‘Authorisation is a strong legal act and requires familiarisation with the topic. The instructions should be read carefully to make sure that the application is completed correctly the first time round. This ensures that the processing of the application is not unnecessarily prolonged due to requests for further information,’ King advises.
It is a good idea to makes sure that the mandates are in place in good time before the deadlines for important notifications and applications, as the processing of mandate applications may become congested.
The Katso service no longer met present-day requirements – Suomi.fi e-Authorizations provides up-to-date information and data security
The Katso service could not have been developed to meet the current requirements without incurring considerable additional costs. Suomi.fi services apply more secure, modern and flexible solutions,’ Mika King explains.
Suomi.fi e-Identification is strong identification that complies with today’s requirements. Katso identification was based on user names and password lists, and did not meet the requirements for strong identification.
Suomi.fi e-Authorizations make use of up-to-date right-of-representation data from basic registers, such as the Trade Register, the Business Information System, the Register of Associations, the Tax Partnership Register and the Population Information System. Unlike in the Katso service, the representation data does not need to be maintained separately.
Suomi.fi e-Authorizations is part of Finland's digital infrastructure base
Suomi.fi e-Authorizations serve the whole of Finland, covering the public sector, private sector and private individuals. The Katso service could only be used in public sector e-services, while Suomi.fi e-Authorizations can also be used in companies’ e-services.
‘It is easier and safer for citizens and businesses to act on behalf of another person when a single, familiar national system is in use. All of one's own mandates can be managed in one place, Suomi.fi e-Authorizations, both as a private person and in corporate and organisational roles,’ summarises King.
If you are still using Katso, do the following:
- First, read the instructions of the relevant e-service on the new practices for acting on behalf of another party. For example, instructions can be found for the Finnish Tax Administration, Incomes Register, for the Social Insurance Institution of Finland at and for Finnish Customs websites.
- The Katso ID is becoming a thing of the past. You will instead log in to e-services using strong identification, which means either banking codes, a mobile certificate or a personal or organisational card issued by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. You don't need a separate ID.
- One exception to this is foreign representatives of companies and organisations that have used Katso identification in cases where these representatives do not have a Finnish personal identity code or a means of identification and yet must transfer from the Katso service to Suomi.fi e-Authorizations. Such persons should first register with the Finnish Authenticator Identification service a foreign identity code. They will then use this to identify themselves in the services.
- A self-employed person or a signatory of a Finnish company or cooperative may use Suomi.fi e-Authorizations to independently authorise another person or company to act on their behalf. You can find the instructions in the Suomi.fi Web Service.
- Municipalities, government agencies, foundations, many associations, estates of deceased persons that have a business ID, and foreign companies must all first register their mandates with a mandate application. Precise instructions for registering a mandate application can be found at: suomi.fi/e-authorizations/authorisation-with-an-application/instructions-for-submitting-the-application
Suomi.fi e-Authorizations will replace the Katso service
- The Katso service was introduced in 2006 and its use will terminate on 31 August 2021. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency has administered the Katso service.
- The Digital and Population Data Services Agency is also responsible for maintaining and developing Suomi-fi e-Authorizations.
- More than 20 million mandates have already been created in Suomi-fi e-Authorizations since it was launched in 2016.
- On a monthly basis, more than 7 million mandate checks are carried out in the Authorizations service, with the number continuing to rise.
- e-Authorizations have been integrated into more than 140 e-services utilised by 245 private and public sector service providers. In addition to these, the service is available in, for example, all pharmacies in Finland.