Input taxes for cars, estate cars and motorbikes

With a few exceptions, no input tax can be claimed on cars, estate cars and motorbikes, either for purchasing or renting or for ongoing running or maintenance costs (e.g. fuel, maintenance, repair, toll charges, motorway stickers, train loading), since the services listed are not eligible for input tax deduction pursuant to the law (section 12 paragraph 2 (2b) of the Umsatzsteuergesetz – UStG). Even in cases where the person liable for payment uses a car 100 per cent for business purposes (e.g. as a sales representative), the regulations on input tax deduction apply.

Exceptions to the input tax exclusion are, however, driving school vehicles, demonstration vehicles and vehicles that are intended exclusively for commercial resale, and those vehicles which are used for commercial transport of persons or commercial leasing at least 80 per cent of the time.

Caution

In general, these rules also apply to entrepreneurs from EU Member States in Austria.

Please note

Expenditure on cars, estate cars and motorbikes constitutes business expenses in the gross amount. Invoiced VAT becomes the cost factor.

Example

An entrepreneur rents a garage parking space for her car, which is a business asset, at her operating site. The rental payments must be recorded in the gross amount in the accounting system; there is no right to deduct tax.

In the case of vehicles that are explicitly classified as vans, delivery vans, flatbed trucks or small buses "fiscal commercial vehicles") and that therefore are not classed as cars or estate cars, there is the option to deduct input tax. An up-to-date list of vans, delivery vans, flatbed trucks and small buses that are recognised for tax purposes, together with the Regulation on which this is based can be found on the Federal Ministry of Finance’s website.

In principle, evidence of whether these requirements are met for a specific vehicle would therefore be provided by the person liable for taxation, who is claiming input tax deduction for a particular vehicle. In the interests of legal certainty and administrative simplification, the Federal Ministry of Finance does, however, recognise specific vehicle types such as vans, delivery vans, flatbed trucks and small buses within the meaning of this regulation. For these types of vehicles, the person liable for taxation is not required to provide evidence.

Where tax deduction is claimed for vehicles eligible for tax deduction, in order to expedite proceedings – in particular during the VAT refund procedure – it is recommended that documents (copy of vehicle registration document/data sheet/vehicle log book) are submitted together with the original invoices when the application is made; these documents will show that the vehicle is not excluded from the right to deduct tax.

There is an exception to the input tax exclusion for cars and estate cars for those vehicles that have CO2 emissions of 0 grams per kilometre (e.g. those with exclusively electric or electro-hydraulic engines) (section 12 paragraph 2 (2a) of the UStG 1994). The appropriateness threshold is, however, significant for these cars and estate cars (see appropriateness legislation on cars) (see section 1 paragraph 1 (2a) or section 12 paragraph 2 (2a) of the UStG 1994).

Related links

List of vans, delivery vans, flatbed trucks and small buses eligible for input tax deduction (→ BMF)German text

Legal basis

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 1 January 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Finance

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