Tax-exempt allowances in 2019 for business travel

Date of issue
11/21/2018
Record no.
Dnro VH/2482/00.01.00/2018
Validity
1/1/2019 - 12/31/2019

Decision of the Tax Administration on tax-exempt allowances for travel expenses in 2019

— English translation —

Under § 73 and § 75.2 of Income Tax Act (tuloverolaki) of 30 Dec 1992 (1535/1992), including the amendments by Act no 504/2010 and by Act no 1246/2013, the Finnish Tax Administration has set out the following:

§ 1

The criteria for and amounts of allowances for travel expenses, to be considered exempt from tax in the 2019 taxation, shall be as prescribed in this decision below.

§ 2

Travel expenses are the costs arising from a taxpayer's business travel in the territory of Finland or other countries.

§ 3

Business trips mean any short-term trips by an employee in performing his duties to a place where he temporarily performs working tasks or conducts business, distinct from his regular place of work. If, because of the nature of his work, the employee has no regular place of work, any short trip by employee from home to a temporary place of employment is a business trip.

Furthermore, trips under the following circumstances are also regarded as business trips:

  1. Location of the workplace is elsewhere than inside the facilities or establishments that belong to the employer or to a closely related corporate entity within the employer’s sphere of interest;
  2. Work falls into the definition of temporary work under § 72 a, Income Tax Act (tuloverolaki);
  3. Location is at a distance exceeding 100 kilometres from the taxpayer’s home;
  4. Taxpayer has stayed overnight, due to the trip to the workplace, in temporary quarters, which are necessary because of the distant location of the workplace.

Nevertheless, travelling or commuting between home and regular place of work is not considered a 'business trip' or 'travelling in business'. This also concerns weekend travel or other similar travel between home and a temporary place of employment, during a longer work assignment spanning several work weeks.

If it is typical for the line of work that the location of employment changes frequently because of the short-term nature of work in the particular sector, daily travel from home to a temporary 2 location will only make the employee eligible to receive allowances for 'travel expenses proper' referred to in §7, §8 and §9 below, if the employee has no main or regular place of work. The employee shall, however, also be entitled to meal money (§14) if he has no opportunity to benefit from meal services arranged by his employer on the temporary location or in its immediate vicinity.

§ 4

Travel made otherwise than as referred to in section 3, paragraphs 1 and 2, by an employee to his secondary workplace, only makes the employee eligible to receive allowance for 'travel expenses proper' (see §7, §8 and §9), and to receive allowance for accommodation (see §16). Secondary workplace means such ordinary establishment of the employer, or another corporation within the same sphere of interests with the employer, which is situated in another area, or another state, than the employee’s primary, main or regular place of work.

Travelling to and from an employee’s separate accommodation and his secondary workplace does not entitle the employee to receive allowance for 'travel expenses proper' when the separate accommodation is necessary because of the location of the secondary workplace.

§ 5

The main or regular place of work is the employee’s permanent place of employment. If, owing to the itinerant nature of his work, the employee has no permanent place of employment, the main or regular place of work is considered the place where he receives his assignments and keeps the clothes, tools or materials that he uses in his work, or any other location with a similar function in respect of the performance of his duties.

§ 6

A day of travel means a period of no more than 24 hours beginning from the time that the employee sets out on a business trip from his workplace or home. A day of travel ends when the employee returns from a business trip to his workplace or home.

§ 7

Allowance for travel expenses proper to be paid for business travel means reimbursement for tickets for travel, seats or sleeping car berths and other comparable expenses directly related to travel.


Allowance for travel expenses proper also includes costs for the transport of tools and other such equipment that the employee must take with him.

§ 8

The maximum allowance for travel expenses, payable for the business travel of the employee using transport other than a motor vehicle owned or held by him is the amount spent on travel expenses proper, demonstrated with tickets provided by the transport company or other reliable proof.

§ 9

The maximum allowance for an employee’s business travel using a means of transport owned or held by him shall be:

The maximum allowance for an employee’s business travel using a means of transport owned or held by him
Vehicle (means of transport) Maximum allowance amounts per Km
Passenger car

43 cents, raised by:

  • 7 cents for towing a trailer.
  • 11 cents, if performance of the duties-at-hand requires towing a caravan attached to the car.
  • 22 cents, if performance of duties requires towing a mobile canteen or other comparable heavy load attached to the car.
  • 3 cents for transporting machinery or other items in the car; weighing over 80 kilograms, or of large size.
  • 3 cents, if performance of duties requires the employee to transport a dog in the car
  • 9 cents for actual kilometers driven on forest roads or road construction sites closed to other traffic if performance of duties so requires.
Motorboat, up to 50 hp 76 cents
Motorboat, more than 50 hp 110 cents
Snowmobile 105 cents
All-terrain quadbike 98 cents
Motorcycle 33 cents
Moped 18 cents
Other means of transport 10 cents.

If other persons, for whose transport the employer is responsible, travel in a vehicle owned or held by the employee, the maximum allowance referred to in paragraph 1 is raised by 3 cents per Km and passenger.

