VAT return/ VAT extension

General Information

In principle, every enterprise is obliged to file a tax return for the past calendar year. Small companys (section 6 paragraph 1 (27) of the Umsatzsteuergesetz (UStG)) are exempt from the obligation to file a VAT return if their turnover in the taxable period did not exceed 35,000 Euro and no VAT is to be paid for the taxable period (section 21 paragraph 6 of the UStG).

After the end of the assessment period, the VAT assessment is made (section 21 paragraph 4 UStG). As part of the assessment, the total of all payments or credits already made is compared with the amount shown in the VAT return. Ideally, the values should coincide, i.e. the annual VAT return is only a summary of the monthly or quarterly advance VAT returns. If the assessment results in an additional claim, this means that the advance payments made during the year were too low. An additional payment may result in a so-called "late payment surcharge" if it is not paid on time.

The decision on VAT assessment is issued in writing. An assessed VAT debt must be paid within one month of the date on which the decision is delivered (Section 210 paragraph 4 BAO).

Caution

In general, these rules also apply to entrepreneurs from EU Member States in Austria. These rules apply to companies from EU Member States as well as companies from non-member states. If foreign companies do not have to pay VAT in Austria, Austrian input tax may, where appropriate, be applied for using the input tax refund procedure. 

Enterprises Affected

Enterprises who provide deliveries subject to VAT and other services to customers and whose annual turnover exceeds 35,000 Euro are, in principle, obliged to file VAT returns.

The assessment period is generally the calendar year. Under certain circumstances, a different fiscal year may be chosen as the assessment period instead of the calendar year if the company also determines its profit for income tax purposes according to a different fiscal year. However, this is only possible if the company is subject to debit taxation, the preliminary reporting period is the calendar month and the fiscal year ends with the end of a calendar month. Furthermore, the company must declare in writing to the tax office that a different fiscal year is to be used. An informal letter is sufficient for this purpose (see section 20 UStG as well as Rz 2682 ff of the UStR).

Requirements

The following transactions are subject to VAT:

  • Deliveries and other services (e.g. freelance activities, tradesperson services, but also renting, leasing and assignment of licences), which are carried out by an entrepreneur domestically in return for payment as part of their business (line 1 of section 1 paragraph 1 (1) of the UStG)
  • Self-supply
  • Importing goods from a third country into Austria
  • Intra-Community acquisitions

Apart from the circumstances mentioned, tax liability can also arise as a result of an incorrect or unauthorised margin scheme.

Not all transactions subject to the UStG are taxable. The law includes a number of tax exemptions (section 6 of the UStG). The tax exemption for small company owners is particularly significant.

Deadlines

VAT returns are to be filed no later than 30 April of the following year or no later than 30 June of the following year for returns filed electronically via FinanzOnline (section 134 paragraph 1 of the BAO).

In individual cases, the deadline for submission of tax returns can be extended upon reasoned request (section 134 paragraph 2 of the BAO). Anyone making use of a ‘tax representative’ is usually given longer to file the tax return.

More information on FinanzOnline can be found in the "Electronic tax return" section.

Competent authority

In principle, the Tax Authority Austria (→ BMF)German text, provided that the Tax Authority for Large Traders is not responsible

Procedure

Please note that you are, in principle, obliged to submit the VAT return electronically via FinanzOnline. Where it is not feasible to submit the VAT return electronically due to a lack of electronic provisions (e.g. no internet connection), the official form (U1) must be used. When submitting the preliminary returns via a ‘tax representative’, the technical requirements relating to the representative shall apply.

Required documents

No specific documents have to be submitted.

Costs and fees

There are no notification costs (application, e.g.). No costs are incurred in filing the VAT return.

Further information

Where it is not compulsory to enter data via FinanzOnline (→ BMF)German text all the necessary forms are available in the Federal Ministry of Finance's VAT form overview (→ BMF)German text or from all the tax offices.

Related links

Legal bases

Expert Information

Umsatzsteuerrichtlinien 2000 (→ BMF)

Link to form

Translated by the European Commission, altered by the Federal Ministry of Finance
Last update: 1 January 2022

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Finance

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