If you live in Finland and receive a pension from abroad
When you live in Finland and you start receiving pensions, or if you move to Finland and receive a foreign pension already, you must report your income to the Finnish tax authorities. In general, a great number of retired people pay income tax for their pensions both to Finland and to the foreign country concerned. However, according to provisions of tax treaties, the double taxation needs to be eliminated. To do this, the usual method is to give credit in Finland for the taxes that the person has paid to the foreign country.
Current information about pensions from Sweden: Since the beginning of 2023, the Swedish pension called ‘guarantee pension’ – garantipension – is no longer paid to persons living in Finland. If your tax card for year 2023 is the original one, i.e. you have not requested a new, revised card, you will very likely receive a tax refund. The original card’s percentage rate for 2023 is probably too high for your other pensions that you also are receiving, besides the Swedish pension.
Apply for a calculation of tax prepayments
You can contact the Tax Administration to ask your foreign pension to be pre-assessed, so you can pre-pay the year’s income tax.
Instructions: How to apply for prepayments online in MyTax
If you also receive pensions from a payor in Finland
You can have just one tax card for pensions, i.e. a single tax card for the foreign and the Finnish pensions. When you have just one card for pensions, your withholding from the pensions you get from Finnish payors is higher than it would be if the foreign pensions were left out of the card’s percentage rate.
Instructions: How to request a tax card for pensions through MyTax, select the sub‑heading I receive pension income from foreign countries.
If you send us a paper form to ask for a tax card, the forms to use are:
- Application for tax card and/or tax prepayment – 5010e and
- 16A Statement on foreign income (earned income).
Check your pre-completed tax return
After you receive the year’s pre-completed tax return from the Tax Administration, please check that the foreign pension amounts are pre-filled as they should be. Add the items that are missing. Fill in the amount of your foreign pensions even if no income tax needs to be paid to Finland for it.
Instructions: How to add information to your tax return in MyTax or on paper, section Foreign income.
For more detailed instructions concerning pensions from Sweden and from Spain, see below.
The tax treaty between Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland was signed on 4 April 2008. According to the provisions of the Nordic tax treaty, the tax on your pensions from Sweden depends on whether you already lived in Finland on 4 April 2008 – the date when the treaty was signed – and whether the pension started on that date or a later date.
Please note: At the start of every calendar year, you receive the document concerning your pension (Kontrolluppgift) from the Swedish payor of pensions. Save it for checking the amounts on your pre-completed tax return. The Finnish pre-completed tax return normally shows any pensions the individual taxpayer has received from Sweden. Check the amounts and the details, and make corrections as necessary.
You were living outside Finland on 4 April 2008, or you started receiving a pension after 4 April 2008
If you arrived in Finland to live here at a date later than 4 April 2008, or if you did not start receiving your pension until after 4 April 2008, your pension from a Swedish payor is taxed in Finland. The Finnish tax you need to pay is reduced – by crediting – in order to reflect the sum of the taxes you pay to Sweden. This fiscal method is often called the ‘credit method’. However, the credited amount cannot be a greater sum than the tax itself is.
Your taxes in Sweden
In general, because you are a resident of Finland, the Swedish Tax Agency will treat you as a non-resident taxpayer. This means that your pension will be subjected to the Swedish SINK income tax, at the rate of 25 percent. If you receive a general pension (“allmän pension”) from Sweden based on social security, part of the pension may be tax-exempt in Sweden.
You can visit the Nordisk eTax website to find further guidance concerning pensions sourced to Sweden and received by a retired person in another Nordic country. The instructions and guidance on the Nordisk eTax website are edited and posted by all the Nordic tax administrations, working in co-operation.
On 4 April 2008, you were a resident in Finland and were receiving a pension from Sweden
If on 4 April 2008, you were a resident in Finland and you were already receiving a pension from Sweden, this pension is taxed in Sweden only. No Finnish tax on the pension from Sweden needs to be paid, but the fact that you are receiving it increases the progressive rate of income tax you need to pay on your other earnings in Finland.
If you also receive pensions or earned income from Finland, your Finnish tax rate will be determined by all your income (income from Finland + income from Sweden). However, you will pay tax to Finland only on the income which is received from Finland. This fiscal method is often called the ‘exemption method’.The exemption method is applied for as long as you are a tax resident in Finland without interruptions.
I receive a pension from Spain based on past employment in the private sector, or a pension based on voluntary pension insurance in Spain
I pay tax to Finland on the pension I receive from Spain. Spain may also impose taxes on my pension.
If tax must be paid not only to Finland but also to Spain, double taxation will be eliminated in Spain. The Finnish taxes you pay on your pension are taken into account in the tax assessment in Spain. For more detailed information about the elimination of double taxation, contact the Spanish tax authorities.
Pensions from Spain are an exception because the general rule is that double taxation should be eliminated in the recipient’s country of tax residence, not the country of source. The fiscal method used with Spain is called ‘reverse crediting’.
I receive a pension earned by working in the public sector in Spain
If you are a Finnish citizen, you only pay tax on your pension received from Spain in Finland.
If you are not a Finnish citizen, your pension from Spain will be taxed in Spain only, so Finland will impose no tax on it. This fiscal method is often called the ‘exemption method’. No Finnish tax on the pension from Spain needs to be paid, but the fact that you are receiving it increases the progressive rate of income tax you need to pay on your other earnings or pensions in Finland. You are required to give full details on the Spanish pension when you submit your tax return in Finland.
- If the payor pays you in a non-euro currency, you need to translate the exact amount into euros and cents. Use the average exchange rate of the European Central Bank or the foreign-exchange daily rate, valid on the date when the pension is paid to you.
- The expenses caused by currency conversions are tax-deductible. The Tax Administration grants an automatic deduction of €60 to pension recipients when assessing their taxes for the year. If the actual expenses are over €60, give details on them – under the same heading with your pensions – when you submit your tax return in Finland. For more information, see How to add information to your tax return in MyTax or on paper, section Foreign income.
- Finnish residents taxed in Finland must pay a healthcare contribution, which is somewhat less than 2% of the income. If you receive pensions from Finland and from foreign countries, your total amount of pension income will determine the healthcare contribution you pay. Note that the contribution cannot be greater than the pension you receive from Finland.
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