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Tax rate

What is the general tax rate?

In general, the real estate transfer tax amounts to 3.5 per cent of the tax base. This applies in particular to acquisition processes in return for payment or to the paid share in processes with partial payment, provided that these processes are not taking place within a family unit pursuant to the first line of section 26a paragraph 1 (1) of the GGG. This applies to real estate properties and to agricultural and forestry land.

Please note

These rules also apply to all citizens and entrepreneurs from EU Member States in Austria.

It must be noted that certain real estate transfers for consideration are treated as acquisition processes without payment and therefore are not subject to the general tax rate.

What is the graduated tariff and when is it used?

The graduated tariff is used

  • for acquisitions without payment and for acquisitions considered to be without payment
  • acquisitions with partial payment in relation to the unpaid share.

Regarding agricultural and forestry land, this applies only to acquisitions without payment and acquisition processes with partial payment in relation to the unpaid share, which take place outside the family unit pursuant to section 26a paragraph 1 of the GGG.

The tax amounts to

for the first 250,000 Euro 0.5 per cent
for the next 150,000 Euro 2 per cent
and thereinafter
3.5 per cent

of the property value.

Acquisition process without payment

Under the following conditions, the acquisition process is without payment or is considered to be without payment:

  • consideration is not provided or is no more than 30 per cent of the property value
  • acquisition as a result of death (e.g. inheritance)
  • acquisition from a living person within the family unit within the meaning of the first line of section 26a paragraph 1 (1) of the GGG
    This includes a spouse or a registered partner during the marriage or partnership or in connection with the dissolution of the marriage or partnership; a partner, provided that both partners have or had the same registered address; relations by blood or marriage in the direct line; step children, adopted children or foster children or their children, spouse or registered partner, and siblings, nieces or nephews of the transferor.
  • Change of shareholder, consolidation or transfer of shares and restructuring within the meaning of the Umgründungssteuergesetz (UmgrStG).

Acquisition process with partial payment

An acquisition with partial payment takes place when consideration amounts to more than 30 per cent but no more than 70 per cent of the property value. The graduated tariff is used for the unpaid share, and the ‘normal tariff’ of 3.5 per cent is used for the paid share.

Where consideration has been given, but cannot be identified

Where consideration has been provided but the amount thereof cannot be determined, the acquisition process is considered to be with partial payment, with consideration of 50 per cent of the property value being assumed. This means that the graduated tariff is applied to half the property value, and the normal tariff of 3.5 per cent is applied to the other half.

When should acquisition processes be aggregated?

When determining the real estate transfer tax under the graduated tariff, account is taken of all acquisitions without payment and the unpaid share of acquisitions with partial payment which have taken place between the same persons in the same direction within five years. Aggregation also takes place if acquisitions happen at the same time (e.g. with a deed of donation). The last acquisition process which must be aggregated with lifetime acquisitions is acquisition as a result of death. The deadline for calculation depends on the time at which the tax liability arises. Aggregation takes place both for acquisitions through and by natural persons as well as those through and by business partnerships and capital companies. However, only acquisitions ‘in the same direction’ are aggregated.

Example

Within five years, several pieces of property are transferred from a parent to a child. For each acquisition process, the previous acquisitions are taken into account as ‘prior acquisitions’ when determining the tax rate. It must be taken into account that the prior acquisitions are not taxed yet again; rather, the tax rate on the graduated tariff is merely higher than for the previous acquisition process.

In addition, all acquisitions without payment and the unpaid shares of acquisitions with partial payment in which an economic entity has been transferred to this person within the last five years are considered as prior acquisitions.

Example

Half of one property (economic entity) is transferred from the parents to a child without payment. The tax for both acquisition processes (half from the child’s father and half from the child's mother) is calculated as though the child had obtained the property by way of transfer without payment from one parent. Therefore, the two acquisition processes are not subject to the graduated tariff separately, but the graduated rates are fulfilled in this way.

What is the procedure for agricultural and forestry land?

In the following acquisition processes of agricultural and forestry land, the real estate transfer tax is 2 per cent of the tax base (which is the simple unit value):

  • for acquisitions from living persons in the family unit within the meaning of the first line of section 26a paragraph 1 (1) of the GGG.
  • for acquisitions as a result of death (e.g. inheritance) in the family unit within the meaning of the first line of section 26a paragraph 1 (1) of the GGG.

This includes a spouse or a registered partner during the marriage or partnership or in connection with the dissolution of the marriage or partnership; a partner, provided that both partners have or had the same registered address; relations by blood or marriage in the direct line; step children, adopted children or foster children or their children, spouse or registered partner, and siblings, nieces or nephews of the transferor.

Are there other tax rates?

For certain acquisition processes (change of shareholder in business partnerships, consolidation or transfer of shares in business partnerships and capital companies) and for processes under the Umgründungssteuergesetz, the tax rate is 0.5 per cent, if the tax is not to be calculated from the unit value (thus does not apply to agricultural and forestry land, the tax rate here is 3.5 per cent).

For the acquisition of property through a private-law foundations or comparable assets, the tax rate increases to 2.5 per cent of the difference between the property value and any consideration (foundation income tax equivalent).

Translated by the European Commission
last update: 5 November 2020

responsible for content: Federal Ministry of Finance

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