Coronavirus – Instructions for individual taxpayers

The due dates for filing and paying taxes have not changed. 

We do not recommend visiting tax offices. You can use our e-services, call our telephone service or contact us by post. 

You can take care of most of your tax matters in MyTax: See the list

You can change the tax rate on your tax card 

If your income has changed, you can request a new tax card.

Prepayments can be changed

If you are supposed to make prepayments but your income has changed, you should check if you need to make changes to your prepayment amount.

Are you coming to Finland for work and need a tax card or a tax number and a tax card?

Call our service number 029 497 050.

Paying taxes and financial difficulties

Difficulties caused by the coronavirus are not a reason to leave taxes unpaid. There have been no changes to tax amounts, due dates, late-payment interest rates or other payment procedures. 

Real estate tax and back taxes will not fall due until late summer or autumn. Check the status and due dates of your taxes in MyTax.

Request more time for estate inventory

You can request more time for conducting the estate inventory and submitting the estate inventory deed. You can make the request as follows:  

  • In MyTax (Home page > All tax types > Activities relating to inheritance tax > Extended time for estate inventory or submitting the deed of estate inventory)
  • If you cannot use MyTax, you can call our service number 029 497 018 (standard call rates)

Parties preparing the estate inventory deed, such as banks, law offices or legal aid offices, can also request more time in MyTax.

Without the extra time, the estate inventory must be conducted within 3 months from the date of death and the estate inventory deed must be delivered to the Tax Administration within 1 month of the estate inventory.

Can the estate inventory be conducted remotely?

When can I deduct the cost of face masks?

If you wear a face mask in public transport during your commute

If you wear a face mask in public transport during your commute and you purchase the masks yourself, you can deduct the cost of the masks in your taxation as travel expenses.

The deduction amount is €2 for each day when you have made a trip that qualifies for the deduction. The THL's (Finnish Institute's for Health and Welfare) recommendation for wearing masks when riding public transport was valid from 13 August 2020 to 14 April 2022.  After end of validity, you can no longer receive the deduction for face masks.

The personal liability threshold for commuting expenses is €750. If your expenses go over this threshold, report the entire amount of expenses. Do not subtract the threshold amount.

Your work requires wearing a mask

If your work requires wearing a mask, but your employer does not provide you with masks and you have to purchase them yourself, you can deduct the cost of the masks as expenses for the production of income. Each wage earner receives an automatic deduction of €750 as expenses for the production of income. If you have expenses for the production of income exceeding €750 per year, you must report the expenses yourself. You must fill in the full amounts, do not subtract the own-liability amount yourself.

Employer can provide face masks to employees exempt from tax

The employer can provide employees with protective equipment for work purposes exempt from tax to prevent the spread of infectious disease. 

Face masks and other protective equipment can be considered part of preventative health care provided by the employer. This means that the masks are tax-exempt to the employer even if the employees also use them outside work, for example during commutes.

However, the employer cannot provide their employees’ family members with masks exempt from tax.

Employer can pay for an employee's coronavirus test

If the employer finds that testing is necessary to ensure that the employee can continue working in these exceptional circumstances, the employer can pay for the employee’s coronavirus test directly to the medical centre that conducted the test, or to the employee in exchange for a receipt, exempt from tax. The employer can deduct the costs of coronavirus tests that are necessary for work purposes. If the employer company receives reimbursement for the testing expenses, it is regarded as taxable income for the employer.

The same principles apply to the coronavirus testing of an owner-entrepreneur working in the company if the testing of any other employees is reimbursed in the above manner. The tax exemption or deductibility of coronavirus testing is not affected by the scope of the other occupational health care services offered by the employer.

These principles also apply to self-employed operators of a business or agriculture. Self-employed individuals can also deduct the expenses of their own coronavirus test in the tax assessment of their business or agricultural operation. The deductibility of coronavirus testing is not affected by the scope of the other occupational health care services that the self-employed individual has provided for themselves.

The employer cannot pay for the coronavirus tests of their employees’ family members exempt from tax. These tests are regarded as the family members’ living expenses.

Frequently asked questions

It is typical for associations to arrange opportunities for their members to participate in events and celebrations that are related to the association’s goals. In general, when a member participates in an event, it can be viewed as a tax-exempt benefit received by that member.

Due to the coronavirus, many associations in Finland have found it appropriate to cancel their regular events, celebrations, etc. Instead, it is now quite usual for associations to offer some new forms of benefits for their membership.

