Academic studies in Finland
If you are a foreign student or trainee, Finland does usually not impose tax on income you receive from other countries. The reason for this is the provisions of international tax treaties between Finland and other countries. If, however, you receive income from a Finnish employer, the income will be taxed in Finland.
If you have arrived in Finland to study, you are not entitled to Finnish financial aid for students. The aid may be available to your only if you have arrived in Finland for some other reason. The financial aid for students is subject to income tax. For more information, visit www.kela.fi.
If you work in Finland, contact a local tax office and request a tax card. When you visit the tax office, take with you your passport and student ID card or certificate of study. Based on the certificate of study, the tax office will examine whether you are entitled to a study-based tax relief. Hand in the tax card to your employer. Finnish employers are obliged to withhold tax at the rate indicated on the tax card. In addition, they may also withhold social security contributions.
Staying in Finland 6 months or less
If you are staying in Finland temporarily, you are considered a non-resident taxpayer. Your wages are subject to tax at source, and the tax rate is 35%. You can apply for a tax-at-source card. Your eligibility for a tax-at-source deduction will be recorded on the card. The deduction is €510 per month or €17 per day. If you work for a month, for example, and receive €1,000 in wages, your Finnish employer withholds the tax at source from your wages after making the tax-at-source deduction. The tax is 35% x (€1,000 - €510) = €171.50. The tax at source is a final tax. You need not file a tax return in Finland.
Your employer will give you a document indicating your income and the tax at source collected. Save it for future use: you may need it for your country's tax authorities to avoid double taxation.
You may request progressive taxation
Instead of paying tax at source, you can request that your wages should be taxed progressively, i.e. in the same way as those who stay in Finland for longer than six months. To request progressive taxation, you must apply for a non-resident taxpayer's tax card. When filling out the application form, report all the earned income received from Finland, earned income taxable in your country of tax residence, and all related deductions. Finland taxes only income you have received from Finland, but the taxable income from your country of tax residence will increase the tax imposed on your Finnish income.
If you are taxed progressively, the Finnish Tax Administration will send you a pre-completed tax return in the spring following the year of work. Check the information on the pre-completed tax return. If all the information is correct, you need not do anything. You can file and edit tax return data in MyTax or using a paper form.
Finland does usually not impose tax on income that foreign students or trainees receive from other countries
Finland has tax treaties preventing double taxation with over 70 countries. Under the tax treaties, Finland does usually not impose tax on grants that foreign trainees receive from their home countries or pocket money paid by the EU.
Instead, most tax treaties do not limit the taxation of income received from a Finnish employer. However, a situation where the work in Finland is directly related to the taxpayer's studies in their home country may form an exception. If this condition is met, the following deductions based on the relevant tax treaty can be made, if they are recorded on the tax card or tax-at-source card.
Korea: €510 per month exempt from tax for technical and business trainees whose period of stay in Finland does not exceed five years.
Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Serbia, Tanzania, Thailand: €510 per month exempt from tax if the period of stay in Finland does not exceed 183 days within a calendar year.
Argentina, Austria, Barbados, Brazil, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, India, Israel, Netherlands, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam: €510 per month exempt from tax if the period of stay in Finland does not exceed 183 days within a calendar year.
Egypt: Pay is exempt from tax if the work relates to studies or a business traineeship (Egypt: also industry traineeship). As regards other income, €510 per month is tax-exempt.
France: €510 per month exempt from tax, no limitation for period of stay. The work does not have to relate to studies.
Zambia: €510 per month exempt from tax, if the period of stay does not exceed 365 days in two years.
Great Britain, Portugal (31.12.2018): Pay is exempt from tax for trade, industry, agriculture or forestry trainees. If the work is not study-related, only €510 per month is tax-exempt.
Japan: Pay is tax-exempt if it does not exceed U.S. $2,000 per calendar year.
Malaysia: Pay is tax-exempt if it does not exceed U.S. $2,500 per calendar year.
Philippines: Pay is tax-exempt if it does not exceed €1,009.13 per calendar year.
Faeroe Islands, Iceland: SEK 20,000 per calendar year is exempt from tax.
Staying in Finland longer than 6 months
If you stay in Finland for longer than six months, you are considered a resident taxpayer. You will be taxed progressively; the tax rate depends on your annual income. You can estimate your tax rate with the tax percentage calculator, but you must request a tax-at-source card from the Tax Administration. For this, you will need a Finnish personal identity code. Read more on how to get personal ID. Hand in a copy of your tax card to your employer.
Remember to file a tax return in Finland
The Finnish Tax Administration will send you a pre-completed tax return in the spring following the year when you worked in Finland. Check the information on the pre-completed tax return. If all the information is correct, you need not do anything. You can file and edit tax return data in MyTax or using a paper form.