International traffic – how a foreign national’s wages are taxed

Are you a foreign national working as a seafarer, cabin crew member or pilot on a Finnish craft operated in international traffic? If so, you must pay tax to Finland, unless Finland’s right to collect tax on your income is limited by a tax treaty.

Usually, you pay tax on your wage income to your employer company’s country of domicile or to the country where the company’s management is located. If you work for a Finnish employer, you pay tax on your wages to Finland.

  • If you do not live in Finland, your Finnish employer collects 35% of tax at source on your wages.
  • If you live in another Nordic country and work on an aircraft operated in international traffic, you pay tax only to your country of residence.

Request a Finnish tax card

You should always get a Finnish tax card.

  • If you live in another Nordic country and work on an aircraft, your tax car will state that you are exempted from tax.
  • In other cases, a deduction for tax at source will be marked on your tax card. The deduction is €510/month or €17/day.

The tax at source is a final tax, so you do not need to file a tax return in Finland. Your employer gives you a pay slip that specifies your income and the tax at source withheld on your income. Keep the pay slip for future use: it may be needed in your home country’s tax assessment for the elimination of double taxation.

Finnish employers also withhold insurance contributions from your wages, unless you have an A1/E101 certificate issued by your home country.

Read the instructions and request a tax card:

Staying in Finland 6 months or less

Staying in Finland for longer than 6 months

Even if you stay in Finland for 6 months or less, you can request progressive taxation.

Special instructions for different occupational groups

Even if you live abroad, you may have to pay tax to Finland if you receive income from Finland or on board a Finnish craft. If you work on a Finnish craft, your employer collects 35% of tax at source on your income. 

The Tax Administration will check whether a tax treaty applies to your taxation. For example, if you live in the Netherlands or Russia, you pay tax on your income only to your country of residence. 

If you are a leased employee working on a Finnish ship or aircraft, your wages are taxed in Finland even if your employer is a foreign employee-leasing company. If you live in Sweden, Norway, Denmark or Iceland and work on a Finnish aircraft, your wages are taxed only in your home country.

If a foreign leasing company does not have a permanent establishment in Finland, it does not have to withhold tax on your wages in Finland.

Request tax at source or prepayments

If you are a leased employee and work at most 6 months, request tax at source with Form 6220.

If you are leased employee and work for more than 6 months, request prepayments with Form 5042e. 

If you must also pay tax on your wages in your country of residence, the resulting double taxation will be eliminated by your country’s tax authority.

You must pay tax to Finland only if more than half of the kilometres driven during the pay period were driven in Finland.

Report the income received from Finland on the tax return of your country of residence 

Report the following on the tax return of your country of residence: 

  • income you have received from Finland 
  • taxes you have paid to Finland. 

If you must also pay tax on your wages in your country of residence, the resulting double taxation will be eliminated by your country’s tax authority.