There are scam messages in circulation that claim to be sent by the Tax Administration. Read more about scam messages

Tax-exempt allowances in 2019 for business travel

Date of issue
Record no.
Dnro VH/2482/00.01.00/2018
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:

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

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:

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
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)
Republic of (South Korea)
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.

Page last updated 11/21/2018