Tobacco tax

General information

All cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos, smoking tobacco, i.e. fine-cut tobacco for the rolling of cigarettes and other smoking tobacco (specifically including pipe tobacco and water pipe tobacco) as well as heating tobacco, that is either manufactured within or imported into Austria's tax territory, are subject to tobacco tax in Austria. Pursuant to the Austrian Tobacco Tax Act [Tabaksteuergesetz], products that are composed in whole or in part of substances other than tobacco will be treated as cigars/cigarillos or cigarettes or smoking tobacco if they meet the other defining characteristics of the respective tobacco product.

This entails an obligation to obtain approval for the production, storage, processing and/or untaxed transfer ("under duty suspension") of tobacco products and to submit a tobacco tax return. Movements under duty suspension within Austria or involving other EU Member States must be carried out using the "Excise Movement and Control System" (EMCS). Movements of tobacco products in free circulation involving other EU Member States must be reported in advance to the Customs Office. From 13 February 2023, in implementation of Directive (EU) 2020/262, the EMCS procedure will be extended to the movement of goods subject to tobacco tax in free circulation.

Tobacco products intended for sale to consumers in the tax territory may be released for free movement only in ready-to-sell packages taken from a tax warehouse, taken for consumption in the warehouse, or imported or brought into the tax territory.

The retail sale of tobacco products is monopolized in Austria. Monopolverwaltung GmbH is entrusted with the administration of this monopoly and issues licenses to operate tobacconists with territorial protection.

The "tobacco" goods category encompasses the sub-categories "cigarettes", "cigars, cigarillos", "fine-cut tobacco for the rolling of cigarettes" and "other smoking tobacco".

Tax rate and assessment base

Tax rates have been increased gradually over recent years.

The tobacco tax due is as follows:

  • For cigarettes:
    • If the tobacco tax liability arises after 31 March 2021 and before 1 April 2022, 34.5 percent of the retail selling price and 68 Euro per 1,000 units
    • If the tobacco tax liability arises after 31 March 2022, 33 percent of the retail selling price and 73 Euro per 1,000 units
  • For cigars and cigarillos 13 percent of the retail selling price, but not less than 100 Euro for 1,000 units
  • For fine-cut tobacco:
    • If the tobacco tax liability arises after 31 March 2021 and before 1 April 2022, 56 percent of the retail selling price, but not less than 130 Euro per kilogram
    • If the tobacco tax liability arises after 31 March 2022, 56 percent of the retail selling price, but not less than 140 Euro per kilogram
  • For other smoking tobacco 34 percent of the retail selling price
  • For heating tobacco:
    • If the tobacco tax liability arises after 31 March 2021 and before 1 April 2022, 136 Euro per kilogram of tobacco
    • If the tobacco tax liability arises after 31 March 2022, 149 Euro per kilogram of tobacco

The retail price is defined for these purposes as the price at which tobacco products are to be offered for sale to consumers in the normal course of business by authorised tobacco retailers. In addition, the weighted average price of the previous calendar year is used as the basis for calculating the tobacco tax for cigarettes, fine-cut tobacco and heating tobacco, for which the tobacco tax liability arises in the current calendar year (announced by the Federal Ministry of Finance within two months of the end of each calendar year).

Exemptions

If the use has been previously approved by the Austrian customs office, tobacco products may be exempt from tobacco tax if they are used

  • for commercial purposes other than smoking and the manufacture of tobacco products, or
  • for scientific experiments and investigations outside a tax warehouse

(tobacco goods utilising business).

In addition,

  • tobacco products inspected for the purposes of a tax warehouse and consumed in the process,
  • tobacco products removed for the purposes of official monitoring or other checks by the authorities, and
  • tobacco products destroyed or denatured under official supervision

are also exempt from tobacco tax.

Distance selling

Anyone who supplies tobacco products from the free circulation of another EU Member State in which she/he has her/his place of business to private individuals in the tax territory and carries out the shipment to the purchaser herself/himself or has it carried out is engaged in distance selling. Private individuals are all purchasers who do not identify themselves to the distance seller as purchasers whose intra-Community acquisitions are subject to VAT in accordance with the provisions of the Umsatzsteuergesetz.

Caution

Distance selling of tobacco products is not permitted.

Obligation to submit a tax return

The tobacco tax return should be made on a self-assessed basis. Taxpayers must submit an electronic excise duty return (EVA) (→ BMF)German text to Customs Authority Austria no later than the 25th of each calendar month for the quantities of tobacco products removed from the tax warehouse or withdrawn for consumption in the previous month. In this declaration, the total quantities of tobacco products must be stated separately by class and, in the case of cigarettes, also by price category in pieces, and, in the case of fine-cut tobacco and heating tobacco, also by price category in grams of tobacco, and the retail selling prices must be stated. It must state the quantity placed into free circulation, the quantity moved under duty suspension, the quantity transferred to a tax-exempt status and the quantity withdrawn for consumption. The self-assessment in the tax return can also include deductions of tobacco tax due for repayment or reimbursement.

Taxpayers must complete a separate declaration for each tax warehouse. The requirement to submit a declaration applies even if no tobacco tax is due on the amounts to be declared.

Competent authority

The Customs Authority Austria (→ BMF)German text

Mailing address: Zollamt Österreich, Conrad von Hötzendorf-Straße 14-18, 8010 Graz

Fax: 050 233 5960000

If you have any questions, the Central Customs Information Office is available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 050 233 740.

E-Mail: zollinfo@bmf.gv.at

Legal bases

Certified translation
Last update: 1 January 2022

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Finance

Rate this page and help us to improve.