However, it is important to note that the current corona situation has not led to legal amendments that would have changed the tax treatment of membership benefits. Tax-exempt benefits can be offered on the condition that the benefits are closely related to the activities of the association that offers them. A further requirement is that the benefit is made available to all members in exactly the same way. In addition, it must be a reasonable benefit and its characteristics should not deviate from what is conventional and normal among associations.

Examples of acceptable benefits include a members’ magazine or gazette, a cash discount available to members by arrangement with a retail company connected to a nonprofit association, or the organising of various “members-only” events. It is not acceptable and not tax-exempt to offer members a valuable item, a gift card, or other benefits in money’s worth. In addition, no tax-exempt vouchers for recreation, cultural events and sports are possible as an association-provided benefit. The vouchers can only be available to employees who work under an employment contract for an organisation that is their employer.

Example: Although an association has always arranged a Christmas celebration in the form of a luncheon, it has refrained from arranging it for Christmas holidays in 2020. Instead, it sends 15-euro coupons to all its members, entitling them to pay for a lunch at a restaurant. In this case, the receipt of the coupons is treated as income in the hands of each individual member, subject to earned-income tax. The association must prepare a report on them and submit it to the Incomes Register.

Example: An association has not organised a summertime celebration for its member in 2020. In the same way, it has also cancelled all other events this year. To compensate for this, the association has decided to send a new smartwatch to every member. In this case, the receipt of the watch is treated as members’ income, subject to earned-income tax. The association must prepare a report on the distribution of the watches for the Incomes Register.

Example: An association has decided to make arrangements for a members’ Christmas party where the attendance takes place online, i.e. a virtual Christmas party. The association also sends off virtual coupons containing a code. The members can use the coupons to buy dinner. They go to a specific pickup point to collect the dinner at a specific time frame. The meals described above are a tax-exempt benefit if the coupons can only be exercised on a certain day (the day of the virtual Christmas celebration) in one single pickup point. From this, it follows that it cannot be considered a tax-exempt dinner, arranged by the association, if every member first pays for their meal, saves the receipt, and presents it to the association for reimbursement.

How to file for 2021 tax assessment

You can deduct travel expenses for your commute according to the lowest available ticket price or cost of vehicle use, regardless of what method of travel you have actually used. You cannot deduct the expenses of using your own car unless there is no public transportation available at all. Employer recommendation or belonging to a risk group is not sufficient grounds for calculating the deduction based on your own car use.

Report the Economic Impact Payment support on the Finnish tax return by the due date in May. The support is not taxable in Finland. However, it is included in your total income when the tax rate for your other earned income is calculated.

You may have received an Economic Impact Payment if you are a US citizen living in Finland.  The USA distributed Economic Impact Payment support last year on account of the coronavirus pandemic. 

How to report the Economic Impact Payment support on your tax return

Using MyTax to add information

  • Enter the support under Foreign earned income in 2021. If you had income from foreign sources but it is not pre-completed, fill in the Other income section as appropriate.
  • At Other foreign earned income, select Open specification and then Add new earned income.
  • Enter the following details:
    • Payor's name: US Government
    • Country from which income was received: United States of America
    • Income type: Other income
    • Description of other income: Economic Impact Payment
    • Public sector payor: Yes
  • Also report other relevant information, such as the amount of income you received. Convert the US dollar amount into euros by using the exchange rate of the date of payment. You can also use the average exchange rate of 2021 published by the ECB (1,18274). 

How to file on a paper form

  • Use Form 16 A Statement on foreign income (earned income)
  • Enter the amount of income into section 5.6:
    • Description of other income: Economic Impact Payment
    • Country from which income was received: United States of America
    • Payor's name: US Government
    • Public sector payor: Yes
  • Also report other relevant information, such as the amount of income you received. Convert the US dollar amount into euros by using the exchange rate of the date of payment. You can also use the average exchange rate of 2021 published by the ECB (1,18274). 

See the instructions for filing on paper

What is an Economic Impact Payment?

An Economic Impact Payment may have been paid to a US citizen living in Finland. In the United States, the Economic Impact Payment is technically an advanced refundable tax credit. From the point of view of Finnish taxation, however, the support is not a tax refund received from abroad, because the recipient is not required to have income taxable in the United States or to have paid tax to the United States. 

The Tax Administration has issued a statement on the matter (Taxation of Economic Impact Payments received from the USA by Finnish tax residents)

Working from home may cause you expenses that are deductible in taxation. These include workspace costs, furniture expenses, and data connection fees.

Read more about deductions related to working from home

You are liable to pay tax on these types of income.

If you do not have your own company 

If you also receive wage income, you can take these other types of income into account on your current tax card. Report this income as other earned income. This way, you will pay the taxes on the income before your final tax assessment.

