VAT in Austria simple explained

We offer you a comprehensive guide specifically designed to assist businesses and individuals in navigating the complexities of value-added tax (VAT) in Austria. Our goal is to provide you with detailed insights and practical advice necessary to efficiently and compliantly fulfill your VAT obligations.

VAT in Austria

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Overview of the Austrian VAT

Austria is part of the EU single market economy. Therefore it comes under the EU VAT Directive which has to be implemented into local legislation.

There are several reasons for registration for VAT in Austria. The most common is that a company located in Austria providing goods or services.

Foreign companies have to register for VAT in Austria if they carry out transactions in Austria, for which the reverse charge system is not applicable. Furthermore they have to file advance VAT returns and annual VAT returns.

Common transactions which lead to a mandatory registration are:

  • Buying and selling goods within Austria
  • Importing goods into the EU via Austria
  • Acquiring goods from other EU countries into Austria.
  • Holding goods in a warehouse in Austria as stock
  • Selling goods from Austria to other EU countries
  • Distance selling to private individuals in Austria from another EU country (if turnover threshold is exceeded)

The period between the apply and the issue of a VAT number varies, usually it takes between two and eight weeks.

Non-EU companies have to engage a fiscal representative and notify his name to the tax office. There are certain exemptions to this regulation.

The standard VAT rate is 20 %, there are reduced rates of 13 %, 12 % and 10 %. Also there are rules for tax exempted turnover.

During the year, advance VAT returns have to be filed monthly (quarterly if the yearly turnover doesn’t exceed EUR 100.000). The returns are due one and a half months after the end of the reporting period.

After the year has ended, an annual return has to be filed.

If goods are delivered from Austria to another EU country, EC sales lists have to be filed monthly or quarterly (depending on the VAT reporting period). An EC sales list contains information concerning on the VAT numbers and invoiced amounts. It has to be filed until the end of the following month.

If dispatches or arrivals of goods from or to EU countries exceed the threshold of EUR 750.000, intrastat declarations have to be filed. The declaration has to be filed until the 10th working day from the end of the reporting month.

As the Austrian VAT law is very formal, there are requirements for

  • mandatory parts of an invoice
  • invoices in foreign currencies
  • correcting errors in returns already filed
  • storage rules for accounting records

Foreign companies, which are not subject to VAT in Austria, can reclaim Austrian Input VAT through a VAT refund procedure.

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