Tax cards for employment income

The withholding rate on your new tax card depends on what you have earned so far and on how much has been withheld on it so far. You must choose whether you want an income ceiling that concerns each pay period separately or a single income ceiling for the entire year.

A new tax card is always a revision, in other words, you are expected to replace your old card with it. When you ask for a tax card, you must tell us what you have earned so far since January 1st and how much has been withheld on it. We use these details when we calculate your withholding for the rest of the year.

E-service

Revise your tax card or change your prepayments

Tax Card Online (tax.fi/taxcard)

Use your personal e-banking identifiers to log in.

Other ways to request for a tax card

Make sure you hand over the tax card to your employer at an early stage, preferably some two weeks in advance of your next payday. If you fail to give your employer the card, they must withhold 60% of your pay. Any extra withholding collected that way will be paid back as a tax refund, if it is not given back to you otherwise.

If you must raise the annual income ceiling before the calendar year is over, we advise you to ask for a new tax card in good time before your income reaches the current ceiling value.

Either choose a set of income ceilings per pay period, or a single income ceiling for the year

  • The first alternative has separate ceiling values for one payday per month, and paydays every two weeks, once a week, and once a day. This is the usual tax card alternative. It is best suited for those whose pay does not change significantly in the course of the year.
  • The second alternative, the card with a single income ceiling for the entire year, is best suited for those whose earnings are different on different occasions, or for those whose earnings flow in periodically during the year.
    After you have handed your card over to your employer (and their payroll office has processed the information on it), the income ceiling for the remainder of the year may start showing on your pay slips. To find out what your income ceiling for the entire year is, look it up on the specification sheet (the information notice) that was enclosed with your new tax card.

Several employers – tax cards for secondary employment

If you have a second job, you do not necessarily have to have a high withholding on its pay (under the "additional rate" – lisäprosentti in Finnish; tilläggsprocent in Swedish). For tax purposes, all employment income is taxable under the same principles.

You don't have to give the original card away to your second-job employer. It is quite sufficient to give (or show) a photocopy of it when you use the secondary-employment tax card. You may make as many copies as you need. However, you must always give your employer the original copy of your tax card for main income, unless they have received the tax card details electronically. Your employer will tell you if they have received the details. You must make sure that the income ceiling is high enough for the entire year.

You can ask for a secondary-employment card in Tax Card Online. If necessary, both the basic rate and the additional rate are printed on it. Changes to a secondary tax card made online

Freelancer cards

The tax card for freelancers is for people with several short-term employment contracts (normally, with the minimum of 4 to 5 different employers). This card type does not have to be handed over to the employer as an original copy. Instead, it is sufficient to show it to them, or to show a photocopy of it to them. The only withholding rate printed on it is the basic rate. This makes it important for you to keep an eye on how much you are earning. If your income increases, it may be necessary for you to ask your employer to start withholding more money on your pay.

Withholding Calculator estimates your withholding rate (tax.fi/taxcalculator).

You can launch Tax Card Online to make any changes if the tax office has already issued a freelancer tax card to you. However, if you have just started as a freelancer, you must use the Telephone Service – or visit a tax office in person – to ask for your first freelancer tax card.

No new tax card is necessary for January

After the New Year, the standard tax cards that are automatically sent to all individual taxpayers become effective on 1 February. This means that your card for the previous calendar year continues to be valid in January. However, the accumulation of income towards your income ceiling has started from zero after New Year, although you continue to use the tax card for the previous year.

On the standard tax card that you get automatically around New Year, both of the alternative income ceilings (A and B) have the same value. This means you cannot make the values higher or lower by choosing the set of income ceilings per pay period (the 'A' alternative), or the single income ceiling for the entire year (the 'B' alternative).

In tax cards with a single income ceiling (the 'B' alternative), the income ceiling value for the entire year has already been adjusted: an estimated amount of your pay for January is deducted from it.

For example: If your employer pays you the salary for December 2016 during January 2017, the calculation will not take your 2016 income into account, and you do not have to worry about whether the 2016 income ceiling is reached or not. The ceiling is now being calculated for 2017 only. The date of payment determines the year of income taxation.

Illustration: Matti and Samuli work for the same employer. Both have tax cards of the type that has a single income ceiling for the entire year. Both cards have 15% as the basic withholding rate and 33% as the additional rate. By November, both Matti and Samuli have been paid €23,000 in wage income. It is expected that both will still receive €3,000 before the year is over. When asking for their tax cards at the tax office and having their withholding calculations made, Matti and Samuli had given €24,000 as their estimated annual gross income. This means that they are about to go beyond their income ceilings by €2,000.

Matti does not react to this situation. As a result, his withholding for December is according to the instructions his employer sees printed on the card (33%, the additional rate, is applied on the €2,000). Matti's employer has withheld €4,260 in total (15% × €24,000 + 33% × €2,000). However, considering what Matti's true gross income would require, the need for withholding is €4,405: this means the €4,260 is not enough (although the €2,000 has the higher withholding rate), and Matti ends up paying back tax.

In January the following year, the basic withholding rate of 15% is again applied by Matti's employer.

Samuli decides to ask for a revised withholding rate in November, as soon as he gets paid for the month. His new card has the following rates: basic rate — 32%, additional rate — 37%. The card has a revised income ceiling for the year. For December, the basic withholding rate of 32% is applied by his employer. Samuli's employer has withheld €4,410 in total (15% × €23,000 + 32% × €3,000). The need for withholding being €4,405 for the entire year, the amount that Samuli has actually paid in the form of withholding is very close to the mark. A sufficient amount is withheld, and there will be no need to pay more taxes in the final assessment for the year.

Samuli asked for a new tax card for the end of the year. It remains in force through January, and would instruct his employer to also withhold 32% in January. However, Samuli asks the Tax Administration to revise his card again, and gets a new one effective from 1 January. He does not use the standard tax card that comes into force in February. Instead, he uses his new card for the rest of the year.

 

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