Foreign key employees

Foreign employees coming to Finland to work for a Finnish employer may in certain cases be treated as foreign key employees who pay taxes on their wage income according to the flat rate of 32 per cent instead of progressive rates.

To qualify the employee must meet the following criteria:

  • He/she becomes a tax resident in Finland when at commencement of employment.
  • His/her cash salary for the duties as a key person is at least EUR 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 cash wages.
  • His/her work in Finland requires special expertise.
  • He/she is not a Finnish citizen.
  • He/she has not been a tax resident in Finland during five calendar years before commencement of employment. 

The foreign expert tax regime is applicable for a maximum of 84 months from the commencement of working in Finland.

If the foreign employee works as a teacher in a Finnish university or conducts scientific research for the common good, he/she may also qualify even if his/her salary is below EUR 5,800.

The foreign expert tax regime also applies in cases where the employer is not Finnish but the salary is paid by a Finnish party at the foreign employer’s request.

A key employee must apply for the special tax regime within 90 days of the date on which the work has started.