Here is a brief description of the Daily Allowance system in operation in Finland and a summary of the per diems in other countries accepted in Finland. It may be of use to HR Directors and Finance Directors developing a travel policy and looking for guidance on comparative costs.
Finland Per Diem Rules – Questions and Answers
Q What are the daily allowances for 2022?
A Per diem allowances for 2022:
- Partial per diem: €20 (trips longer than 6 hours)
- Full per diem: €45 (trips longer than 10 hours)
- Per diems for trips to other countries (2022)
- Meal money: €11.25
Q Is the per diem taxable?
The full daily allowance is tax free if the temporary journey takes more than 10 hours and more than 15 km from the home or permanent working place and more than 5 km from both. 2021 = €44/day, 2022 = €45/day.
The partial daily allowance is tax free if the temporary journey takes more than 6 hours and more than 15 km from the home or permanent working place and more than 5 km from both. 2021 = €20/day, 2022 = €20/day. Depending on the duration of a business trip, the maximum per diem amounts are the following:
For any day of travel, if the employee receives free meals, or meals are included with the travel ticket, the maximum per diem is half the amount specified in the paragraph above. Free meals comprise two free meals in the case of full per diem, and one free meal in the case of partial per diem.
Q Is there a list of the applicable per diems for countries around Finland – Sweden, Lithuania, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia, Norway?
The per diem allowance concerns one day of travel i.e. 24 hours from the beginning of a business trip or 24 hours from the end of the preceding day of travel.
The maximum amount of per diem is defined on the basis of the country or region where the day of foreign travel ends. If the day of travel ends on a ship or airplane, the amount should be based on the country from where the ship or airplane last departed or, if leaving Finland, where it will first arrive.
Upon returning to Finland, the employee is entitled to half of the per diem for foreign travel paid for the last completed day of travel if the length of the business trip exceeds, by more than two hours, the last full day of travel that ended in foreign territory or in a ship or airplane departing from such territory.
If the length of a business trip exceeds, by more than ten hours, the last full day of travel, which ended in foreign territory or in a ship or airplane departing from such a territory, the employee is entitled to a per diem for foreign travel for the last full day of travel. The maximum amount payable for a day of travel or part thereof beginning after the employee returns to Finland must be determined as prescribed above.
For any business trip in foreign countries lasting a minimum of 10 hours, the employee is entitled to the confirmed amount for the relevant country. If the total duration of the trip is shorter than 10 hours the amount should be paid in accordance with the provisions and amounts applicable to domestic travel.
If the employee receives free meals or meals included in the price of a ticket or a hotel room the per diem must be reduced by 50 percent. For the purposes of calculation of per diems for foreign travel, two free meals constitute ‘free meals’.
If the employee has the right to have daily allowance (>10 hours / >15 km / >5 km) or partly daily allowance (>6 hours / >15 km / >5 km) expenses like food and coffee are included in the daily allowance. Expenses like parking, hotel or entertainment expenses are not included, the employer can also pay these to the employee.
But if the employee gets partly daily allowance and also has got one meal of food (for example in connection to entertainment or education) ½ of the partial daily allowance must be deducted, and
If the employee gets full daily allowance and also has got two meals of food (for example in connection to entertainment or education) ½ of the full daily allowance must be deducted.
Q In Latvia, the employer doesn’t seem to have any choice. He is legally required to pay the higher of the Per Diem or the actual reimbursement. Is that the same in FINLAND?
The per diem is possible if the employee makes an invoice of each day with the time when the journey has started and ended, the distance to the destination and the purpose of the journey. The same rules are about tax free kilometre allowance. For other kinds of expenses, the employee should give all invoices and receipts to the employer. If they cannot give these documents, the allowance is seen as taxable salary.