Recycling bottles from the street? Watch out for the taxman!
Finnish beverages are packaged in returnable bottles which have a deposit that is included in the price of the product. If you collect these bottles from the streets or elsewhere, you should pay income tax for the profit you make from this activity.
Collecting returnable bottles and paying them is not anyhow exempt from taxation. If you have paid for the bottles yourself, then you do not have to report this as income as you have already paid the deposit at purchase time.
If you have not reported the income from collected bottles, you many need to pay tax aftewards. The amount of tax depends on how much income is generated. Currently the Finnish tax office has no statistics on how much taxes are paid for collected bottles, but with deposits ranging from 10 cents to 40 cents the income is potentially significant.
Natural resources such as blueberries, lingonberries and mushrooms can be collected from the forest and sold without taxation, provided that the activity is not categorized as professional (e.g. daily).
On the other hand if you grow carrots or berries on your backyard, they are considered farmed goods and you need to pay tax for any income on these products. Value added tax for any of the above activities does not kick in before the yearly turnover for the business is over 10 000 Euros a year.
In essence, kids collecting bottles from the woods and recycling them for profit are guilty of tax evasion by Finnish law.