Statistics on the finances of agricultural and forestry enterprises: documentation of statistics
Basic data of the statistics
In some cases, data on more than one taxable person can be added for one farm. Then the bigger unit liable for tax based on turnover is selected as the active enterprise. This situation is common, for example, in the years following the change of generation of the farm, when the old farmer may receive accrued animal sales income subject to taxation and so on. In this case, the old and new farmers are treated as separate statistical units.
Compared to the statistics on other entrepreneurial activity, a farm can be regarded as the enterprise's property and establishment. Resources are owned or leased by a legal unit that financially strives for compensation and profit for its work and capital. Thus an entrepreneur (= legal unit) and a farm (= establishment) together form an enterprise. The use of a farm as a statistical unit for economic statistics has become increasingly blurred from the late 1960s when agriculture moved from area-based taxation to taxation of the difference between the entrepreneur's actual income and expenditure in agriculture.
Unit of measure
Frequency of dissemination
Deductible agricultural expenses
- cash wages paid to those who work on the farm;
- expenses for acquisition of seeds, fertilizers, soil improvement and plant, protection compounds, fodder, fuels and lubricants as well as electrical power for use on the farm;
- expenses for acquisition of livestock for use on the farm;
- expenses for acquisition and renovation of buildings and constructions on the farm, machines, tools and appliances used on the farm, as well as for pipe draining, bridges, dams and similar equipment;
- expenses for livestock inspections, veterinary medicine services, soil fertility analyses, etc.;
- insurance premiums paid for buildings and other agricultural assets on the farm;
- expenses for repair and maintenance of buildings and construction on the farm, as well as machines, tools, appliances, ditches, bridges, fences, roads, etc. used on the farm;
- expenses for lighting and heating, etc. in buildings on the farm;
- the stumpage value of timber from the farm's own forest for use on the farm for purposes other than construction and repair of buildings and constructions used in farm production;
- rents and other compensations for agricultural land, buildings, machines, tools and appliances as well as other production equipment;
- the part not written off in taxation of the acquisition expense for property transferred by the taxpayer to agriculture from another income source, or such higher amount which has been deemed to be the taxable sales price in that income source;
- real estate tax, to the extent that it pertains to property used on the farm.
In agricultural income and tax statistics a farm is defined as a holding which has at least 2 hectares of arable land under cultivation and is held by an individual.
In agricultural business and income statistics a farm is defined as a holding which has at least 2 hectares of cultivated farmland and is taxed under the Farm Income Tax Act.
Net agricultural income
Net income from agriculture
The net income from agriculture of a person engaging in agriculture is the total net income of agriculture from each of that person's farms.
Taxable agricultural income
- sales prices and other compensation for agricultural and horticultural produce as well as livestock;
- sales prices for machines and buildings;
- farm subsidies and compensations;
- sales price and other compensations as well as insurance and other indemnities for gravel, clay, earth, peat, reindeer moss and other substances that have been removed from the farm;
- sales price for products from a production facility on the farm as well as compensations from another activity in connection with agriculture or forestry, unless the production facility or activity is deemed to be a separate business;
- sales price for products obtained through hunting or fishing;
- rents and other compensations for the use of machines, tools and appliances, horses and other production equipment, as well as such wages and other work-related compensations for work performed by the taxpayer or by workers hired for agricultural or forestry work that are paid in connection with compensations for the use of production equipment;
- land rent, rents and other similar compensations received for the farm or part of it or for buildings situated on the farm;
- sales prices for agricultural equipment acquired by purchase;
- the probable sales price at the time of sales for such agricultural and horticultural produce, gravel, clay, earth, peat, reindeer moss and other substances that have been removed from the farm and transferred to another income source of the taxpayer.
Accuracy, reliability and timeliness
Due to tax legislation, there are differences in recording farmers' pension and accident insurance contributions between agricultural enterprises. These insurance contributions can be recorded as expenditure either on agriculture form 2 or on the personal tax return. The data received from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry are mostly related to applying for agricultural subsidies, so the data given are monitored on the basis of EU legislation. Giving false information will result in a sanction.
The register data of the Tax Administration and agricultural administration have been combined automatically. In some cases the data of the farm and the correct legal unit have not necessarily met.
