Income tax return
table of content
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 wage tax.
Natural persons with taxable income:
- Sole traders, including
- new self-employed
- Shareholders/partners (natural persons) in Partnerships (Open companies, Limited Partnerships, Companies constituted under civil law, EEIGs)
In general, these regulations also apply to all traders from EU Member States in Austria.
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 wage tax is present:
- If the income contains no income that is liable to wage tax and exceeds 11,000 Euro
- If the income includes income that is liable to wage 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 is subject to 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).
It is advisable for entrepreneurs to file a tax return even if they have incurred a 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 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.
In principle, the Tax Authority Austria, provided that the Tax Authority for Large Traders is not responsible.
- 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, entrepreneurs must submit it 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).
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.
Do not enclose your pay slips with your income tax return (E 1 or L 1). These are sent to the tax office by the employer or the body paying the pension. You may, however, request copies of your pay slips from your employer or view the pay slips database via FinanzOnline.
- E 1b for income from rentals and lettings of developed or undeveloped land and buildingsGerman text
- E 1c for sole traders with lump-sum income from agriculture and forestryGerman text
- E 1kv for income from capital assets, unless these have been fully taxed through deductions for capital yields taxGerman text
- L 1iGerman text for
- Income from non-self-employed work without deduction of wage tax
- Additional information required where certain cross-border criteria are met
- Application for unrestricted tax liability (section 1 para. 4 EStG)
- L 1k to take into consideration a Family Bonus Plus, maintenance credit, exceptional costs for children, or for corrective taxation of the employer’s childcare subsidyGerman text
- L 1k-bF for the Family Bonus Plus in specific casesGerman text
- L 1ab for extraordinary burdensGerman text
- L 1d for special consideration of special expensesGerman text
- E 6 for the income of partnerships (Personengesellschaften) and partnership associations (Personengemeinschaften)German text
- E 11 for members of partnerships (Personengesellschaften)German text
Costs and fees
There are no fees and charges payable.
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.
- Mobile phone signature and Citizen Card (→ Digitales Österreich)German text
- Saving & Investing (→ BMF)German text
- Employee assessment procedure (→ BMF)German text
- Sections 1, 30, 41, 42 and 44 of the Einkommensteuergesetz (EStG)
- Section 134 of the Bundesabgabenordnung (BAO)
Link to form
- Income tax return – E 1German text
- FinanzOnlineGerman text
Traders registered on the business service portal (USP) are able to use this and many other online procedures with a single sign-in to the USP .zu nutzen. More detailed information about registering with the USP can be obtained from the online advisor for USP registrationGerman text.
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
Means of redress or appeal
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.
Assistance and problem-solving 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 ombudsman of the BMF (→ oesterreich.gv.at)German text
Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Finance