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Foreign key person – you can pay tax at source on your income

If you are a foreign key employee and your employer is Finnish, you can pay 32% of tax at source on your income even if you stay in Finland for more than 6 months.  You are given the key-employee tax treatment if all the conditions listed below are met:

  • You become a resident taxpayer in Finland when you start working here.
  • Your cash salary for your duties as a key employee is at least €5,800 a month. Fringe benefits are not included in the cash salary. If you come to Finland to teach or do research in an institute of higher education, there is no minimum requirement for the cash salar
  • Your work in Finland requires special expertise.
  • You are not a Finnish citizen.
  • You have not been a resident taxpayer in Finland during 5 calendar years before the start of your work. 
  • You earn your salary in Finland, i.e. you work mostly in Finland during the tax year.

These rules also apply if your employer is not Finnish but your wages are paid by a Finnish party at your foreign employer’s request. For example, your wages may be paid by an accounting agency.

Because the income-tax treatment of a key employee involves the withholding of a source tax which is final, no tax deductions are available. In the same way, you cannot deduct any expenses, that you may have paid in order to support your key-employee income, against the taxes imposed on your other income.

There is no need to declare the income received as a key employee on a Finnish tax return, unless you are receiving some other earned income simultaneously.

If you do not meet the above criteria, read the instructions relevant to you:

How to request a tax card

A key person’s tax treatment is indicated on the tax card. Request a tax card within 90 days after starting your work as a key person. You can receive the tax relief only for your first 84 months of work.

If your employer changes, request a new tax card. If you still qualify for a key person’s tax treatment, you will receive a key person’s tax card. 

If your key person’s tax card expires but you continue working and the maximum period of 84 months has not passed yet, you can request an extension to your tax card. Make the request within 30 days from the date when your original key person’s tax card expired. 

1

APPLY FOR A FINNISH PERSONAL ID

Fill in Form 6150e

After you have filled in the form, you must go to a tax office in person to sign the form.

2

APPLY FOR A TAX CARD

Fill in Form 5042e – select I am applying for a key person tax card in section 1.

Fill in the form and take it to the tax office.

3

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT A TAX OFFICE

You must go to a tax office in person so that you can be identified and assigned a Finnish personal ID.

Please take the following documents with you: 

  • the forms you have filled in
  • a valid passport or identity card (not a driving licence), if you are applying for a Finnish personal ID
  • a valid residence permit or visa, if required and if you are applying for a Finnish personal ID
  • a written statement by your employer company, or a photocopy of your work order or contract, including information concerning your salary and your duties that require special expertise
  • a photocopy of the A1 certificate, if you have one (A1 is a certificate issued by the authorities in your home country, affirming that you are covered by the social insurance system of that country). your country of residence can issue you an A1 certificate, if the country you are coming to Finland from is an EU country, an EEA country, the United Kingdom or Switzerland.

Make an appointment in MyTax

If you cannot log in to MyTax, call our Telephone Service on 029 512 010 for an appointment.

The Tax Administration will make sure that your tax matters are in order. You will also get your tax card from the Tax Administration.

Tax offices where you can get a Finnish personal ID

4

GIVE THE TAX CARD TO YOUR EMPLOYER

When you start working, give the tax card to your employer. The employer withholds tax on your wages based on the tax card and pays it to the Tax Administration.

Your employer withholds insurance contributions from your wages

No health care contribution or daily allowance contribution is withheld from your wages.

However, your employer will withhold pension and unemployment insurance contributions, unless you present the following documentation issued to you by your country of tax residence:

  • An A1 certificate
  • A certificate similar to the A1 certificate, proving that you are covered by social insurance in your home country.

If you work partly abroad

In order to be treated as a key employee in taxation, you must work primarily in Finland during the tax year. However, you may do a part of your work abroad, as well. Your country of residence and Finland may have agreed in a tax treaty that no Finnish tax is imposed on wages you earn from working outside Finland. In most such cases, Finland will not tax wages from working abroad if your country of residence as it is defined in the tax treaty is not Finland. For example, if you have a permanent home in another country and your family still lives there, that will usually be considered your country of residence, too.

If you work partly abroad, you can ask the Tax Administration to make a note of it in your key employee’s tax card. This way, your employer will not withhold tax on the wages you earn from working abroad to the extent that is agreed in the tax treaty between Finland and your country of residence.

If your circumstances change so that your wages from working abroad become subject to taxation in Finland according to the tax treaty, the note on the tax card will no longer be in effect. If your living arrangements change or there are other changes to your circumstances which affect the application of the tax treaty, you must notify your employer of these changes so that they can apply your tax card correctly.

If you also have other income 

If you receive other earned income subject to Finnish taxes in addition to your income as a key employee, your key-employee income raises the tax rate applied to your other income. 

When you request a tax card or prepayments for your other earned income, include your key-employee income in the request. In a case like this, call us on 029 497 024 (international income taxation of individual taxpayers) and specify the amount of key-employee income you receive in parallel with your other earned income taxable in Finland. 

If you have other income subject to Finnish taxes in parallel with your key-employee income, you must also submit the key-employee income on your tax return. 

Report a key person’s income in MyTax or on paper (Form 50A Earned income and deductions). If you file on paper, pay attention to the following sections:

  • Wages, salaries, fees and compensation: enter here the amount of pay
  • Payor’s name: enter here the employer’s name
  • Type of income: enter here ‘key person's income’
Page last updated 9/9/2015