Academic studies in Finland

If you are a foreign student or trainee, your income will not usually be taxed in Finland if it is sourced outside Finland.  This rule is based on the provisions of the international tax treaties in force between Finland and other countries.  If, on the other hand, you work for and are paid by a Finnish employer, you should pay Finnish tax.

 

Tax Return on the Web  (vero.fi/taxreturn) is closed.

You can no longer submit details for 2016 online. Please file the details on your pre-completed tax return form and attachment forms, if necessary. Send the forms to the tax office by post.

 

If you have arrived in Finland to pursue academic studies, you will not be entitled to Finnish students' financial aid.  Such aid may only be available to foreign citizens who have arrived in Finland for other reasons. Student's’ financial aid is subject to income tax.  For more information, visit www.kela.fi.

If you work in Finland, contact the tax office and request a tax card. When you visit the local tax office, take along your passport and student's ID card.  There may be a tax relief available to you, but variation in the rules means that the local tax office will need to examine your circumstances.  Hand in the original tax card to your employer's payroll office.  The employer has the obligation to withhold an amount of your pay at the rate shown in the tax card.  The withheld amount will usually also include social insurance contributions.

Duration of stay 6 months maximum

If your stay in Finland is temporary, you will be considered a tax nonresident, and your wages will be subject to tax at source, assessed at the rate of 35 per cent.  We recommend that you contact the local tax office to request a tax card.  The tax authorities will write an instruction for your employer to deduct €510 per month – or €17 per day – from your pay.  This deduction is called lähdeverovähennys; källskatteavdrag (deduction for taxpayers of tax at source).  The remainder of your pay is subject to 35-percent withholding.

Example: You sign an employment contract for one month, and you are paid €1,000.  Your Finnish employer will withhold 35% tax at source, and take the deduction of €510 into account.  Amount withheld equals:  35% × (€1,000 - €510) = €171.50.

Because your tax at source is a final tax you will not be expected to submit a Finnish income tax return.  At the end of your temporary work period, your employer will give you a document showing your gross pay, the deducted amounts, and the taxes withheld .  We recommend that you keep this document, because you may later need to show it to the tax authorities of your country of residence for the purpose of eliminating international double taxation.

You can also request progressive taxation

You can request that your income be taxed under the progressive scale (similarly as person staying in Finland longer than 6 months) instead of the 35% flat tax at source. To facilitate progressive taxation you must visit a tax office to ask for a nonresident's tax card, which you must then give to your employer. When you fill out the application form, you must report all your Finnish-sourced earned income, your taxable earned income in your country of tax residence, and all deductions from them. Finland only taxes your income from Finnish sources, but your taxable income from your country of tax residence has an increasing effect on your taxation in Finland.

If your taxation is progressive, you will receive a pre-completed tax return during the following year on which you will find a specification of your income and deductions, and the result of your assessment. You must check the contents of that tax return and send it back to us with corrections if necessary.

More information, click

Effects of tax agreements

Finland has tax treaties with more than 70 countries. International tax treaties are made to avoid double taxation in situations where a person receives income from another country than his/her home country. In general, tax treaties usually provide that wages should be taxed in the country where the work is done. Some of the tax treaties include for students special exemptions in the country where the work is done. You can usually get an exemption in Finland only if your work in Finland is directly related to your studies in your home country.

For a tax-treaty exemption it is additionally required that you (immediately before arrival in Finland) really lived in the country that has made the tax treaty with Finland.

Please find some information on tax treaty provisions below. Some of the tax treaties specify exact deductible amounts. If no amount is specified in the treaty, the exemption is €510 per month.

Austria, Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Czech Republic, Georgia, India, Israel, Netherlands, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam: Exemption of €510 per month if the stay in Finland does not exceed 183 days (accumulation of time is not restricted to the same calendar year).
Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Serbia, Montenegro, Tanzania, Thailand: Exemption of €510 per month if the stay in Finland does not exceed 183 days within the calendar year.
China: Pay is tax-exempt if it does not exceed €2,522.82 per calendar year.
Egypt: Pay is tax-exempt for a trainee in trade (for Egypt, also industry). Pay is also tax-exempt for work related to studies. For any other type of work, €510 per month is tax-exempt.
France: Exemption of €510 per month, regardless of duration of stay. The employment does not have to be related to studies.
Germany: The whole pay is tax-exempt if the period of presence in Finland does not exceed 183 days within a calendar year.
Great Britain, Portugal: The whole pay is tax-exempt if the person is working as a trainee in trade, industry, agriculture or forestry. If the work in Finland is not study-related, only €510 per month is tax-exempt in Finland.
Iceland, Faeroe Islands: Exemption of SEK 20,000 per calendar year.
Japan: Pay is tax-exempt if it does not exceed U.S. $2,000 per calendar year.
Korea: Exemption of €510 per month.
Malaysia: Pay is tax-exempt if it does not exceed U.S. $2,500 per calendar year.
The Philippines: Pay is tax-exempt if it does not exceed €1,009.13 per calendar year.
Sri Lanka: Exemption of €1,681.88 per calendar year.
Zambia: Exemption of €510 per month if the period of stay in Finland does not exceed 365 days within the course of two years.

Duration of stay longer than 6 months

If you stay longer than six months, the authorities will consider you a Finnish tax resident, fully liable to pay tax. Your annual gross income will be assessed by the progressive scale.  The bracket of that scale will determine the percentage of your tax rate.  Use the Tax % Rate Calculatorto obtain an estimate of your taxes.  Nevertheless, if you are paid money in Finland, you should obtain a tax card from the Finnish Tax Administration.  To do this you will need a Finnish personal identity number.  For more information, click Finnish personal ID for short-term use. Hand in the original copy of your tax card to your employer.

Remember to file a tax return in Finland

If you stay for six months or longer, you should file a tax return.  In April, during the calendar year after your working and receiving income in Finland, the Finnish Tax Administration will send you a pre-completed tax return form.  Read through the contents of the form, correct the pre-printed facts or information as necessary and send it back.  If you have nothing to add or correct regarding your previous year’s taxes, you do not need to return the form.

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Page last updated 5/10/2017

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