Operation of ships and aircraft in international traffic

f you are a foreign citizen and you work on board a Finnish ship sailing in international waters or in an aircraft (i.e. you are a seafarer, a pilot or stewardess etc.), the country that taxes your income is determined by provisions of tax treaties. Treaties include special Articles on the agreed tax procedures affecting these lines of work. They normally give the taxing rights to the employer company's country of residence (or the country of location of its management).

Tax Return on the Web (tax.fi/taxreturn)

Go to online service

You cannot yet file tax return information over the Web for tax year 2017. We plan to open the e-Service 8.3.2018 for the taxpayers whose personal deadline date for filing a tax return is 3.4.2018 (self-employed traders and self-employed professionals). For other taxpayers, the opening date is at the end of March.

If you work for an employer who is Finnish, the country that taxes your income is Finland.  If you do not live in Finland, your employer withholds 35% tax at source on your pay. An exception to this rule is the employees who live in other Nordic countries of an aircraft that flies international routes: the only country that taxes their income is the country where they live. In all of the above cases, we recommend that you ask for a Finnish tax card. Airline employees who live in other Nordic countries are issued cards with "Exemption from Tax" marked on them. Others are issued cards with "Deduction for Tax At Source". This amounts to €510 per month or €17 per day.

Tax at source is a final tax, and there is no obligation to file a tax return in Finland.  Your employer gives you a pay slip that specifies the income paid to you and the taxes withheld on it. You should retain it for future use, because you may have to show it to the tax authorities of your country in order to ensure that any double taxation is prevented.

Seafarers

Although you may be a resident of a foreign country, Finland may impose tax on your income, if you receive it from Finnish sources including from a Finnish ship. If you work on board a Finnish ship, your employer withholds 35% tax at source on your income.

Before computing the amount to be withheld, they may deduct €510 per month or €17 per day from your gross income, on the condition that you have a tax-at-source card with a deduction instruction printed on it. You can get a card at a Finnish tax office. You do not have to fill out the application form yourself – you can ask your employer to do it. When we receive your application, we make a check of how the applicable tax treaty may affect your taxes. For example, it has been agreed in tax treaties that seafarers who live in the Netherlands or in Russia only pay tax to their own countries.

In addition to the tax, your Finnish employer also withholds insurance contributions on your income. However, if you are a holder of the A1 or E101 Certificate, proving that no Finnish insurance contributions should be collected, your employer does not withhold them.

Leased employees

If you are a leased employee working on board a Finnish ship or aircraft, your wages are taxed in Finland even if your employer were a foreign leasing agent.  However, due to the provisions of tax treaties, if you live in a Nordic country that is not Finland and you work on board a Finnish aircraft, Finland may not be the country of taxation. If your employer company - i.e. the leasing agent - does not have a permanent establishment in Finland, it does not have to withhold tax on your wages and pay it on to the Finnish tax authority. In this case, you may seek tax treatment in Finland either based on taxation at source, or based on an income-tax prepayment calculation scheme, depending on whether you are a tax resident of Finland or a nonresident. You must file an income tax return to Finland in order to report your pay unless you have received a source-tax payment order and your wages are subject to the withholding of taxes at source. If you must additionally pay tax in your country of residence on the wages you earn, the resulting double taxation is relieved by the authorities of that country.

Drivers of motor vehicles

If you do not live in Finland but you work for a Finnish freight company and on routes spanning several countries, the country that taxes your income is Finland only if more than half of the routes effected during your pay period were in Finnish territory. Your employer withholds 35% source tax on your pay. We recommend that you ask for a Finnish tax card, whatever your specific circumstances are. Such cards usually have "Deduction for Tax At Source" marked on them. This is deduction of €510 per month or €17 per day. You do not have to fill out the application form yourself – you can ask your employer to do it.

Asking for progressive income taxation

As an alternative, you can request that your income be taxed under the progressive scale, that is, in the same way as that of those who stay in Finland longer than six months. Progressive taxation requires that you have submitted an application for a nonresident's tax card. 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 will have an increasing effect on your taxation in Finland.

If your taxation is by the progressive scale, you will receive a pre-populated tax return during the following year on which you will find a specification of your income and deductions, and the final result of your assessment (whether you must pay more taxes or whether you get a refund). You must check the contents of that tax return and send it back to us with corrections if necessary.

More information on the taxation of nonresidents income

Finnish-sourced income on the tax return of the country of residence

When you complete your income tax return for your home country, you must include your Finnish-sourced income in it — and the taxes you paid here. If your country collects any additional taxes, the information on your tax return will help its tax authorities to eliminate any double taxation of your income.

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