Tax-exempt allowances in 2013 for business travel

Date of issue
12/18/2012
Record no.
A144/200/2012
Validity
In force until further notice

Decision of the Tax Administration on tax-exempt allowances for travel expenses in 2013

Under § 73 and § 75.2 of Income Tax Act (TVL) of 30 Dec 1992 (1535/1992), including the amendments by Act no 504/2010 and by Act no 788/2012, 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 2013 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 § 72a, Income Tax Act (TVL)
  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

45 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.
- 21 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

77 cents

Motorboat, more than 50 hp

112 cents

Snowmobile

105 cents

All-terrain quadbike

99 cents

Motorcycle

33 cents

Moped

17 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 13 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)

€17.00

More than 10 hours (full amount)

€38.00

and, if travel time exceeds the last full day of travel:
- by at least 2 hours

€17.00

- by more than 6 hours

€38.00

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

Maximun per diem €

Afghanistan  

56.00

Albania   

50.00

Algeria

69.00

Andorra

58.00

Angola

87.00

Antiqua and Barbuda

74.00

Argentina

53.00

Armenia

46.00

Aruba

49.00

Australia

68.00

Austria

62.00

Azerbaidzhan

69.00

Azores

59.00

Bahamas

69.00

Bahrain

67.00

Bangladesh

45.00

Barbados

60.00

Belarus

50.00

Belgium

61.00

Belize

41.00

Benin

44.00

Bermuda

67.00

Bhutan

34.00

Bolivia

29.00

Bosnia and Hercegovina

49.00

Botswana

41.00

Brazil

68.00

Brunei

41.00

Bulgaria

50.00

Burkina Faso

38.00

Burundi

37.00

Cambodia

50.00

Cameroon

47.00

Canada

70.00

Canary Islands

60.00

Cape Verde

41.00

Central African Republic

39.00

Chad

46.00

Chile

56.00

China

64.00

-Hong Kong

67.00

-Macao

63.00

Colombia

60.00

Comoros

44.00

Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)

47.00

Congo, Democratic Republic of
(Congo-Kinshasa)

68.00

Cook Islands

64.00

Costa Rica

48.00

Côte d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast

69.00

Croatia

58.00

Cuba

53.00

Curaçao

42.00

Cyprus

61.00

Czech Republic

57.00

Denmark

68.00

Djibouti

54.00

Dominica

49.00

Dominican Republic

53.00

East Timor

46.00

Ecuador

49.00

Egypt

54.00

El Salvador

46.00

Eritrea

35.00

Estonia

51.00

Ethiopia

36.00

Faroe Islands

53.00

Fiji

46.00

France

66.00

Gabon

73.00

Gambia

36.00

Georgia

50.00

Germany, including Berlin

61.00

Ghana

46.00

Greece

60.00

Greenland

53.00

Grenada

58.00

Guadeloupe

50.00

Guatemala

45.00

Guinea

46.00

Guinea-Bissau

35.00

Guyana

36.00

Haiti

48.00

Honduras

43.00

Hungary

56.00

Iceland

65.00

India

45.00

Indonesia

48.00

Iran

49.00

Iraq

58.00

Ireland

66.00

Israel

67.00

Italy

64.00

Ivory Coast, Côte d’Ivoire

69.00

Jamaica

52.00

Japan

80.00

Jordania

69.00

Kazakhstan

63.00

Kenya

52.00

Korea, Democratic People's
Republic (North Korea)

66.00

Korea,
Republic of (South Korea)

78.00

Kosovo

44.00

Kuwait

64.00

Kyrgystan

47.00

Laos

41.00

Latvia

51.00

Lebanon

66.00

Lesotho

35.00

Liberia

45.00

Libya

53.00

Liechtenstein

69.00

Lithuania

49.00

Luxembourg

63.00

Macedonia

49.00

Madagascar

38.00

Madeira

58.00

Malawi

50.00

Malaysia

55.00

Maldives

51.00

Mali

41.00

Malta

61.00

Marshall Islands

46.00

Martinique

51.00

Mauritania

49.00

Mauritius

48.00

Mexico

58.00

Micronesia

46.00

Moldova

48.00

Monaco

67.00

Mongolia

49.00

Montenegro

52.00

Morocco

61.00

Mozambique

49.00

Myanmar (formerly Burma)

55.00

Namibia

39.00

Nepal

37.00

Netherlands

63.00

New Zealand

63.00

Nicaragua

40.00

Niger

43.00

Nigeria

70.00

Norway

71.00

Oman

60.00

Pakistan

35.00

Palau

56.00

Palestine

56.00

Panama

48.00

Papua New Guinea

64.00

Paraguay

31.00

Peru

58.00

Philippines

53.00

Poland

55.00

Portugal

60.00

Puerto Rico

50.00

Qatar

62.00

Romania

52.00

Russian Federation

57.00

-Moscow

71.00

-St. Petersburg

65.00

Rwanda

40.00

Saint Kitts and Nevis

61.00

Saint Lucia

76.00

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

72.00

Samoa

51.00

San Marino

55.00

Sao Tome and Principe

49.00

Saudi Arabia

63.00

Senegal

48.00

Serbia

53.00

Seychelles

69.00

Sierra Leone

41.00

Singapore

70.00

Slovakia

56.00

Slovenia

56.00

Solomon Islands

47.00

Somalia

40.00

South Africa

52.00

South Sudan

54.00

Spain

62.00

Sri Lanka

40.00

Sudan

54.00

Suriname

40.00

Swaziland

40.00

Sweden

66.00

Switzerland

74.00

Syria

58.00

Tadzhikistan

47.00

Taiwan

57.00

Tanzania

41.00

Thailand

56.00

Togo

47.00

Tonga

47.00

Trinidad and Tobago

70.00

Tunisia

56.00

Turkey

58.00

-Istanbul

60.00

Turkmenistan

59.00

Uganda

37.00

Ukraine

57.00

United Arab Emirates

67.00

United Kingdom

69.00

-London and Edinburgh

74.00

United States

65.00

-New York, Los Angeles, Washington

71.00

Uruguay

50.00

Uzbekistan

50.00

Vanuatu

57.00

Venezuela

61.00

Viet Nam

50.00

Virgin Islands (USA)

41.00

Yemen

50.00

Zimbabwe

45.00

Zambia

50.00

Any other country, not specified above

42.00

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 €9.50.

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 €19.00.

§ 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 €12.00.

§ 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, 2013 and is applicable to business travel or part thereof taking place in 2013.

Helsinki, December 18, 2012.

Further explanation of the list of foreign territories where per diem allowances are paid (pdf)