Berry picking or other seasonal work – how to take care of your taxes
People who come to Finland from foreign countries for seasonal work, e.g. to pick berries or to work in the tourist business, must normally pay tax to Finland. The important factors that affect your tax treatment are how long you stay and whether you work for a Finnish or non-Finnish employer company.
If you stay in Finland for 6 months or less, your employer must withhold 35% source tax on your pay. However, before calculating the amount to be withheld, the employer may deduct €510 per month or €17 per day from your gross income, on the condition that you have received a tax-at-source card and have presented it to your employer.
Read the guidance that matches your circumstances
You can demand taxation under the progressive scheme
If you are a resident of a country within the European Union or the European Economic Area or of a country that has a bilateral tax treaty with Finland, you can demand that your income be taxed progressively.
You will need a Finnish personal ID to obtain a tax card. You can get it at the tax office. It is required that you visit the office in person. You must take with you
- a completed registration form (Form 6150e)
- your employment contract
- your passport
- a permit issued to you regarding your seasonal work (a certificate of employment, a visa for a fixed period, or a residence permit for a fixed period).
The permit that entitles you to carry out seasonal work is necessary if your home country is not in the EU or the EEA. Request for a certificate for seasonal work (Finnish Immigration Office)
If you already have a Finnish personal ID, you can send us the application for progressive taxation by post.
You will receive a nonresident’s tax card which you must present to your employer before your first payday.
If you are staying longer than 6 months, your employer must withhold the percentage rate printed on your tax card when paying you. Your tax treatment is based on the progressive scheme, and both your Finnish-sourced and foreign-sourced income will be taken into account when your income tax rate is determined. However, if you are a permanent resident of a foreign country, that country and Finland may have signed a tax treaty that prevents Finland from imposing tax on the income you receive from sources outside Finland.
Read the guidance that matches your circumstances
Employers must take out insurance for their seasonal workers
In addition to the withholding of taxes on the seasonal workers’ pay, employers have other obligations, too. The obligations listed here concern Finnish employers and foreign employers that are treated as having a permanent establishment in Finland.
Seasonal workers who receive at least €696.60 in monthly pay (in 2019) are covered by the Finnish health insurance scheme based on their work. The employer must then withhold the health insurance contribution (health care contribution and daily allowance contribution) from the wages of the seasonal worker. The health insurance contribution is included in the tax rate if the seasonal worker has a tax card for non-residents. In addition, the employer must pay the employer's health insurance contribution.
Employers may also have to arrange for the following social insurance contracts and pay the related premiums to the insurance company they have chosen:
- earnings-related pension insurance (more information: the Finnish Centre for Pensions and the appropriate insurance companies)
- accident insurance and group life insurance (more information: the Finnish Workers’ Compensation Center and accident insurance companies)
Starting 2018, the pay of seasonal workers is no longer subject to unemployment insurance contributions. However, the recently amended Finnish legislation on seasonal work has not changed any other types of social insurance.
The Finnish act governing seasonal workers (laki kolmansien maiden kansalaisten maahantulon ja oleskelun edellytyksistä kausityöntekijöinä työskentelyä varten, 907/2017) provides the following definition of a seasonal worker: he or she is a citizen of a third country (a country other than an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland) whose country of residence is elsewhere than in an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, who is staying in Finland legally and for a temporary period in order to perform work on a seasonal basis under a temporary employment contract, which is signed by the worker and an employer established in Finland.
Insurance premiums do not have to be paid if a seasonal worker arriving from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland is a holder of an A1 certificate, issued by their country of residence, proving that they are covered by the social insurance system of that country.
Groups larger than 5 workers must be registered
Make an appointment at your local tax office if more than 5 workers come from abroad to work e.g. at a farm and need personal IDs, tax cards and/or tax numbers.