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Arriving in Finland from overseas

If you relocate to Finland, there are several factors affecting your tax treatment.  The most important single factor is the duration of your stay in Finland — if your stay is temporary, or if you have moved into Finland to live in this country for a longer time. 

Finnish income tax rules differentiate between two categories of taxpayers: tax residents who are fully liable to pay tax; and tax nonresidents — whose liability to pay tax is limited.  Individuals living in Finland permanently are residents.  Individuals living in other countries are nonresidents.  Furthermore, anyone who has arrived in Finland and stayed longer than 6 months will become a resident.  The residents' worldwide income is subject to Finnish tax, so that no distinction exists between the source country Finland or any other source country (worldwide liability to tax).  In contrast with this, only the Finnish-sourced income is subject to Finnish tax for nonresidents.

Please note that not only the duration of your stay but many other factors also have an impact on the tax treatment of an individual who has newly arrived in Finland.  Select an appropriate tax situation for yourself below.

Work in Finland

If you arrive in Finland to work, the most important single factor affecting your tax treatment is the duration of your stay — if your stay is temporary, or if you have moved into Finland to stay in this country for a longer time. Another important factor is the tax residency of your employer — is your employer considered a Finnish employer or a foreign employer. 

Academic studies in Finland

If you are a foreign student or trainee, your income will not usually be taxed in Finland if it is sourced outside Finland. On the other hand, if you work for and are paid by a Finnish employer, you should pay Finnish tax.

Household employee "au pair" from overseas

The pocket money that a Finnish family pays to an individual working as au pair is taxed as wages. However, these wages are normally not subject to social security and health insurance contributions.

Foreign pension benefits

If you are a Finnish resident and receive pension benefits from other countries, the international tax treaty between Finland and the source country of your pension will determine the tax treatment.

Foreign-sourced rental income

If you receive rental income in any form from another country, you must report it on your tax return in Finland. 

Selling overseas residential property

If you have a home in another country and you intend to sell it, you should note that tax rules vary from country to country.

Dividends from abroad; capital gains

If you sell securities at a profit in another country, your capital gains will usually be liable to tax only in Finland.  However, if you receive dividends from another country, the tax authorities of that country will usually tax them at source.  Any such tax paid will be subject to relief and deducted from your final Finnish assessment.

Interest income from other countries 

If you receive interest income from a foreign source, it will be taxable in Finland in the same way as interest income from a Finnish source.  The usual procedure is for foreign tax authorities to collect tax at source on payment, you as the recipient receiving the remaining net amount.  The source tax will usually be subtracted from Finnish tax in the final assessment.

Assessment of taxes that are contrary to the provisions of the tax treaty

The tax authorities of the country of source may have moved away from the provisions of the tax treaty with Finland, burdening your income with taxes that are not in line with the treaty.  If this has happened, you as the taxpayer will need to turn to the authorities of that country to ask for adjustment or refund. 



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Glossary

Go to Glossary to look up important tax concepts and terminology.

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Last Update: 9/5/2011