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Income tax return

General Information

In principle you are obliged to submit an income tax return whenever you are prompted to do so by the tax office (Section 42 paragraph 1 (1) of the Einkommensteuergesetz - EStG), i.e. when an income tax return is sent to you.

If you are not prompted, then you need to determine whether or not your income includes income that is subject to salary tax.

Enterprises Affected

Natural persons with taxable income

Legal form

Sole traders

Shareholders/partners (natural persons) in Partnerships (Open companies, Limited Partnerships, Companies constituted under civil law, EEIGs)

Companies with a corporate structure (in particular limited companies and PLCs are subject to corporation tax and must submit a corporation tax return (Form K).

Caution

In general, these regulations also apply to all traders from EU Member States in Austria.

Requirements

Those with unrestricted tax liability (persons domiciled in Austria or whose usual place of residence is in Austria) are required to submit an income tax return, in particular in those cases in which the tax-free basic income is exceeded and more than one source of income that is liable to salary tax is present:

  • If the income contains no income that is liable to salary tax and exceeds 11,000 Euro
  • If the income includes income that is liable to salary tax, but in addition other income totalling more than 730 Euro is received and total income exceeds 12,000 Euro
  • If two or more non-self-employed jobs are held simultaneously, or two or more pensions (that have not had tax jointly deducted by a pension provider) are drawn and income amounts to more than 12,000 Euro
  • Generally also where income from capital assets is drawn that exceeds the special 27.5 per cent tax band but is not subject to capital yields tax (KESt) (in particular, income from foreign capital)
  • Where income from private sales of land as defined in Section 30 of the EStG is received, on which no real estate yields tax (→ oesterreich.gv.at)German text has been paid

Regardless of the level of income, those liable for income tax who keep accounts must submit an income tax return.

You can assume, therefore, that as a trader you will usually be required to submit an income tax return – and will in all cases have to do so if, as a person with unrestricted tax liability, your annual income rises above 11,000 Euro (or 12,000 Euro).

Submitting a tax return is also recommended if you suffer a financial loss because, depending on the reason for and extent of the loss, it will then serve legally as written evidence for the purposes of carrying the loss forward.

On the tax return, your income and all other tax-related matters for the relevant calendar year are disclosed (in particular, your level of income, deductible special expenses and exceptional costs).

Deadline

Deadline for submission of the tax return:

Submission of tax return in paper form

30 April of the following year

Electronic submission of return (via FinanzOnline)

 30 June of the following year

These deadlines may be extended in response to a justifiable request (section 134 paragraph 2 of the Bundesabgabenordnung – BAO). Such a request can also be submitted via FinanzOnline under Input/Applications/Extension of deadline. You may also qualify for a longer deadline if you are represented by a tax advisor.

You can find more information about FinanzOnline under ‘Procedure’ and under ‘Electronic tax return’.

Competent Authority

In principle, your local tax office is responsible. This is the case even if your business comes under the geographical area of a different tax office. The taxpayer may, however, submit a request that responsibility be delegated to a different tax office in whose geographical area the taxpayer has a permanent establishment.

Procedure

  • Please note that you are obliged in principle to submit the income tax return electronically via FinanzOnline (entries/returns). This obligation also extends to the submission of certain attachments.
  • Traders who keep accounts must enclose their balance sheet and profit-and-loss account or, in the case of an electronic tax return, submit these to the tax office (Section 44 paragraph 1 of the EStG). They can also be submitted electronically (‘e-accounts’).
  • For the purpose of calculating income and expenditure, Attachment E 1a includes a standardised layout for business income and expenditure. You do not need to submit a further account of income and expenditure in paper form.
  • If the lack of the technical requirements (e.g. absence of an internet connection) makes it impossible for the taxpayer to submit the income tax return by electronic means, it must be submitted to the competent tax office in written form using the income tax return form E 1.
  • Moreover, the obligation to submit via FinanzOnline applies only to taxpayers who are required to submit preliminary VAT returns (those with a turnover in the previous year of more than 35,000 Euro).

Please note

Registration with FinanzOnline is carried out in person (by the trader or director) with a tax office. It can also be carried out by an accountant (tax advisor). For sole traders, it is also possible to register using a Citizen Card.

Documents Required

See "Procedure"

Please note

Do not enclose your salary certificate with your income tax return (E 1). This is sent to the tax office by the employer or the body paying the pension. You may, however, request copies of your salary certificate from your employer or view the salary certificate database via FinanzOnline.

In certain cases, additional attachments or enclosures are required (in addition to an income tax return – E1German text and E 1aGerman text):

Expenses

There are no fees and charges payable.

Additional Information

Where it is not possible to enter data via FinanzOnline, all the necessary forms are available in the Forms database (→ BMF)German text on the Federal Ministry of Finance website or from any tax office.

Further links

Legal Basis

Expert Information

Income tax guidelines (→ BMF)German text
Salary tax guidelines (→ BMF)German text

To Form

Authentication and Signature

Electronically: Registration via FinanzOnline with login details, mobile phone signature, card-based Citizen Card or EU login
In paper form: using a signed form

Remedies

Once the income tax return has been submitted, the tax office will issue an assessment. If you disagree with the income tax assessment (e.g. if the assessment differs from your return or it includes items that had not yet been precisely determined), you can, within one month of it being issued, submit an appeal against the assessment to the competent tax office, by providing a declaration and justification of the amendments you would like.

Auxiliary and Problemsolving Services

There are no assistance or problem-solving services

Other service points

The most important contact point for your personal tax matters is the Ministry of Finance’s information centre (→ BMF)German text
Tax ombudsmanGerman text of the BMF

Translated by the European Commission
last update: 20 May 2021

responsible for content: Federal Ministry of Finance

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