Travelling within special sectors of work

Examples of special sectors include the construction sector, the earthmoving sector and the lines of work related to forestry. The locations change constantly in these lines of work. If you receive no coverage from your employer for your business trips (i.e. to a 'special place of work'), you are entitled to claim them as expenses and receive deductions.

Whether the special tax rules apply or not does not depend on the employee's title or profession; instead, it depends on the actual circumstances of work. For example, electrical installation workers and plumbing workers may either be treated as working in a 'special sector' or as 'itinerant workers'. If a construction supervisor normally works one day a week at the office of the employer company, working all other days at various construction sites, he is still treated as having a main place of work – which is the office. The special tax rules do not apply to his expenses for commuting or travelling between the places of work. However, if a carpenter works every day at construction sites that change constantly and he travels to them directly from his home, the special tax rules apply.

Time limits relating to work in special sectors

It is customary for the lines of work known as special sectors that people work at various locations temporarily; these locations are 'special places of work'. Maximum duration of temporary work at a single location is 3 years.

Read more (in Finnish; in Swedish)

Everyday commuting

Trips to the changing locations of work from home, from the place of stay at the district where you work

You are entitled to deductions for expenses for the production of income with respect to your commuting to the changing locations either from your home or from the place where you stay at the district. You can claim the actual costs of the means of transportation you have used.

File these trips under

  • Travel expenses — Special sectors (C).

However, if you also have a main place of work, no deductions are given to you under the rules on 'special sectors of work'.

Examples: 

Special sector: Antti is a carpenter. He drives his own car to commute from home to the building site. The building sites and commuting trips vary all the time. Antti may claim the expenses under the 'special sector' rules, on the condition that his employer does not reimburse the expenses. He is entitled to apply the kilometre rate for driving his own car €0.25 per kilometre 2019 (€0,24 per kilometre 2018).

Primary place of work exists; special tax rules do not apply: Pekka is the construction foreman. He goes to the office of the construction company in the morning. During the day, he makes a trip to a building site and comes back. Pekka drives his own car in the morning and for his daytime trips, and for going home in the evening. However, there is a bus connection that he'd be able to use for commuting from home to work and back. Accordingly, Pekka can deduct the trips between his home and his primary workplace according to the least expensive means of transportation, as commuting expenses. As for the trips between the building site and the office, Pekka can get a deduction for the production of income unless his employer has covered them. He is entitled to apply the kilometre rate for driving his own car €0.25 per kilometre 2019 (€0,24 per kilometre 2018).

You must give details on your everyday commute to the tax authorities if they request further information

In that case, you must explain the following:

  • Points of departure and destination
  • Length(s) of the commute and trips in kilometres
  • How often you have gone to each one of the places or sites where you work.

Going home for the weekend

If you work at another location and the job is temporary, your family situation has no effect on the expenses you are allowed to claim. Maximum duration of temporary work at a single location is 3 years. For purposes of this rule, 'temporary work' is not the same thing as having an employment contract with an agreed termination date.

Going home during the assignment

If you have a job assignment in a different district and you go home for the weekend, you may claim the expenses by the least expensive means of transportation. If it is possible to make the round trip home on public transport during the weekend, you must report the cost of the tickets as your expense.

If your employer pays any of the expenses for your going home for the weekend, the value of this benefit is treated as part of your taxable pay. In this case, you must report the expenses for these journeys (i.e. the expenses you did not pay yourself) according to the amount it would have cost you by the least expensive transportation.

File these trips under

  • Travel expenses — Going home for the weekend (B).

Going home if the assignment is interrupted

Reasons for interruptions include holidays or sick leave, or situations where the employer has not made any arrangements for weekend accommodation.

If your assignment is interrupted, you may claim the expenses for going home on days off as expenses for the production of income unless your employer covers them. You may claim the real expenses for using the means of transportation you actually used.

File these trips under

  • Travel expenses — Going home for the weekend (B).

The impact of having a secondary place of accommodation

If you spend nights at the district where you work (either in an employer-provided place or in a place that you have arranged yourself) and this lasts longer than two years, you are treated as living in a secondary accommodation.

If you have a family, you can deduct the expenses of going home for the weekend like ordinary commuting expenses are deducted: according to what it costs you if you use the least expensive means of transportation.

File these trips under

  • Travel expenses — Going home for the weekend (B).

For tax purposes, you are treated as having a family if you are married or in a registered partnership, or if you live together with a partner with whom you have a child, or have had a child in the past.

If you have no family, you cannot get deductions for your trips between a secondary place of accommodation and your permanent home.

Read more (in Finnish; in Swedish) about secondary accommodation 

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