Read more about requesting a revised tax card 

File the income you receive in 2020 on the tax return that you will receive in the spring of 2021. Enter this income on the tax return as other earned income. You can deduct the expenses caused by the production of this income from the amount of income you have received. These may include expenses for equipment or other materials.

Example: You hold three separate concerts through a streaming service. You do not have a company, so you file the income and expenses on your own tax return. You stream the concerts from your apartment that you rent. You use a computer that you bought in the beginning of the year as well as a microphone you bought specifically for this purpose. You receive viewer donations through the streaming service. 

File the income on your next year’s tax return as other earned income. You can claim deductions for the entire price of the microphone and a part of the price of the computer. If you can prove that you have used the computer for work, you can deduct 50% of its purchase price. The computer cost €1,200. 50% of this, i.e. €600, is considered an expense deductible in tax assessment. The cost of your internet connection is also deductible. You can claim a deduction for 50% of the costs for the months during which you used the connection for work.

You can claim the standard deduction for home office costs. If you earn occasional secondary income by working from home, the deduction is €225. The standard deduction includes all indirect costs caused by working from home.

If you work as a private individual:
• Keep notes of your income and expenses.
• Check your pre-completed tax return in MyTax.
• Remember to take your income into account on your tax card.
• Keep all receipts and other documents for 3 years after your tax assessment has been completed.

If you have your own company

Include the income and the related expenses in your company’s accounting and on your business tax return. Take the income into account in your prepayment assessment, as well.

If you work through your own company:
• Include the income and expenses in your company’s accounting and on your business tax return. 
• Remember to take your income into account in your prepayment assessment.
• Remember to also take any VAT into account.

When is income from a fundraising campaign taxable?

Income received from a fundraising campaign is considered other earned income if donors receive compensation in exchange for their money, such as products, services, shares, memberships or participation in an event.

If no compensation is given to donors, you will need a fundraising permit from the police.

See news article (published 17 March)

Frequently asked questions about fringe benefits 

If the employer has agreed that the employee can keep some of their fringe benefits, such as a company car or telephone, during the time the employee is laid off, these benefits are valuated according to the Tax Administration decision on fringe benefits and taxed as wages. However, no tax withholdings can be made on fringe benefit alone. In this case, only the employer's health insurance contribution is paid. If the employee has only received fringe benefits and no wages during some months, but they have also received cash wages in other months of the same year, the value of the fringe benefits must be taken into account when tax is withheld on the wages. If the employee does not receive any wages during the rest of the year, they can request tax prepayments for their fringe benefits or make additional prepayments after the tax year. Otherwise the tax on the fringe benefits is collected as back taxes with interest in connection with the tax assessment of the year in question. 

If the employee has to pay an amount equal to or greater than the value of the fringe benefit in order to receive the benefit, the employee does not need to pay tax on the benefit during the lay-off. However, the benefit must still be reported to the Incomes Register.

The employer does not have an obligation to offer any personnel benefits while the employee is laid off (with the exception of occupational health care). However, if the employer does offer personnel benefits to laid-off employees, the benefits are exempt from tax with the same requirements as during normal work.

Background: According to Chapter 5, § 1 of the Employment Contracts Act, a lay-off refers to a temporary interruption of work and wage payment on the basis of an employer decision or an agreement made on the employer's initiative, while the employment relationship continues in other respects.  The employer does not have an obligation to offer fringe benefits during the lay-off, unless otherwise agreed (with the exception of living accommodation benefit, see Chapter 13, § 5).

Yes. Employers do not have to offer any fringe benefits to laid-off employees. However, the company car must not be in the employee’s possession during the lay-off, or they will be considered to have had a taxable car benefit during that time.

No. This is practically impossible. If the company car is in the employee’s possession, they will be considered to have had a taxable car benefit during their lay-off.

No. Please refer to the guidance on fringe benefits: If you choose to calculate the value of the car benefit based on kilometres driven, you will have to use the same calculation method systematically.

Occasional use refers to situations where the employee does not usually receive a company car as a fringe benefit but they are temporarily allowed to use a company car. This valuation method cannot be used for lay-off situations.

Some grocery stores have started selling ready-made meals prepared by a local restaurant. These are comparable to take-away meals sold at the restaurant. This means that you can use your meal benefit to pay for them.

Just because you do not use the car does not mean you are not considered to have a car benefit. If you want your taxable car benefit to be removed for the time you are laid off, you must not have access to the car during this time.

This means that you should return the company car to your employer. However, if you cannot return the car in these exceptional circumstances, you can just give the car keys to your employer.

An employee can only use one meal benefit per day. You cannot pay for multiple lunches with your meal benefit in one day.