You are normally allowed to claim expenses by the least expensive means of transportation. If you drive to work, your car expenses are not deductible unless specific conditions apply.
See the guidance for using MyTax: Filing commuting expenses
Public transport is usually the least expensive
Your total deductible commuting expenses are the result of a calculation that includes the number of days worked, the means of transportation, and its prices.
- You must apply the lowest commuter fares even if you in fact paid a higher fare or drove to work.
- If you could ride on more than just one form of public transportation – for example, you could commute either by train or by bus – you must sum up your expenses using the lowest available commuter fares.
- The cheapest fares are usually available when monthly unlimited-ride passes (including their extension prices for some areas) or regional or 44-day bus passes or train passes are used.
- Assuming you work all year, the number of months is normally 11, because you cannot claim expenses for vacations/holidays.
- Don't forget to adjust: flexiwork days when you work from home cannot be included, days when you are on job-rotation leave likewise, days on an assignment to a different location etc. You must claim your actual expenses that relate to the trips you in fact made.
Example: Antti lives in Juva but his job is located in Varkaus. He drives to work. His daily round-trip commute is 100 kilometres. Commuting by car cost him €6,600 per year, but Antti is not entitled to deduct as much. This is because he could commute by public transport between Juva and Varkaus.
He could buy the unlimited-fare 30-day commuter bus ticket. Because the tax rule is that you only can claim the expense that the least expensive method of transportation would cause, the calculation must be based on the unlimited-fare ticket although he didn't buy it and drove his car instead.
Antti had a summer break for the entire month of July: this means there were no expenses. The price of the ticket is €86.00 per month, so his deductible commuting equals 11 × €86.00 = €946.00.
For information on commuter fares, visit the matkahuolto.fi website and other sites, including the websites of municipalities and transport companies.
Deducting your car expenses
If you drive your car for the commute, you are entitled to deductions only if one of the following conditions is satisfied:
- There is no public transport available at all.
- One-way walking distance to the nearest bus stop or station is at least 3 kilometres. For example, if you have two kilometres to walk to the bus stop from your home and when you step off the bus you have another two kilometres to walk to your job, the one-way walking distance equals four kilometres in total.
- The waiting time (which does not mean the travel time) during your round-trip commute would be at least 2 hours.
- You leave your home — or come back home from work — between 00:00 and 05:00 (midnight and 5:00 am).
You should note that for tax purposes, the following reasons are not accepted for claiming any car expenses:
- It is faster to drive to work than to ride on public transport.
- You need the car during the day in order to perform some job duties.
- You drop off your children to daycare or school on your way to work.
What is the deduction for commuting expenses when you use other than public transportation?
If you use other than public transportation, the deductions for commuting expenses for tax return 2023 are calculated based on the following values:
- private car €0.30/km
- company car (limited car benefit) €0.24/km
- motorcycle €0.20/km
- moped €0.11/km
- bicycle €100.00/year
On the 2024 tax card, you can deduct €0.28/km if you drive your own car and €0.21/km if you drive a company car.
Example: Markku lives in Kangasala but works in Orivesi all year. He drives his own car to get to work because there is no public transportation between Kangasala to Orivesi that would suit his schedule. The daily round-trip is 80 km.
Markku can claim commuting expenses based on the use of a private car. Markku’s annual holiday is 1 month, so the deduction is calculated for a period of 11 months. The average number of working days per month is 22.
Markku’s deductible commuting expenses for the year 2023 are 11 months × 22 days × 80 km × €0.30/km = €5,808.
If Markku worked from home 2 days a month, his deductible commuting expenses for the year would be 11 months × 20 days × 80 km × €0.30/km = €5,280.
Expenses for face masks are no longer deductible in tax year 2023.
The personal liability threshold for commuting expenses is €900
The Tax Administration first subtracts the personal liability threshold of €900 (€750 in 2023) from your commuting expenses. After the threshold amount, you can deduct up to €7,000 (€8,400 in 2023) in commuting expenses. This means that you get the maximum deduction when your commuting expenses for the year amount to at least €7,900. Always report the total amount of commuting expenses. Do not subtract the personal liability threshold yourself.
If you have been unemployed for part of the year, the liability threshold for commuting expenses is smaller. Each full month for which you receive unemployment benefit (=21.5 days) reduces the threshold amount by €80 (by €70 in 2023). However, the threshold is always at least €140 (€160 in 2023). The Tax Administration also calculates the personal liability threshold for persons who have been unemployed, so do not subtract the threshold amount when you file your commuting expenses.
Further, parental leave reduces the personal liability threshold for commuting expenses by €80 for each full period of parental allowance. Read more about the commuting expenses of individuals who are unemployed or on parental leave.
Commuting expenses are deducted from earned income, not from the amount of tax
Commuting expenses reduce the amount of your taxable earned income. In other words, the amount is not deducted directly from your taxes. For example, if your deductible commuting expenses are €4,400, the deduction does not reduce your taxes by that amount. Instead, your taxable income is reduced by that amount. You can estimate the effect on your taxes by first subtracting the personal liability threshold from the deduction for commuting expenses and then multiplying the amount by your additional withholding rate.
Example: Markku earns €40,000 a year. If he only had deductions automatically granted by the Tax Administration, his tax rate would be 25% and he would pay 25% × €40,000 = €10,000 in income tax.
However, Markku has commuting expenses amounting to €4,400. The personal liability threshold is €900, which is first subtracted from the expenses. The amount of deductible commuting expenses is therefore €3,500. After the deduction, Markku’s taxable earned income is €40,000 – €3,500 = €36,500. Markku’s tax rate is 21%, so he pays 21% × €40,000 = €8,400 in income tax.
Markku’s commuting expenses of €4,400 reduced the amount of income tax by €10,000 – €8,400 = €1,600. Markku could have estimated the effect that the commuting expenses will have on his taxes by multiplying the deductible amount of expenses by the additional withholding rate indicated on his tax card, which in Markku’s case is 42% (42% × €3,500 = €1,470).
The taxable share of employer-subsidised commuter tickets is pre-completed on the tax return
If you use an employer-subsidised commuter ticket, enter the commuting expenses without subtracting the value of the employer-subsidised ticket. Your employer will report the value of the employer-subsidised commuter ticket to the Tax Administration, and it will be taken into account in your income amount and deduction for commuting expenses. The employer-subsidised commuter ticket is tax-exempt income up to €3,400.
Example: Pekka receives an employer-subsidised commuter ticket for 2024. The value of the ticket is €2,400. Pekka commutes on a train using a monthly ticket for commuter trains. The ticket costs €320 a month, so the cost for 11 months is €3,520.
Pekka files the total price of the monthly tickets, €3,520, on his tax return.
His employer informs the Tax Administration that Pekka has received an employer-provided benefit in the form of a commuter ticket worth €2,400. The benefit is tax-exempt for Pekka. The tax-exempt benefit reduces the amount of Pekka’s deductible commuting expenses, which will be €3,520 – €2,400 = €1,120.
More information on employer-provided tickets (read chapter 9, available in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish).