If you are paid for the work you do in Finland, you usually have to pay income tax in Finland.
A tax card is needed by your employer for paying the tax on your salary. To get a tax card, you need to visit the tax office in person. Check the location and office hours, and make an appointment.
In addition to the relevant form/s, which you will be able to fill in at the tax office, you will need to present your official ID, your employment contract and a clarification of your annual income.
In order to get a tax card, you will need a Finnish Personal Identity Code. Unless you already visited the Local Register Office and received it there, you now can request to have it at the tax office for taxation purposes. Please note that if you intend to stay in Finland one year or more, you will still need to visit the Local Register Office to submit some additional information to the Population Information System.
The basics on income taxes
Finnish income tax rules differentiate between two categories of taxpayers. Your tax percentage and whether you will pay taxes only on your income in Finland, or also on an income from another country, will depend on the length of your stay in Finland:
- Staying 6 months or less in Finland –> limited tax liability: your employment income in Finland is subject to 35 % tax at source flat rate. Ask for a tax-at-source card from the tax office.
- Staying more than 6 months in Finland –> full tax liability: your annual gross income determines the tax rate according to a progressive scale. Your worldwide income is subject to Finnish tax. Ask for an ordinary tax card from the tax office.
International tax treaties are made to avoid double taxation in certain situations. If arriving in Finland from certain countries, researchers and teachers are entitled, through the relevant tax treaties, to have their income exempt from Finnish income tax. If you live in a country within the European Economic Area or a country that has a tax treaty with Finland, you can also request that your income be taxed under the progressive scale, that is, in the same way as that of those who stay in Finland longer than six months.
Besides tax, your employer will also withhold social security payments from your pay (amounting to 8-10 %, all payments combined).
Taxation of grants
Grants awarded by private institutions, including universities, for the purpose of studies or scientific research are tax-free up to 23 269,80 € per year (in 2020) (Income Tax Act 1535/92, 82 §). Also scholarships and grants awarded by the state, a municipality or other public body or the Nordic Council, are tax-free.
Grants awarded for any other purpose than studies, scientific research or artistic activity are taxable income for the recipients regardless of which institution has awarded the grant.