Tax-exempt allowances in 2014 for business travel

Date of issue
1/2/2014
Record no.
A195/200/2013
Validity
In force until further notice

Decision of the Tax Administration on tax-exempt allowances for travel expenses in 2014

— English translation —

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 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 2014 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 category of temporary work, as defined in § 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 a temporary accommodation, which is 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.
  • 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 78 cents
Motorboat, more than 50 hp 113 cents
Snowmobile 106 cents
All-terrain quadbike 100 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) €18.00
More than 10 hours (full amount) €39.00
and, if travel time exceeds the last full day of travel:  
- by at least 2 hours €18.00
- by more than 6 hours €39.00

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   51.00
Albania    51.00
Algeria 66.00
Andorra 58.00
Angola 97.00
Antiqua and Barbuda 71.00
Argentina 46.00
Armenia 47.00
Aruba 45.00
Australia 63.00
Austria 62.00
Azerbaidzhan 67.00
Azores 59.00
Bahamas 67.00
Bahrain 65.00
Bangladesh 48.00
Barbados 57.00
Belarus 50.00
Belgium 61.00
Belize 39.00
Benin 44.00
Bermuda 64.00
Bhutan 34.00
Bolivia 34.00
Bosnia and Hercegovina 50.00
Botswana 38.00
Brazil 64.00
Brunei 38.00
Bulgaria 51.00
Burkina Faso 38.00
Burundi 39.00
Cambodia 47.00
Cameroon 48.00
Canada 66.00
Canary Islands 60.00
Cape Verde 42.00
Central African Republic 40.00
Chad 51.00
Chile 51.00
China 64.00
 - Hong Kong 66.00
 - Macao 62.00
Colombia 56.00
Comoros 44.00
Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) 49.00
Congo, Democratic Republic of (Congo-Kinshasa) 65.00
Cook Islands 62.00
Costa Rica 48.00
Côte d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast 71.00
Croatia 60.00
Cuba 50.00
Curaçao 40.00
Cyprus 61.00
Czech Republic 57.00
Denmark 68.00
Djibouti 54.00
Dominica 47.00
Dominican Republic 51.00
East Timor 44.00
Ecuador 48.00
Egypt 51.00
El Salvador 44.00
Eritrea 39.00
Estonia 51.00
Ethiopia 40.00
Faroe Islands 53.00
Fiji 43.00
France 66.00
Gabon 71.00
Gambia 37.00
Georgia 47.00
Germany, including Berlin 61.00
Ghana 44.00
Greece 60.00
Greenland 53.00
Grenada 56.00
Guadeloupe 50.00
Guatemala 44.00
Guinea 50.00
Guinea-Bissau 35.00
Guyana 36.00
Haiti 47.00
Honduras 41.00
Hungary 56.00
Iceland 65.00
India 43.00
Indonesia 42.00
Iran 41.00
Iraq 56.00
Ireland 66.00
Israel 71.00
Italy 64.00
Ivory Coast, Côte d’Ivoire 71.00
Jamaica 48.00
Japan 71.00
Jordania 69.00
Kazakhstan 62.00
Kenya 52.00
Korea, Democratic People's Republic (North Korea) 65.00
Korea, Republic of (South Korea) 77.00
Kosovo 45.00
Kuwait 62.00
Kyrgystan 46.00
Laos 41.00
Latvia 51.00
Lebanon 63.00
Lesotho 34.00
Liberia 44.00
Libya 53.00
Liechtenstein 69.00
Lithuania 50.00
Luxembourg 64.00
Macedonia 51.00
Madagascar 37.00
Madeira 58.00
Malawi 50.00
Malaysia 51.00
Maldives 50.00
Mali 41.00
Malta 62.00
Marshall Islands 49.00
Martinique 52.00
Mauritania 48.00
Mauritius 48.00
Mexico 57.00
Micronesia 45.00
Moldova 45.00
Monaco 67.00
Mongolia 42.00
Montenegro 53.00
Morocco 61.00
Mozambique 47.00
Myanmar (formerly Burma) 50.00
Namibia 36.00
Nepal 35.00
Netherlands 65.00
New Zealand 60.00
Nicaragua 40.00
Niger 45.00
Nigeria 71.00
Norway 69.00
Oman 57.00
Pakistan 35.00
Palau 55.00
Palestinian territory 60.00
Panama 48.00
Papua New Guinea 57.00
Paraguay 34.00
Peru 53.00
Philippines 50.00
Poland 56.00
Portugal 60.00
Puerto Rico 48.00
Qatar 60.00
Romania 55.00
Russian Federation 56.00
 - Moscow 70.00
 - St. Petersburg 64.00
Rwanda 36.00
Saint Kitts and Nevis 58.00
Saint Lucia 74.00
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 69.00
Samoa 46.00
San Marino 55.00
Sao Tome and Principe 55.00
Saudi Arabia 62.00
Senegal 49.00
Serbia 57.00
Seychelles 74.00
Sierra Leone 44.00
Singapore 63.00
Slovakia 57.00
Slovenia 57.00
Solomon Islands 45.00
Somalia 50.00
South Africa 48.00
South Sudan 54.00
Spain 62.00
Sri Lanka 40.00
Sudan 59.00
Suriname 42.00
Swaziland 36.00
Sweden 66.00
Switzerland 74.00
Syria 49.00
Tadzhikistan 46.00
Taiwan 55.00
Tanzania 41.00
Thailand 56.00
Togo 48.00
Tonga 42.00
Trinidad and Tobago 70.00
Tunisia 54.00
Turkey 54.00
 - Istanbul 56.00
Turkmenistan 58.00
Uganda 37.00
Ukraine 53.00
United Arab Emirates 64.00
United Kingdom 68.00
 - London and Edinburgh 72.00
United States 63.00
 - New York, Los Angeles, Washington 69.00
Uruguay 48.00
Uzbekistan 48.00
Vanuatu 53.00
Venezuela 58.00
Viet Nam 50.00
Virgin Islands (USA) 40.00
Yemen 54.00
Zimbabwe 45.00
Zambia 52.00
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 according to the country or region where the day of foreign travel ends. If the day of travel ends on a ship or airplane, the amount must depend 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 €9.75.
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 €19.50.

§ 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, 2014 and is applicable to business travel or part thereof taking place in 2014.
Helsinki, January 2, 2014.

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