Academic studies in other countries

The fact that you are studying in another country has no impact on your taxes, and thus you are not required to report it to the Tax Administration.  However, if you also are gainfully employed while you pursue your studies in that country, you will be expected to observe the relevant tax rules that govern receipts of foreign-sourced incomes.  Similarly, you will be expected to observe the relevant tax rules, and to learn about them sufficiently, if you have plans to start working in another country on a temporary basis.

Finland will continue to be the country of taxation for the academic grant that the Social Insurance Institution (Kela) pays to you during the period when you pursue studies overseas.  Kela will withhold Finnish tax on the amounts.  For more information

Students who work

If you work overseas for a foreign employer you will not be able to use a Finnish tax card.  Instead, you should contact the local tax office, taking with you your passport, and either your student's ID card or a certificate in English or the local language that confirms your academic status as a student. Your withholding tax rate will probably be lower if you show the local tax authorities proof of your student status.  You can ask the secretary for international affairs at your educational institution for the necessary certificate.  We also recommend that you make active inquiries about your tax obligations in the country where you are studying, including whether or not you need to complete an income tax return form and send it to a tax office.

Report your foreign-sourced income along with any Finnish-sourced income with a tax return

Tax Return on the Web (tax.fi/taxreturn)

Go to online service

You cannot yet file tax return information over the Web for tax year 2017. We plan to open the e-Service 8.3.2018 for the taxpayers whose personal deadline date for filing a tax return is 3.4.2018 (self-employed traders and self-employed professionals). For other taxpayers, the opening date is at the end of March.

Income derived from sources in other countries is taxable in Finland. Always check all the details in your pre-completed tax return. If the details are correct and no details are missing, you do not have to do anything else. If you do not return the pre-completed tax return, you are considered to have submitted your tax return with the content in it.

  • Do not return a paper-format tax return or enclosures at all if you report the information online. For using the online service, you need personal online banking IDs.

  • Enter your foreign-sourced income in the line headed Other earned income, and enclose Form 16 online. Even though the Finnish tax authorities will assess these amounts, you will not have to worry about paying taxes on them in two countries at the same time.  The usual process for eliminating double taxation is to subtract the foreign-withheld tax amount that you have already paid.  To facilitate this process, make sure you retain all pay slips and other documents that you receive from your employer.

Duration of stay may affect your taxes

If you work overseas for a continuous period of at least 6 months, special tax rules will sometimes apply.  The rule known as the ‘six-month rule’ may mean that you will not need to pay Finnish tax on your foreign-sourced wages.  The requirements include that you spend no more than six days per month in Finland, on average, and that the other country holds primary taxing rights in respect of your wages.  However, the six-month rule is usually not applicable if your employment overseas is only temporary, and you are mainly a student, not an employee.

Checklist for you who are leaving Finland because of studies

File a notification of move to the Local Register Office

  • If you do a permanent change of address the Tax Administration receives information from the Local Register Office automatically.
  • If you do a temporary change of address to the Local Register Office, you must file a separate change-of-address to the Tax Administration. Print a form for reporting a temporary change of address (3817). Instead of using the form, you can also submit the notification with a free-format letter. The letter must indicate your name, address, personal identity number, new address, and the date on which the change takes effect. 

  • If your foreign address information were to change, you must inform both the Local Register Office and the Tax Administration to keep the files up-to-date.

  • When a Finnish citizen leaves Finland for another country, they continue to be a tax resident of Finland during the calendar year when they leave and for three years after the end of that year.

Take the necessary steps to find out whether you are going to be covered by the Finnish social security system when you pursue your studies elsewhere (Kela, Finnish Centre for Pensions)

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