An official journey refers to work-related travel carried out by order of the public official’s supervisor. Public officials can make official journeys if they need to perform their duties in locations outside their workplace. The same rules apply to staff in contractual employment relationships.
The collective agreement on the reimbursement of public officials’ and employees’ travel expenses (State Travel Regulations) is updated every calendar year.
The State Travel Regulations define reimbursable travel expenses. They refer to the extra expenses that a public official has incurred for the official journey. Travel expenses include cost of travelling, per diem allowance, meal allowance and accommodation or hotel allowance. More detailed cost categories and the conditions for their payment can be found in the State Travel Regulations 2020.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs determines the reimbursement of expenses incurred for the use of a private car by public officials and employees who have their place of employment abroad at Finnish missions or in other branches of administration.
The reimbursements specified in the State Travel Regulations are mainly tax-exempt, but there are also exceptions (such as cases involving several places of work and passport fees). The Finnish Tax Administration provides guidance on the liability to pay tax on the reimbursement of travel expenses. Guidance from the Finnish Tax Administration:
Reimbursement of business travel expenses in taxation 18 December 2019.
Any centrally concluded service agreements (e.g. framework agreements) and the binding nature of their use must be taken account when making purchases related to official journeys.
Framework Arrangements, Hansel Oy
Collective agreement on compensation for expenses
Appendix to Agreement, 8 November 2022
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