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Performing artists and athletes – how to take care of your taxes in Finland

If you are a foreign artist or athlete and you either perform or participate in a sports event in Finland, the fee you receive is usually subject to Finnish tax.

If you are a theatre director, choreographer, set designer, referee or sports coach or the like, you are not treated as a performing artist or athlete in taxation. See the instructions: Coming to work for a Finnish employer

The duration of your stay in Finland affects your taxation

When you receive a payment for your personal performance, the payment is subject to 15% of tax at source in Finland. The payment may be wages or other income. Tax at source is withheld even if the payment is routed to an overseas event agency or other foreign organisation.

You cannot make tax deductions from the payment. For example, you cannot deduct the amount you have paid to your agent. Even though you cannot make deductions from the payment, your employer can usually pay you tax-exempt reimbursement for the following costs:

  • accommodation expenses
  • travel ticket expenses
  • freight charges.

Receipts for the expenses are required. In addition, your employer may pay you a tax-exempt daily allowance, which is equal to the domestic daily allowance.

If the payor has not requested a tax card on your behalf, apply for a tax-at-source card with Form 5057e Select “athlete’s or performing artist’s income” in section 4. 

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.

Example: A Finnish organiser of a summer music event pays a performance fee to a foreign symphony orchestra. This fee is considered the symphony orchestra’s income, and the organiser therefore withholds 15% tax on it. The orchestra is liable to pay tax on the income in its country of residence, and double taxation will also be eliminated in that country. The members of the symphony orchestra also receive a monthly salary, which is not taxable in Finland.

If you live in an EEA country, you can select how your tax rate is calculated

If you live in an EEA country, you can

  • select a progressive tax rate for your tax at source
  • request progressive taxation.

You can also request progressive taxation if you are from a country that has a tax treaty with Finland.

If you have a progressive tax-at-source rate, you can deduct direct expenses from your income. For example, you can deduct your travel and accommodation expenses if your employer has not paid you a tax-exempt reimbursement for them.

You can request the Tax Administration to investigate the matter. You will receive a progressive tax-at-source card with a tax rate in which the expenses have been taken into account. Check with the tax-at-source calculator whether this alternative is more beneficial to you than 15% tax at source.

If you want to request progressive taxation, read the following guidance: Foreign worker staying no longer than 6 months – you have the option to claim progressive tax treatment.

If you stay in Finland for more than 6 months, you will be considered a Finnish tax resident. You will be taxed progressively, and the tax rate depends on your annual income.

If you have a Finnish employer, request a tax card according to these instructions:

If you come to Finland temporarily but stay for longer than 6 months, you are treated as a resident taxpayer. This means that you will usually have to pay tax to Finland on all the income you receive. However, your home country and Finland may have signed a tax treaty that prohibits Finland from taxing the income you receive from outside Finland.

If you have a Finnish employer, your tax depends on your annual gross income according to a progressive scale. You will need a Finnish personal ID and a tax card.

See further instructions if you will be working in construction.

1

APPLY FOR A FINNISH PERSONAL ID

Fill in Form 6150e

You must visit a tax office to sign the form after you have filled it in.

2

APPLY FOR A TAX CARD

Fill in Form 5042e

Fill in the form and take it to the tax office.

You can use the tax percentage calculator to estimate your withholding rate.

Examples of tax rates

3

RESERVE AN APPOINTMENT AT A TAX OFFICE

You must visit a tax office so that you can be identified and you can be given a personal ID.

Please bring the following with you:

  • the forms you have filled in
  • a valid passport or official proof of identity (not a driver’s licence)
  • a valid residence permit or visa if necessary
  • photocopy of your work order or employment contract
  • a written account given by your employer regarding your work in Finland, if the following information is not included in your work order or employment contract:
    • employer details
    • the party in Finland who ordered the work
    • your full name and date of birth
    • length of employment in Finland including start and end dates
    • place of work and a short description of the work to be done
  • photocopy of A1 certificate, if you have one (A1 is a certificate on social insurance coverage issued by the authorities in your home country). You can get an A1 certificate from your country if you are coming from another EU or EEA state, Great Britain or Switzerland.