If an employee, enjoying the company car benefit known as the limited benefit (käyttöetu; förmån att använda bil), referred to in the official decision of the Tax Administration on benefits-in-kind, uses the company car for business travel and pays the fuel he is entitled to a kilometer allowance of no more than 10 cents per Km.

§ 10

Per diem, i.e. daily allowance means coverage for a reasonable increase in meal expenses and other living expenses incurred by the employee during business travel. Thus, per diem does not include allowance for travel expenses proper or accommodation expenses.

§ 11

Per diem is payable only for such a day when the temporary place of employment is located more than 15 Kms away from either the employee’s main or regular workplace or his home, depending on where the travel begins. Moreover, the temporary place of employment should be more than 5 Kms away both from the main or regular workplace and from home.

§ 12

Depending on the duration of a business trip, the maximum per diem amounts are the following

Depending on the duration of a business trip, the maximum per diem amounts
Duration of trip Maximum per diem
More than 6 hours (partial amount) €19.00
More than 10 hours (full amount) €42.00
and, if travel time exceeds the last full day of travel:  
- by at least 2 hours €19.00
- by more than 6 hours €42.00

For any day of travel, when the employee receives free meals, or meals included with the travel ticket, the maximum per diem is half the amount specified in paragraph 1. Free meals comprise two free meals in the case of full per diem, and one free meal in the case of partial per diem.

§ 13

The maximum per diems payable for business travel outside Finland are as follows:

The maximum per diems payable for business travel outside Finland

Country or region

Maximum per diem €

Afghanistan

50.00

Albania

61.00

Algeria

65.00

Andorra

60.00

Angola

62.00

Antiqua and Barbuda

77.00

Argentina

28.00

Armenia

52.00

Aruba

54.00

Australia

65.00

Austria

65.00

Azerbaidzhan

51.00

Azores

61.00

Bahamas

73.00

Bahrain

73.00

Bangladesh

58.00

Barbados

65.00

Belarus

46.00

Belgium

65.00

Belize

46.00

Benin

42.00

Bermuda

73.00

Bhutan

41.00

Bolivia

40.00

Bosnia and Hercegovina

51.00

Botswana

41.00

Brazil

57.00

Brunei

39.00

Bulgaria

53.00

Burkina Faso

39.00

Burundi

47.00

Cambodia

56.00

Cameroon

48.00

Canada

67.00

Canary Islands

63.00

Cape Verde

42.00

Central African Republic

86.00

Chad

53.00

Chile

51.00

China

65.00

-Hong Kong

71.00

Colombia

56.00

Comoros

37.00

Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)

56.00

Congo, Democratic Republic of
(Congo-Kinshasa)

43.00

Cook Islands

62.00

Costa Rica

51.00

Côte d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast

72.00

Croatia

62.00

Cuba

61.00

Curaçao

45.00

Cyprus

62.00

Czech Republic

62.00

Denmark

70.00

Djibouti

67.00

Dominica

54.00

Dominican Republic

56.00

East Timor

44.00

Ecuador

56.00

Egypt

41.00

El Salvador

49.00

Eritrea

64.00

Estonia

55.00

Ethiopia

47.00

Faroe Islands

54.00

Fiji

49.00

France

68.00

Gabon

76.00

Gambia

39.00

Georgia

44.00

Germany

64.00

Ghana

52.00

Greece

60.00

Greenland

55.00

Grenada

63.00

Guadeloupe

50.00

Guatemala

59.00

Guinea

57.00

Guinea-Bissau

37.00

Guyana

41.00

Haiti

56.00

Honduras

44.00

Hungary

56.00

Iceland

81.00

India

47.00

Indonesia

46.00

Iran

47.00

Iraq

64.00

Ireland

67.00

Israel

78.00

Italy

66.00

Ivory Coast, Côte d’Ivoire

72.00

Jamaica

50.00

Japan

75.00

Jordania

76.00

Kazakhstan

44.00

Kenya

71.00

Korea, Democratic People's
Republic (North Korea)

64.00

Korea,
Republic of (South Korea)

85.00

Kosovo

48.00

Kuwait

70.00

Kyrgystan

44.00

Laos

48.00

Latvia

53.00

Lebanon

74.00

Lesotho

35.00

Liberia

37.00

Libya

57.00

Liechtenstein

66.00

Lithuania

52.00

Luxembourg

67.00

Macedonia

53.00

Madagascar

39.00

Madeira

60.00

Malawi

58.00

Malaysia

49.00

Maldives

61.00

Mali

41.00

Malta

64.00

Marshall Islands

57.00

Martinique

52.00

Mauritania

43.00

Mauritius

54.00

Mexico

53.00

Micronesia

49.00

Moldova

53.00

Monaco

86.00

Mongolia

38.00

Montenegro

57.00

Morocco

65.00

Mozambique

45.00

Myanmar (formerly Burma)

