Household employee "au pair" from overseas

The pocket money that a Finnish family pays to an individual working as au pair is taxed as wages. However, these wages are normally not subject to social security and health insurance contributions.

This page is being updated. There has been changes in reporting and paying the employer's contributions to the Tax Administration since 1.1.2017. Also the amount of tax credit for household costs has changed. Read more about being an employer.

A Finnish household may employ someone from another country as an au pair to take care of children and to assist in household duties. The typical au pair contract includes free room and board and regular pocket money.

Pocket money paid to such an employee is regarded as taxable wage income. Room and board and other maintenance provided by the household are also taxable as a fringe benefit.  Tax assessment depends on how long the au pair employee stays in Finland.

If the employee stays longer than for six months, the rules for Finnish tax residents apply. This means that wages and other earned income are taxed by a progressive scale. On the other hand, if you don't stay longer than maximum six months, the payer (your employer) must withhold a 35-percent source tax on your gross income — but as an alternative option, you can request that it be taxed under the progressive scale if you are a resident of a country within the European Economic Area or of a country that has a bilateral tax treaty with Finland.  For changing into this regime, you must visit a tax office and ask for a nonresident's tax card. Read more: Taxation of the earned income of nonresident individuals: Tax at source or Progressive tax

As soon as you start your work as an "au pair" you must obtain a Finnish tax card (an employee's withholding allowance certificate). If you stay longer than for six months, you also need to get a Finnish personal identity code. After the tax year is over, the Tax Administration will send a pre-completed tax return to all employees who either have stayed longer than six months or have asked for progressive tax. You are expected to check the pre-printed amounts and information on it carefully.  If there are any errors or omissions, you should make the necessary corrections and send the form back to the Tax Administration.

Health insurance contribution, employer's social security contribution

All payroll transactions are normally subject to payroll taxes, including the Finnish health insurance and employer's social security contributions. However, au pair work is exempted from these contributions if the employee works in Finland for less than four months, their total wages (pocket money + fringe benefits) remain below €1,189 per month, and they work less than 18 hours a week.

If an au pair employee arrives in Finland to stay longer than 2 years, health insurance and employer's social security contribution must be paid unless the employee is a holder of a certificate issued by Kela (the Finnish social insurance institution) showing that no coverage exists by Finnish health insurance and the Finnish residence-based social security system.

Example: An au pair employee comes to work in Finland for the entire 2018 calendar year. Compensation includes lodging and meals and €300 monthly wages. Lodging and meals give rise to a taxable benefit valued at €507 per month. Taxable wages therefore amount to some 800 euros per month, resulting in no withholding of health insurance contributions from wages, nor payment by the host family of social security contributions..

The household’s obligations

Any household that offers an au pair job must follow the instructions printed on the employee's Finnish tax card (verokortti; skattekort) on withholding or on taxation at source.  The household must open a Tax Account for the withheld amounts and any employer's social security contribution. In addition, the household must also file an annual Employer Payroll Report and report the paid amounts throughout the year using Periodic tax return forms. For more information, click Household employers.

Tax credit for household costs

The wages paid to the au pair employee can entitle the household to the tax credit for household costs. The rules permit subtraction of an amount reflecting 15 percent of paid gross wages (cash + fringe benefits provided) and payroll taxes.

For more information, click Kotitalousvähennys ( in Finnish and Swedish).

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