Fringe benefits from employment
Any additional benefits you receive from your employer in addition to your pay are taxed as wage income. The value of these fringe benefits is added to your wage income. The Tax Administration issues an official decision each year on the valuation of different fringe benefits.
If there is no confirmed taxable value for a benefit you receive, the benefit is taxed at its fair market value. The fair market value can also be used in situations where the fair market value of the benefit is lower than the value confirmed in the Tax Administration’s official decision.
The Tax Administration valuates the following fringe benefits annually:
- employer-provided accommodation
- accommodation with electricity
- company cars
Read more about the valuation of fringe benefits
- Decision of the Finnish Tax Administration on the valuation of taxable in-kind benefits to be applied in 2021 (in Finnish and Swedish only)
- Decision of the Finnish Tax Administration on the valuation of taxable in-kind benefits to be applied in 2020
If your employer has given you an apartment as part of your employment contract, or if your pay includes room and board, you are receiving a taxable accommodation benefit. The value of the apartment depends on its age, area, and any improvements it may have had. In addition, the taxable value of apartments in the Helsinki area is higher than elsewhere in Finland.
The taxable value of accommodation determined by the Tax Administration consists of a monthly basic value and an additional value per square metre. The taxable value cannot be higher than this. However, it may be reduced in some cases, such as if the apartment has been given as a fringe benefit to the residential building’s caretaker, or if the apartment given to an employee as a fringe benefit is also used for entertainment events by the employer.
If your employer allows you to use a garage or parking space reserved for you as part of your apartment or near it, you are receiving a taxable benefit. However, a parking space at your place of work that you use during working hours is not considered a taxable benefit.
The value of your meal benefit depends on whether the benefit consists of
- workplace meals subsidised by the employer
- canteen meals
- meals provided for employees supervising the dining area
- meals provided for employees at a hotel, restaurant or airline
- lunch vouchers.
If you or your family have used a car or van provided by your employer for private purposes, you have received a taxable company car benefit. Private use includes commutes between your home and place of work.
This benefit type may be unlimited or limited. Unlimited car benefit means that your employer pays all expenses related to the car. Limited car benefit means that you pay at least the fuel expenses. The taxable value of a company car is usually a fixed monthly amount. A kilometre-based value can also be used, but this requires that you keep a driver’s log of the kilometres driven for private purposes.
The value of the benefit depends on the price of the car, the year of its first use and level of equipment. In some cases, the calculated value of the benefit may be changed. For example, if you have driven more than 30,000 km for work purposes during the year or if you have only driven a small number of kilometres for private purposes according to your driver’s log, there may be grounds for reducing the value.
If your employer pays your private calls made in your free time, you are receiving a taxable benefit. The Tax Administration’s decision on fringe benefits describes which costs are covered by the telephone benefit. If you use the phone provided by your employer for making payments, this is taxed separately and not as part of the telephone benefit. However, you do not need to pay tax on the private use of your phone’s data connection.
Employer-subsidised commuter ticket
You do not need to pay tax on employer-subsidised commuter tickets up to €3,400.
Employer-provided bicycle (from 1 Jan 2021)
If you receive a bicycle from your employer as a fringe benefit, it is tax-free up to €1,200 of taxable value per year. When the bicycle’s value is no higher than €1,200 per year, it is regarded as being part of the total combined tax-free value – €3,400 – of an employer-provided commuter ticket and bicycle.
Sports and culture benefits
Employers can provide their employees with tax-exempt sports and culture benefits payable by vouchers or other means of payment for up to €400 a year. The employees do not need to pay any tax on the benefit, and the employer can deduct the amount in taxation.
Starting July 2021, the culture benefit is also usable for virtual events. The sports benefit was already usable for them previously. In addition, you can now also use the culture benefit to pay entrance fees to certain trade fairs.
Other fringe benefits
If the taxable value of any fringe benefit you receive has not been determined in the Tax Administration’s official decision, the benefit’s fair market value is applied instead. Such benefits include housekeeping, boats, and holiday trips given as a bonus. However, if the employer pays for a nurse to take care of their employee’s sick child for up to four days, this is deemed as a temporary arrangement that is not taxable as a benefit to the employee.