Make an appointment in MyTax

If you cannot log in to MyTax, make an appointment by calling 029 497 050 (if you are calling from abroad, +358 29 497 050).

The Tax Administration makes sure that your tax matters are in order. We will send you a tax card or instructions for making prepayments.

Tax offices where you can get a Finnish personal ID

4

GIVE THE TAX CARD TO YOUR EMPLOYER

When you start working, give the original copy of your tax card to your employer. Based on your tax card, your employer will withhold tax on your pay.

Remember to file a Finnish tax return

You must file a Finnish tax return if you stay in Finland for longer than 6 months. The Finnish Tax Administration will send you a pre-completed tax return form in the spring following the year when you worked in Finland. Check the information printed on the pre-completed tax return form.

If all the information on the pre-completed tax return is correct, you do not need to do anything. You have received your final assessment decision as an enclosure to the tax return form.

If the pre-completed tax return does not have your income information or some information is missing, make the necessary corrections in MyTax or on paper forms. You must also include all income that you received from foreign sources during your stay in Finland.

Submit details in MyTax

The pre-completed tax return – making corrections in MyTax or on paper

You will receive a new tax decision in the autumn with the final amounts of taxes. If you have paid too little, you will be given instructions on how to pay back taxes. If you are not satisfied with the tax decision, instructions for appeal are enclosed with it.

If you do not receive a pre-completed tax return, you must file a return at your own initiative in MyTax or on paper forms.

Normally, you will not have to report income that you have received

  • before you moved to Finland
  • after you moved out from Finland.

This income is normally not taxed in Finland. However, if you receive income that is connected to your work in Finland (such as stock option benefits), this income is normally subject to Finnish tax.

If you have a foreign employer, request a tax card or prepayments according to these instructions:

If you come to Finland temporarily but stay for more than 6 months, you are treated as a resident taxpayer. This means that you will usually have to pay tax to Finland on all the income you receive. However, your home country and Finland may have signed a tax treaty that prohibits Finland from imposing tax on the income you receive from outside Finland.

Temporary trips outside Finland – vacations in your home country, for example – are still counted towards the 6-month period of stay.

If your employer has a permanent establishment in Finland, it is treated as a Finnish employer. In this situation, your tax rate is determined progressively based on all of your income during the entire year. In other words, the more wages you earn, the more taxes you will have to pay. You receive tax deductions on the same grounds as other Finnish residents. You need a Finnish personal ID and a tax card or a prepayment decision.

Paying taxes

1

APPLY FOR A FINNISH PERSONAL ID

Fill in Form 6150e

You must visit a tax office to sign the form after you have filled it in. It is required that you visit the tax office in person.

2

REQUEST A CALCULATION OF PREPAYMENTS OR REQUEST A TAX CARD

Fill in Form 5042e (Application for tax card, tax prepayment or tax number – current or former foreign residents)

We will send you either a tax card or instructions for prepayment, depending on whether your employer has a permanent establishment in Finland and whether they are in the register of employers.

If you do not make the prepayments, you will have to pay back taxes as well as interest on the back taxes.

You can get an A1 certificate from your country if you are coming from another EU or EEA state or Switzerland. A1 is a certificate on social insurance coverage issued by the authorities in your home country.

If you have an A1 certificate, you do not need to pay any insurance contributions.

If you do not have an A1 certificate, your employer may withhold pension and unemployment insurance contributions from your pay in addition to tax. The contributions are remitted to insurance companies.

If you are covered by the Finnish health insurance scheme based on your work, your employer will also withhold a health insurance contribution from your pay (health care contribution and daily allowance contribution). Read more about health insurance contributions for individuals coming to work in Finland.

For more information, see

3

RESERVE AN APPOINTMENT AT A TAX OFFICE

You must visit a tax office so that you can be identified and you can be given a personal ID.

