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Who are Finland's top earners?

On Monday, the Finnish Tax Administration released data about how much taxpayers earned in 2014. LED light developers and game designers are at the top of the list, along with corporate CEOs.

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Of top earners, 15 percent were women and 85 percent were men. Image: Yle

Finnish people are known for their respect for privacy in almost all matters. But one day a year Finns indulge themselves by peeking at how much neighbours, friends, celebrities and public figures earn. That day was Monday, and the discussion about what the figures revealed is the talk of the town for much of the following week.

In the top spot, lead game designer Lasse Louhento from the wildly successful computer game company Supercell – maker of the hit game Clash of Clans – was Finland’s top income earner at 6.1 million euros – of which he paid 52 percent tax.

Two LED lighting developers, Hannu Hukkanen and Tomi Kuntze are the country's number one capital money-men with each man earning more than 26 million euros. Their company Ledil, founded in 2002, is Finland's most successful manufacturer and designer of LED lights.

In arts and entertainment, Finnish pop star Kaija Koo earned 270,000 euros last year, which was more than young popstar Cheek who performed two sold-out stadium gigs last year. Writers Leena Lehtolainen, Jari Tervo and Reijo Mäki were among the top grossing Finnish writers – each earned more than 200,000 euros in 2014.

The highest tax percentage paid on a salary was 60.1 per cent by Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri.

The largest corporate tax payer was the OP Group, which paid 330,000,000 euros while its CEO Kari Stadigh earned almost four miillion euros, putting him in the top three income earners for the year.

Growing divide

Those who did not earn anything in 2014 rose from 50,542 people in 2013 to 55, 942 people in 2014. That means more than 50,000 people had a taxable earned income and capital income of zero euros.

Of top earners, 15 percent were women and 85 percent were men.

But the days of looking in on the earnings of others may be numbered, as the European Union is drafting a directive that would limit this sort of tax data publication.

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