Cross-border workers living in Finland

This page tells about what matters cross-border workers should take into account in terms of taxation and social security when they work in another country.

Cross-border workers

A person who returns to his or her country of residence every day or at least once a week is considered a cross-border worker. Cross-border workers are covered by social security in their country of employment regardless of the member state they live in.

Example: Maire lives in Oulu and works in Luleå.  From Monday to Friday she works in Luleå, where she also has a home, but spends all her weekends in Oulu with her family. She is a cross-border worker.

Other cross-border workers

Unlike regular cross-border workers, other cross-border workers return home more infrequently than once a week.

Example: Kalle lives in Rovaniemi and works in Gothenburg and comes home to Rovaniemi once a month.

Social security

Do you move between Nordic countries? Do you work and live in different countries? Do you work for several employers in different countries? Many factors affect which country’s social security system you are covered by and which country you get your benefits from. Your social security coverage is also affected by whether you are an employee, a civil servant, an unemployed jobseeker or a pensioner. Finnish social security complies with the provisions of the EU’s social security regulation.

 

Social security for persons working in the EU or EEA:

Working in one EU or EEA country

If you move between countries as an employee or self-employed person, social security contributions are paid to one country only. Contributions are generally paid to your country of employment. You will get social security benefits from your country of employment if you meet the minimum requirements regarding time of employment and pay in your country of employment.

You are entitled to medical treatment both in your country of residence and country of employment.

Example: You work in Finland, but you live in Sweden. You return to Sweden each day after work or at least once a week. Your employer pays your social security contributions to Finland. You are covered by social security in Finland and get benefits from Finland. 

Example: You live in Finland, but you work in Sweden. Statutory social security contributions are paid to Sweden. Benefits are also paid from Sweden. You may at the same time be entitled to some benefits from Finland paid by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela). These benefits include for example health insurance reimbursement for medicines, housing allowance and maternity grant. The Social Insurance Institution of Finland may also pay child benefit and child care allowance for children who live with you in Finland.

 

Working in more than one EU or EEA country

If you work in more than one country, social insurance contributions are paid to one country only. This is generally the country where you live. In this situation you should apply for an A1 certificate to indicate which country social security contributions are to be paid to. The certificate is applied for in your country of residence. The body responsible in Finland is the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

You can find more information on working in more than one country and the rules on this on the website of the Finnish Centre for Pensions, where you can also find information on social security contributions in Finland.

Read more about social security for cross-border workers living in Finland on the website of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. Also check social security for cross-border workers living in Finland but working in another country on the website of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland.

You can find more information on health care in cross-border situations on the EU Healthcare website.

Taxation

The taxation of persons working in border municipalities in Finland, Sweden and Norway is covered by the Nordic Tax Treaty. Cross-border workers are only considered cross-border commuters under the Nordic Tax Treaty if certain conditions are met.  

The condition is that a cross-border commuter lives in a municipality bordering the land border between Finland and Sweden or Finland and Norway and works in a municipality in the other country bordering the same land border and stays in their permanent home in their municipality of residence at least once a week.

Border municipalities between Finland and Sweden:

  • Enontekiö, Kolari, Muonio, Pello, Tornio, Ylitornio
  • Haparanda, Kiruna, Pajala, Övertorneå

Border municipalities between Finland and Norway:

  • Enontekiö, Inari, Utsjoki
  • Karasjok, Kautokeino, Kåfjord, Nesseby, Nordreisa, Storfjord, Sör-Varanger, Tana

Example: The municipality of Enontekiö borders on Sweden and Norway. A person living in Enontekiö can then work as a border commuter in border municipalities in both Sweden and Norway. A person living in Tornio can work as a border commuter in Sweden only.

If the conditions are met, a border commuter’s pay is taxed in their country of residence only. A border commuter only pays health and pension insurance contributions to their country of employment. The border commuter rule only applies to wages. If for example a border commuter gets trade income or sportsperson’s income, the border commuter rule does not apply.

The municipality of residence of a person living in Finland is the one where they were registered on the last day of the previous year. This interpretation has been applied since 2017. In previous taxation practice a border commuter has been considered a person who, if the other conditions are met, lives in a border municipality for the period of employment within the meaning of the border commuter rule.

In Sweden or Norway a person’s municipality of residence is determined by where the person was registered on 1 November the previous year.

If a worker moves from one country to another in the course of a year, the border commuter rule can apply from the time of the move.

A border commuter must stay in their permanent home regularly and at least for two days and one night a week. A part of a day is also sufficient.

If the border commuter rule does not apply, wages are generally taxed both in the country of employment and the country of residence. Then the country of residence must offset double taxation. You must declare income from abroad and taxes paid in your tax return.