Comparability - over time
- From 1994 onwards, expenditure residues on buildings of under FIM 6,000 had to be removed at once.
- From 1995 onwards, most farms became liable to pay value added tax. For the period prior to this, all income and expenditure items include value added tax.
- Since 1995 milk quotas have been included in agricultural resources
- In 2004, the taxation form for agriculture was completely revised as regards its content and total data were taken into use in the taxation data.
- Starting from 2004, the statistical unit and the population of the statistics have been defined in a new way.
Coherence - cross domain
The statistics on income and property are based on taxation data and they are compiled from register data. The statistical unit of the statistics on income and property is a private person. The topic described in the statistics on income and property is narrower than in the income distribution statistics or the Household Budget Survey.
The concepts describing the agricultural sector in the national accounts differ from the concepts used in these statistics. Significant differences arise in the treatment of subsidies, accrual basis, survey target and source data, for example.
The Farm Register is a set of statistics published by the Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry containing data on the numbers of farms, areas of land use types, ownership ratios, production lines and age structure of farmers. The arable land area of farms is measured by means of the arable land under control, which is at least equal to the cultivated area. The population of the Farm Register comprises such farms that have at least one hectare of arable land in their farming, or the economic size of the farm is at least one European size unit (ESU), i.e. EUR 1,200. The name statistical Farm Register is also used for this group of farms. The Farm Register is primarily compiled based on data from the rural business register. The data are supplemented with a direct statistical inquiry concerning farms not having applied for subsidies. There are no tax-form requirements in the Farm Register.
MTT Agrifood Research Finland keeps accounts on the profitability of agriculture based on double-entry bookkeeping data of the farmers who are bound by it. Included are some 1,000 agricultural, horticultural and reindeer enterprises. Monetary income and expenditure from tax accounting, farm data, production volumes, changes in property and number of hours worked are collected from farms. The data are collected and entered into the information system by the rural centre and MTT checks them and enters financial statements and economic key figures for the farms.
Source data and data collections
Frequency of data collection
The results obtained from the sample are weighted to correspond to the figures obtained from the total data. In order to improve the accuracy of the estimation, post-stratification was made, the main criteria of which were the legal form of the agricultural enterprise and the EU subsidy area. After this a weighting coefficient was calculated for each stratum and the weights were calibrated for all approved agricultural enterprises in the sample. With calibration, the data on the accepted farms can be made to correspond to the distributions in the target population with regard to the variables to be calibrated. All the values (estimates) obtained with sample surveys are marked with an asterisk in the database tables appended to the statistics. An estimate is an estimation of a quality of the population derived with a mathematical formula by utilising the value of sample observations.
In terms of total data, the data are based on administrative data registers, so the correctness of the data is verified by both the Tax Administration and agricultural administration authorities. Most of the variables in the taxation data were drawn from the Tax Administration's databases only at the time when the taxation was completed, so these data have passed the tax preparation process.
Principles and outlines
Contact organisation unit
Legal acts and other agreements
The compilation of statistics is guided by the general act of the national statistical service, the Statistics Act (280/2004, amend. 361/2013). Only the necessary data that are not available from administrative data sources are collected from data suppliers. Index series are published so that no individual enterprise's data or development can be deduced from them.
Confidentiality - policy
The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is absolutely guaranteed in accordance with the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Personal Data Act (532/1999) and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), as well as the requirements of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Wilful breaching of data protection is punishable.
Confidentiality - data treatment
Statistics Finland's release calendar lists in advance all the statistical data and publications to be released over the year. Statistical releases can be found under statistics-specific releases. Statistical data are released on the Internet at 8 am, unless otherwise indicated. The calendar is updated on weekdays. Statistics Finland's release calendar for the coming year is published every year in December.
Accessibility and clarity
The statistics are published on Statistics Finland's website.
Data revision - policy
Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions.
The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before.
Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data.
When compiling statistics, Statistics Finland observes the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP) and the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) based on them. The Code of Practice concerns the independence and accountability of statistical authorities and the quality of processes and data to be published. The principles are in line with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics approved by the United Nations Statistics Division and are supplementary to them. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are also compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. The principles are also compatible with those of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).
More information about this is available on Statistics Finland's quality management pages.
Every year Statistics Finland conducts statistical auditing that helps to ensure the quality of statistics.
Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published.
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