52.00

Namibia

35.00

Nepal

42.00

Netherlands

67.00

New Zealand

64.00

Nicaragua

41.00

Niger

48.00

Nigeria

75.00

Norway

71.00

Oman

67.00

Pakistan

37.00

Palau

75.00

Palestinian territory

69.00

Panama

56.00

Papua New Guinea

61.00

Paraguay

35.00

Peru

58.00

Philippines

55.00

Poland

57.00

Portugal

62.00

Puerto Rico

56.00

Qatar

70.00

Romania

56.00

Russian Federation

54.00

-Moscow

67.00

-St. Petersburg

62.00

Rwanda

36.00

Saint Kitts and Nevis

61.00

Saint Lucia

69.00

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

69.00

Samoa

51.00

San Marino

59.00

Sao Tome and Principe

70.00

Saudi Arabia

69.00

Senegal

51.00

Serbia

60.00

Seychelles

67.00

Sierra Leone

48.00

Singapore

67.00

Slovakia

59.00

Slovenia

59.00

Solomon Islands

54.00

Somalia

61.00

South Africa

46.00

South Sudan

86.00

Spain

65.00

Sri Lanka

43.00

Sudan

31.00

Suriname

62.00

Swaziland

36.00

Sweden

59.00

Switzerland

75.00

Syria

57.00

Tadzhikistan

36.00

Taiwan

61.00

Tanzania

46.00

Thailand

61.00

Togo

51.00

Tonga

43.00

Trinidad and Tobago

69.00

Tunisia

45.00

Turkey

35.00

-Istanbul

36.00

Turkmenistan

67.00

Uganda

37.00

Ukraine

54.00

United Arab Emirates

75.00

United Kingdom

61.00

-London and Edinburgh

65.00

United States

69.00

-New York, Los Angeles, Washington

75.00

Uruguay

53.00

Uzbekistan

31.00

Vanuatu

56.00

Venezuela

31.00

Viet Nam

57.00

Virgin Islands (USA)

50.00

Yemen

66.00

Zimbabwe

49.00

Zambia

74.00

Any other country, not specified above

45.00

The per diem allowance concerns one day of travel i.e. 24 hours from the beginning of a business trip or 24 hours from the end of the preceding day of travel.

The maximum amount of per diem is defined on the basis of the country or region where the day of foreign travel ends. If the day of travel ends on a ship or airplane, the amount should be based on the country from where the ship or airplane last departed or, if leaving Finland, where it will first arrive.

Upon returning to Finland, the employee is entitled to half of the per diem for foreign travel paid for the last completed day of travel if the length of the business trip exceeds, by more than two hours, the last full day of travel that ended in foreign territory or in a ship or airplane departing from such territory.

If the length of a business trip exceeds, by more than ten hours, the last full day of travel, which ended in foreign territory or in a ship or airplane departing from such a territory, the employee is entitled to a per diem for foreign travel for the last full day of travel. The maximum amount payable for a day of travel or part thereof beginning after the employee returns to Finland must be determined as prescribed above in § 12.

For any business trip in foreign countries lasting a minimum of 10 hours, the employee is entitled to the confirmed amount for the relevant country. If the total duration of the trip is shorter than 10 hours the amount should be paid in accordance with the provisions and amounts applicable to domestic travel.

If the employee receives free meals or meals included in the price of a ticket or a hotel room the per diem must be reduced by 50 percent. For the purposes of calculation of per diems for foreign travel, two free meals constitute ‘free meals’.

If a business trip outside Finnish territory is made, the work being done under exceptional circumstances at the request of an employer located in Finland, and if the employee returns to Finnish territory for the night, and no per diem is being paid under § 12 above, the maximum allowance for business travel, by derogation from subparagraph 1 above is €18.00.

§ 14

Meal money can only be paid if no per diem is being paid, and the work assignment prevents the employee from having a meal at his normal eating-place during his meal break. The maximum amount is confirmed as €10.50.

If the employee has to have two meals at a place other than his normal eating-place during a business trip and no per diem is being paid the maximum meal money equals €21.00.

§ 15

The maximum allowance for accommodation payable over and above the per diem is the amount shown on a receipt or other reliable written proof provided by the accommodation establishment.

§ 16

The maximum allowance for accommodation payable, over and above the allowance for travel to the secondary workplace, is the amount shown on a receipt provided by the accommodation establishment, or a reasonable amount shown on other reliable written proof.

§ 17

An allowance for night travel is payable only if at least 4 hours (during a day of travel for which the employee is entitled to a per diem) are between the hours of 09:00 PM and 07:00 AM and if the employer does not arrange any free accommodation for the employee or pay him allowance for accommodation or for a sleeping car berth. The maximum allowance for night travel is €13.00.

§ 18

Seafarers: The foregoing provisions on allowances for travel expenses are applicable to the tax-exempt allowances under the law, payable to taxpayers earning seafarer’s income.

§ 19

This decision comes into force on January 1, 2019 and is applicable to business travel or part thereof taking place in 2019.