Cross-border commuters living in Finland

A cross-border commuter who lives in Finland and has a foreign employer is personally responsible for paying taxes. This is because foreign companies do not generally have employer obligations in Finland. Tax is paid as prepayments, which can be applied for via MyTax . For tax prepayments you have to estimate the amount of your pay. The Finnish Tax Administration calculates the tax on your income and mails you tax credit transfers. Prepayments can be changed during the year if your estimated income changes.

A border commuter living in Finland must declare wages received from a foreign employer on their pre-completed tax return. Income is declared as wages from abroad in the online tax return service or on form 16 Statement on foreign income in the tax return. In the form you should tick the section: “Income earned in Norway or Sweden as a border municipality resident”.

A border commuter living in Finland may deduct statutory pension and unemployment insurance contributions and health insurance daily allowance contributions paid abroad. The contributions are entered in section 3.2. of the pre-completed tax return - “Compulsory pension and unemployment insurance contributions”.

Cross-border commuters living in another country and working in Finland

A cross-border commuter who lives in another country and works in Finland needs a Finnish tax card. If a border commuter is a non-resident taxpayer, they need a tax at source card. A non-resident taxpayer is a person who does not live in Finland and stays here for less than six months. The tax percentage in their tax card or tax at source card is the medical care contribution and daily allowance contribution of the health insurance contribution paid to Finland. You can get a tax card from the Finnish Tax Administration’s international taxation service number or from a tax office. Check the Finnish Tax Administration’s contact details.

Checklist if you get a job in Sweden

Country of residence – Finland

  1. Contact your trade union and unemployment fund and tell them about your employment in Sweden.                      
  2. Check with the tax office how working in Sweden will affect your taxation.
  3. Let the Social Insurance Institution of Finland know that you have started work and check how it will affect your social insurance.
  4. Let the TE office know that you have got a job.

Country of employment - Sweden

  1. Apply for membership of an unemployment fund. Unemployment funds in Sweden can be found on the website of the Swedish federation of unemployment insurance funds (Arbetslöshetskassornas samorganisation).
  2. Contact the Swedish tax office, Skatteverket to get a Swedish personal identity code and find out if you will be paying tax on your wage income to Sweden. Take your employment contract and an official identity document - passport or EU identity card - with you.  
  3. Let the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, Försäkringskassan, know that you have started work and check how it will affect your social insurance.
  4. When you have got a Swedish identity number, either a "personnummer" or "samordningsnummer", you can open a bank account for your wages to be paid into.                                              

Checklist if you get a job in Norway

Country of residence – Finland                    

  1. Contact your trade union and unemployment fund and tell them about your employment in Norway.                      
  2. Let the tax office know that you have got a job in Norway.
  3. Check that your employer has registered you with the State Register of Employers and Employees and got your tax card.
  4. Let Kela know that you are covered by social security in Norway.
  5. Let the TE office know that you have got a job in Norway.     

Country of employment - Norway

  1. Check whether your trade union has a cooperation agreement with a Norwegian union. Check whether you can transfer your membership to Norway. Check the membership conditions of your unemployment fund on working abroad. There are no unemployment funds in Norway. NAV, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration, pays daily allowances.
  2. Apply for a Norwegian D number (temporary personal identity code) and a tax card from the Norwegian tax office, Skatt Nord. Complete a separate form to apply for Grensegjenger status. This can be ordered from the North Calotte Cross-Border Advice Service at riitta.leinonen(AT)storfjord.kommune.no or Skatt Nord, PB 6130, N-9293 Tromsø, Norway. Take your passport, employment contract and population register confirmation of your place of residence with you. tax offices in Finnmark County: Kirkenes, Vadsø, Hammerfest, Alta tax offices in Troms County: Tromsø, Harstad
  3. Cross-border commuters always pay 10% tax on their wages. This also includes the Norwegain social security contribution called “trygdeavgift”, which covers all pension contributions, sickness and unemployment allowance and health services. If wage payments are suspended for some reason and instead of wages your income is NAV sickness or unemployment allowance, ask Skatt Nord for a different tax card for these payments. If you don’t get a new tax card, NAV will deduct 50% tax from these payments.

More information

  • The cross-border commuter rule is explained in more detail in the Finnish Tax Administration’s guide Taxation of cross-border commuters.
  • More information on taxation in different Nordic countries from Nordisketax.

North Calotte Cross-Border Advice Service

  • Offers situational and topical information on mobility
  • Offers customers the tools they need for the mobility process
  • Provides assistance and guidance in all cross-border matters
  • Tells you what you need to be aware of and guides you to the right authority
  • Assists in solving cross-border obstacles
  • Coordinates and brings together authorities and customers
  • North Calotte Cross-Border Advice Service
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