Finns who work for the UN's peace-keeping forces abroad usually pay their taxes in Finland, i.e. they are generally liable for taxes in Finland. Even pay received for peace-keeping duties is taxed in Finland, because the peacekeepers have an employment relationship with the Finnish government, not the UN.
Report income with a tax return
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 tax return, you are considered to have submitted your tax return with the content in it.
Tax Return on the Web (tax.fi/taxreturn)
Go to online service
The e-Service has opened 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.
Per diems and free accommodation affect tax deductions
If you work as a UN peacekeeper and the employer offers you accommodation free of charge
- the accommodation is not a taxable benefit
- you cannot deduct accommodation expenses in your taxation
- the provision of accommodation also includes an increased per diem paid by the employer, part of which is intended to cover living costs.
In taxation, only expenses incurred from the acquisition of income can be deducted. Livelihood expenses (such as accommodation and meal expenses) are usually not such costs, so they cannot be deducted. In some cases, a deduction can be made if the livelihood expenses have increased due to activity related to the acquisition of income. If the employer has paid you tax-exempt per diem, working abroad is usually not deemed to have caused extra livelihood expenses.
Travel expenses can be deducted only if the employer does not provide transportation
Travel expenses between a home in Finland and the assignment location can be deducted in taxation, as trips between the residence and the workplace, according to the costs of the least expensive modes of transport.
Peacekeepers are usually provided a trip free of charge to the country of destination at the beginning of an assignment, and to Finland at the end of the assignment. If you do not take advantage of this possibility because, for example, you wish to drive the tax-exempt car you have purchased to Finland, you cannot deduct travel expenses in taxation.
- However, if the employer does not provide transportation to the country of destination or for the trip home, you can deduct travel expenses in taxation.
- Trips at the assignment location, related to working duties, are usually made with UN vehicles, so they do not cause travel expenses. If you, exceptionally, make such trips with your own car or otherwise at your own expenses, you can deduct the travel expenses in taxation.
Note! Peacekeepers can be granted an exemption from the payment of taxes only in exceptional cases, on the same preconditions as other people. This is explained in Decision on relief.