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Big tax data reveal: Average Finn earned 40K in 2013, top earner pocketed 4.7 million

Middle income full-time employees earned on average just over 3,200 euros a month and paid around 30 percent in income taxes last year, according to the Taxpayers Association of Finland. Finnish tax authorities released their 2013 tax data on Monday, showing that while the average worker took home 40,300 euros in 2013, the country's top earner pocketed nearly five million euros.

Suomalaisen peliyhtiön Supercell Oy:n toimitusjohtaja Ilkka Paananen ja luova johtaja Mikko Kodisoja.
Gaming hotshot Supercell's CEO Ilkka Paananen and Creative Director Mikko Kodisoja were Finland's top two earners in 2013. Image: Kimmo Mäntylä / Lehtikuva

Persons earning 3,200 euros monthly represent various business sectors from bakers to machine operators and shipping personnel. Nurses and teachers fall below the average, while train conductors and public administration workers earn slightly more.

Multiplying the 3,200 euro monthly wage by 12.5 makes for an annual salary of 40,300 euros, where the extra half-month’s salary accounts for the holiday payment due most Finnish employees.

In the 1990s, the average income tax was 37.5 percent in Finland. Since then, though, income taxes were eased considerably, with rates falling until 2009. Tax rates have inched back up over the last few years. In 2013, the average tax rate in Finland was 30.4 percent. The Taxpayers Association estimates that the rate will once again rise next year to 31.1 percent.

Income tax rate is calculated based on total income-based taxes claimed from wages and tax-like charges. Percentages calculated by the Tax Administration and the Taxpayers Association differ slightly, in that the tax administration does not automatically deduct unemployment insurance contributions and employee pension payments from the earnings.

In other words, the Association's numbers are higher, but better reflect the total deductions and contributions employees make.

Statistics Finland also tracks the development of median wages in the country by following the entire spectrum of wages in Finland. The median wage in 2013 was found to be 2,900 euros per month.

2013 tax king: KONE’s Matti Alahuhta

The person with the highest taxable salary income in Finland in 2013 was lift-maker KONE's former CEO Matti Alahuhta, who earned over 4.77 million euros in income last year. Second place went to Janne Olavi Snellman, who earned 4.3 million as Supercell’s finance director, in addition to over 7 million in capital revenue. Third on the list was banker Sampo Group’s CEO Kari Henrik Stadigh, whose income was reported at 3.7 million euros.

Supercell gang are 2013’s top reapers of revenue

The net earnings of the top 1,000 recipients of capital income rose almost 74 percent from 2012. Top income earners saw their coffers grow by 11 percent over the same period.

The creative director of gaming hotshot Supercell, Mikko Kodisoja, was the top capital income earner in Finland in 2013, reporting 170 million euros in capital gains. Next in line was Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen, who made 168.6 million. To complete the Supercell hat trick, the third highest earner was Lassi Tapani Leppinen, another of Supercell’s founders. His income for last year was reported at 37.7 million euros.

The top one-thousand capital earners saw their collective pot grow by 1,641 million euros in 2013 compared to the previous year. Behind the huge gain is the partial sale of Supercell to Japanese investors, and also explains why the top five earners for the year are all Supercell founders.

18 of top 100 women

Only 18 individuals in the list of Finland’s top 100 earners in 2013 are women, meaning females account for less than one-fifth of the total. The top woman on the list is media conglomerate Sanoma’s major shareholder Rafaela Seppälä. Rated 11 on the list, she is reported as having earned slightly more than 11.7 million euros in 2013 - 71,380 euros from income and the remainder as capital gains.

In 2012 there were also only 18 women on the list. Private health care chain Dextra’s CEO and principle shareholder Leena Niemistö led the pack with 24 million euros in income.

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