Please bring the following with you:

  • the forms you have filled in
  • a valid passport or official proof of identity (not a driver’s licence)
  • a valid residence permit or visa if necessary
  • photocopy of your work order or employment contract
  • a written account given by your employer regarding your work in Finland, if the following information is not included in your work order or employment contract:
    • employer details
    • the party in Finland who ordered the work
    • your full name and date of birth
    • length of employment in Finland including start and end dates
    • place of work and a short description of the work to be done
  • photocopy of A1 certificate, if you have one (A1 is a certificate on social insurance coverage issued by the authorities in your home country). You can get an A1 certificate from your country if you are coming from another EU or EEA state, Great Britain or Switzerland.

Make an appointment in MyTax

If you cannot log in to MyTax, make an appointment by calling 029 497 050 (if you are calling from abroad, +358 29 497 050).

The Tax Administration makes sure that your tax matters are in order. We will send you a tax card or instructions for making prepayments.

Tax offices where you can get a Finnish personal ID

File a Finnish tax return

You must file a Finnish tax return if you stay in Finland for longer than 6 months. The Finnish Tax Administration will send you a pre-completed tax return form in the spring following the year when you worked in Finland. Check the information printed on the pre-completed tax return form.

If all the information on the pre-completed tax return is correct, you do not need to do anything. You have received your final assessment decision as an enclosure to the tax return form.

If the pre-completed tax return does not have your income information or some information is missing, make the necessary corrections in MyTax or on paper forms. You must also include all income that you received from foreign sources during your stay in Finland.

Submit details in MyTax

How to file information for your tax return on paper

You will receive a new tax decision in the autumn with the final amounts of taxes. If you have paid too little, you will be given instructions on how to pay back taxes. If you are not satisfied with the tax decision, instructions for appeal are enclosed with it.

If you do not receive a pre-completed tax return, you must file a return at your own initiative in MyTax or on paper forms.

How to file information for your tax return on paper

You must also report the income that you receive for the work you did in Finland after the work is finished already. You must report this income, and you must usually pay Finnish tax on. Examples of such income include

  • an employee stock option benefit for which you earned the right when you worked in Finland
  • holiday bonus you have received for work done in Finland

More information on insurance contributions

Tax treaties do not affect insurance contributions.

For more information about insurance contributions, see:

Tax treaties

You do not always have to pay taxes to Finland even if you stay for longer than 6 months. If you stay in Finland for a maximum of 183 days during a time period described in a tax treaty, you may not have to pay Finnish tax on your wages.

If your employer is a foreign public body, in most cases you pay taxes on your wages to you home country. Public bodies include countries and municipalities. However, any other income you receive is likely to be taxed in Finland.

Leaving Finland

When you move away from Finland

Read more about leaving Finland.

 

 

File a tax return in Finland

If you stay longer than 6 months, you must file a tax return in Finland. The Finnish Tax Administration will send you a pre-completed tax return in the spring following the year when you worked in Finland. Check the information printed on the pre-completed return. If all the information is correct, you do not need to do anything.

You can make changes or corrections in MyTax if necessary. If you cannot use the MyTax e-service, see how to declare with paper forms.

If you are from the USA, your taxation is governed by a tax treaty

If you are from the USA and the fees and reimbursements of expenses you receive from Finland do not exceed $20,000 a year, they are not subject to tax in Finland. If your income is more than $20,000 a year, you must pay tax on the full amount in Finland. The payor can take the tax treaty relief into account only if it is marked on your tax-at-source card.

Example: A Finnish event organiser pays €25,300 to a U.S. event agency. The amount covers two performances of five U.S. artists in Finland. Because the amount is more than U.S. $20,000, 15% tax at source is withheld.

However, no tax at source is withheld on the portion paid to an individual artist, if
- an account is given of each individual artist’s portion 
- receipts and an annual information return are submitted separately for each artist
- an individual artist’s fee and reimbursement of expenses do not exceed $20,000.

Page last updated 4/29/2015