Remote working and deductions

Working remotely may cause you expenses that are deductible in taxation. These include workspace costs, expenses paid for tools and for a data connection. Working remotely means an arrangement in which you and your employer have agreed that you will work at least some of the time remotely from your home or other workspace you have acquired.

Expenses for the production of income

If you receive wage income, you are automatically granted a €750 deduction for the production of income. If you have more expenses than this, you can report them as expenses for the production of income on your tax return.

The following can be deducted as expenses for the production of income:

workspace deduction (you have 2 alternative options: either the standard deduction based on a formula or a deduction based on actual cost – you cannot have both)

the expenses related to your tools (such as a computer workstation or its display)

the expenses you paid for the data connection, either fully or in part

See special guidance: Working from home for a foreign employer

Look up the amounts of the deductions

When you work remotely, you can claim a deduction – two alternative options are available:
A. Workspace deduction based on a formula
B. The actual cost of your workspace, furniture, etc.

This means that you cannot claim both these deductions on your tax return.

A. Workspace deduction based on a formula

You can get the formula-based, standard deduction for workspace expenses even if you have no specific area where you would regularly set up a “home office”. You do not have to give grounds for your claim.

The amount of the workspace deduction depends on the number of days you work remotely.

The standard deduction covers the rent for the workspace and its lighting, electricity, heating and cleaning. The amount also covers the cost of furniture; a desk and a chair are typical deductible pieces of furniture. If you claim the formula-based deduction, you cannot claim separate deductions relating to the prices you had paid for the pieces of furniture.

If two spouses both work from home in their shared home where they live together, both can claim the formula-based deduction – see table below.

Table of workspace deduction based on the number of remote work days
Number of days of remote work

Workspace deduction in 2020 tax assessment, based on a formula

If you work from home more than 50% of the total number of work days €900
If you work from home no more than 50% of the total number of work days €450
If you work from home occasionally €225

Example 1: Olli works from home for more than half of his work days during the year. He also bought a desk chair for his work. The price was €200. Olli can deduct €900 as workspace expenses related to his production of income. This is the formula-based deduction. The amount is designed to cover the furniture, too. This means that Olli is not entitled to add the price he paid for the desk chair as a deductible expense. Because this amount exceeds the automatic deduction for the production of income (€750), €900 is deducted from Olli’s wage income.

Example 2: Anu works from home for less than half of her work days during the year. She is entitled to the standard workspace deduction and can deduct €450 as expenses for the production of income in her tax assessment. However, if Anu does not have any other expenses for the production of income, she does not need to claim the deduction, because €750 will be automatically deducted from her wage income as the deduction for the production of income.

B. Deduction based on actual expenses

If your work involves a substantial amount of work from home, you can choose to deduct the actual expenses related to your workspace instead of claiming the standard workspace deduction. For example, you can deduct the amount you paid for office furniture, the rent of the workspace and its lighting and heating. If you deduct the actual expenses, you must be prepared to specify your claim and present receipts.

If the two spouses, who both work from home in their shared home, claim the actual expenses instead of the above, the deductible sums are distributed between the spouses based on an account presented by them.

A desk and a desk chair are typical pieces of furniture in a workspace.

If you purchase the furniture yourself and use it mainly for work, you can deduct its price and any repair costs as expenses for the production of income.

  • If the price you paid was no more than €1,000 per piece of furniture, you can claim the entire cost during the year of purchase.
  • If the price was over €1,000, deduct 25% of it every year as depreciation.
  • The price threshold of €1,000 will rise to €1,200 starting tax year 2021.

The tools can include your computer, monitor and keyboard, for example.

If you purchase the tools yourself and use them mainly for work, you can deduct their purchase and repair costs as expenses for the production of income.

  • If the price you paid was no more than €1,000 per tool, you can claim the tool’s entire cost during the year of purchase
  • If the price was over €1,000, deduct 25% of it every year as depreciation.
  • The price threshold of €1,000 will rise to €1,200 starting tax year 2021.

If you borrow tools from your employer, i.e. your employer still owns them, you are not receiving a taxable benefit.

If your employer buys you tools that you can then keep as your own, you are considered to have received an added amount of taxable wages – the market value of the tools – which your employer will include in the reports to the Incomes Register.

Example 3: Minna works from home on a regular basis, for less than half of her total work days. Accordingly, she is entitled to a deduction of €450. She has also purchased a monitor and a keyboard for work purposes. They cost €200 in total. The employer has provided Minna with a laptop, mouse and headset.

Minna’s expenses for the production of income consist of the acquisition cost of the monitor and the keyboard as well as her workspace deduction, which amount to €650 in total. Minna does not need to claim these expenses, because she will automatically receive the €750 deduction for the production of income.

You have acquired the data connection yourself

If you have acquired a data connection (e.g. broadband) yourself, you can deduct it as expenses for the production of income. The deductible amount is

50% of the fees if you use it partly for work

100% of the data connection fees if you use the connection mainly for work.

If two spouses share the data connection when they pursue activities for the production of income, they must use half of the percentages above.

If your employer reimburses you the costs of a data connection that you have acquired yourself, the reimbursement is taxable income regardless of whether the connection is in work use or private use. You can deduct the portion of the costs relating to work use on your tax return, if your total amount of expenses for the production of income is more than €750.

