Freelance translator in Finland?
Thread poster: Clara Chassany

Clara Chassany  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 10:24
Member (2012)
Finnish to French
+ ...
Aug 8, 2016

Hi,

I have been a freelance translator in Spain for 5 years and I am considering moving to Finland. (I am half Finnish so I have the finnish nationality.)

Does anyone know what are the steps to follow to start working as a freelance translator in Finland?

Is anyone able to tell me what percentage of my income would go for taxes, social security, etc? I find it very hard to find concrete information about taxes for a freelance worker and I would like to have an idea of my net income compared to Spain...

Also, if you have advice about the best status for a translator I am all ears (I have read about toiminimi, which sounds like the closest status to a freelance here and Eezy.fi, I wonder which is the most interesting for a small translator)

Thanks in advance for any contribution!!


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Pete in Finland
Finland
Local time: 10:24
English to Finnish
+ ...
Taxes Aug 9, 2016

Let's say your annual turnover is 36,000 euros. Your taxable income might then be something like 30,000 euros. In that case you would have to pay (depending on your particular circumstances) something like 6,500 euros in taxes. So, in this income bracket, your overall tax rate would be roughly 22%. Finland, however, has a progressive tax rate. If your taxable income is, say, 50,000 euros, your tax rate will not be 22%, but much higher, maybe something like 30-35%.

In addition, as a self-employed person, you will have to take out an YEL insurance (mandatory pension insurance). How much you will have to pay depends on how high you set your "tyotulo" (meaning your earnings - it does not have to be your actual earnings). Let's say you set your earnings at 25,000 euros a year. Then you'll have to pay about 5,000 euros a year for your YEL insurance.

All in all, then, for a turnover of 36,000 euros, you will have to pay 6,500 euros in taxes and 5,000 euros for your pension insurance, a total of 11,500 euros. The rest is yours.


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Clara Chassany  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 10:24
Member (2012)
Finnish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Aug 9, 2016

Hi Pete,

thank you very much for taking time to answer me and for the precise information! I appreciate it a lot.

Now I understand better what the tax situation is.


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Tiina Linnamaa  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:24
English to Finnish
+ ...
Quite easy Aug 9, 2016

Hi Clara,

starting out as a freelance translator in Finland is quite straightforward. You will need to register your toiminimi (should you choose to have one, for me it was always the easiest and most logical choice) at PRH (Finnish Patent and Registration Office) and let the tax authorities know about your business. You will then receive a business ID from PRH and a VAT number, which will be derived from that ID, and start paying taxes in advance based on your income estimation.

You will have six months time to take out the actual pension insurance, but will have to start paying towards the pension from your first working day onwards. As a first-time self-employed translator in Finland you will get a discount of 22% of the pension payments for the first four years.

Hope this helped. Good luck with your business!


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Clara Chassany  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 10:24
Member (2012)
Finnish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Aug 9, 2016

Thanks a lot for your advise Tiina, it's very helpful

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:24
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
A question just out of interest Aug 9, 2016

I'm sure I'll never be a freelancer in Finland - too cold for me! But I was just wondering what happens over there for state health cover. Here in Spain, we pay a set amount of €250+ per month for social contributions. Some of that is for a pension but it also gives us free health care, plus a few things that I don't qualify for such as basic maternity benefits. Is there a state health care system in Finland?

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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 10:24
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
State healthcare and benefits Aug 9, 2016

Here's a good link to income tax:
Tax Rates Finland

Sheila:
Yes, there's state healthcare, although it's not completely free like in Spain. YEL covers entrepreneurs during illness and maternity, for example. The amount of the benefit is linked to the monthly contribution, so the more you contribute, the bigger the benefit. The benefit is usually calculated based on the previous tax year's contributions, but some raise their contribution significantly at least 6 months before the expected maternity leave and can get the benefit re-calculated based on the latest contribution. The KELA agency has pretty good info in English about all that.

[Edited at 2016-08-09 12:29 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:24
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Thanks Nina Aug 9, 2016

I've lived and worked in four EU countries and seen that they each have their own way to approach the same problem.

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Clara Chassany  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 10:24
Member (2012)
Finnish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the link Aug 9, 2016



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