Foreign leased employees – taxation depends on how long you stay and on the treaty between your country and Finland

If you arrive in Finland as a leased employee and get paid by a foreign employer, the important factors affecting your taxes are how long will you stay in Finland and what the provisions of the tax treaty are. In this context, ‘foreign employer’ means an employer that is not Finnish.

This guidance concerns leased employees if the following circumstances apply:

  • Your employer is a foreign company.
  • You come from a country that has not signed a tax treaty with Finland or from one of the countries listed below that have a treaty: 
    Belarus, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Guernsey, Iceland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan.

Do you arrive in Finland as a leased employee from a country with which Finland has a tax treaty but your country is not on the list above? The guidance articles you should read are different for those who work for a foreign employer and for those who work for a Finnish employer.

When are you considered a leased employee?

The following circumstances make you a leased employee:

  • You have an employment contract with a foreign employee leasing agent, not with any other employer. This is the company that pays you.
  • However, you work under the Finnish service recipient's management, direction and control. In addition, you may use the tools and materials belonging to the service recipient, and the place where you do the work may belong to the service recipient.

If you are a leased employee working on board a ship that sails in international waters or aircraft that flies international routes, read Operation of ships and aircraft in international traffic.

Your employer is a foreign leasing company but your service recipient is Finnish – you must pay tax to Finland

If the party that pays you wages is the foreign leasing agent but the party that directs and manages your work is a Finnish company (= service recipient), you must pay Finnish taxes starting your first day of work. This is true regardless of how long you stay in Finland.

However, how much you must pay is affected by how long you stay.

Staying in Finland for max. 6 months
You are treated as a non-resident for purposes of Finnish taxation. In this case, you pay 35% of your income as tax at source. The amount that is considered your wages subject to taxation is the income that remains after a ‘tax-at-source deduction’ is made from your overall income. The size of this deduction is €510 per month. If you work for less than a month, the tax-at-source deduction is granted to you on the basis of €17 a day instead. If your country of residence is an EU country, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein or a country that has a tax treaty with Finland, you can ask to be taxed progressively.

Staying in Finland for longer than 6 months, i.e. living in Finland on a permanent basis
You are fully liable to pay tax in Finland as a resident taxpayer. Your wages are subject to taxation under the progressive scheme.

Page last updated 1/2/2017