Your employer has acquired the data connection for you

If your employer provides you with a data connection for work purposes, you do not have to pay tax on it regardless of whether the connection is in work use or private use.

Travel expenses

If you work remotely for part of the week, you can claim the expenses for commuting to work only for the days when you do go there. Check your pre-completed tax return to make sure that your commuting and travel expenses are in line with your actual expenses for last year. If any errors are found, make the necessary corrections.

The personal liability threshold for commuting expenses is €750. The only situation where you should claim the expenses is if the sum total is higher than €750. Claim the costs according to the least expensive means of transportation. The monthly pass for public transportation may be the least expensive option even if you work from home a part of the week.

If you wear a face mask on public transport during your commute and you buy the masks yourself, you can deduct them as part of your commuting expenses. The tax deduction is €2 per day – a standard amount that does not depend on how much you actually pay for one mask – for each day when you have travelled between your home and work after 13 August 2020, when the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare recommended wearing face masks when riding public transit.

Example 4: Risto lives in Lahti. Between 1 January and 15 March 2020, he commuted to his office located in Helsinki almost every weekday. As of 16 March 2020, he works from home. He will continue working from home through the year.  However, starting September 2020, he begins making trips to the office in Helsinki approximately once a week.  The least expensive means of transportation for Risto’s usual commute has been a monthly ticket with a 3-month period of validity (deductible from January to March). In addition to that, Risto can claim the actual expenses of each one-way fare he has purchased for his occasional trips to the office in September, October, November and December.

He can also claim the costs of the face masks for the days when he visits the office, provided that he pays them himself.

Frequently asked questions

Both of you would be entitled to formula-based, standard deductions for workspace. This would be the same workspace deductions as you get when the two of you work from home. The amounts to deduct depend on how many days each individual has actually worked from home.

No deductions can be granted that are based on individual employees’ customised arrangements regarding work, such as a rented cottage and workspace in Lapland. These expenses are not accepted as expenses for the production of income. However, the days worked in Lapland can be included in the total count of days worked remotely for purposes of the formula-based workspace deduction.

If your holiday home is further away from your workplace than your permanent home, you can deduct the expenses calculated according to the cheapest method of transportation between your permanent home and your workplace.

If your holiday home is closer to your workplace than your permanent home, you can deduct the expenses calculated according to the cheapest method of transportation between your holiday home and your workplace.

In other words, the deductible expenses for travel between your holiday home and workplace can never be greater than the commuting expenses between your permanent home and workplace.

The full amount (€900) of the formula-based deduction requires that the individual employee has worked remotely for more than half of the business days of the entire year. As you describe your circumstances, you only worked 6 months, with more than half of the days of those months working from home.

Accordingly, you can deduct €450 because your total days worked remotely are less than half of the business days of the entire year.

Your family situation affects what kind of travel expenses you can deduct.

In tax assessment, you are treated as having a family if

  • you are married or in a registered partnership
  • you live together with a partner with whom you have or have had a child
  • you are a single parent and you live with your children who are under 18, or you have joint custody over children under 18 and they live with you part of the time.

In addition to your home, you own or rent an apartment near to your place of work

  • If you have a family, you can deduct the expenses for travel between your home and workplace, as well as your second home for work and workplace. Enter them in Commuting expenses, assuming the least expensive mode of transportation. In addition, the "deduction for a second home due to work" may be available to you if the second home is a rented one and all the requirements are fulfilled (see Deduction for a second home (Työasuntovähennys, guidance available in Finnish and Swedish).

  • If you do not have a family and you have two homes, the one closer to your workplace is considered your permanent home for tax purposes. You can only deduct the expenses for commuting between this home and your workplace. Expenses for travel from other places are not deductible.

You stay at a hotel or at your friends or family

You can deduct the expenses for travel between your home and workplace as well as between your hotel and workplace as commuting expenses. You cannot deduct the cost of the accommodation because you are on commute, not on a business trip.

Read more in the chapter 2.3 of the TTax Administration guidance for the deduction of travel expenses in wage earner’s taxation (available in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish)

 

No, you are not entitled to the deduction if you pay no expenses relating to your remote work – i.e. if your parents pay your accommodation costs.

If you borrow furniture from your employer, i.e. your employer still owns the furniture, you are not considered to have received a taxable benefit.

If your employer buys you furniture that you can then keep as your own, you are considered to have received an amount equal to the fair market value of the furniture as wages. Your employer reports this amount to the Incomes Register.

How to report the deductions on your tax return

Table on how to report deductions
Deduction How to claim the deductible expenses
Workspace deduction
  • In MyTax, section 4 Other deductions – Expenses for the production of income – Workspace deduction. Select one of the following: 
    • Workspace for full-time production of income or more than 50% of work days working from home

    • Workspace for part-time production of income or at most 50% of work days working from home

    • Workspace for occasional income

    • Other situation (You are claiming a workspace deduction based on actual costs, for example)
  • On the paper form 50A, Earned income and deductions, section for Expenses incurred in acquiring or maintaining wage income – Home office deduction
Work tools, such as monitor and keyboard
Data connections
Travel expenses