Input tax refund via FinanzOnline
EU-Directive 2008/9/EC led to the introduction of an electronic VAT refund procedure for Austrian companies and for entrepreneurs from the remainder of the EU Community territory. The legal basis is the Regulation for procedures to reimburse the deductible tax pursuant to section 21 paragraph 9 of the Umsatzsteuergesetz (UStG).
FinanzOnline is available to Austrian entrepreneurs for the electronic application for reimbursement of input taxes incurred in another EU Member State.
In general, these rules also apply to entrepreneurs from EU Member States in Austria.
Entrepreneurs registered on the business service portal (USP) are able to make use of FinanzOnline and many other online procedures via a single sign-in to the USP. More detailed information about registering with the USP can be obtained from the online advisor for USP registration.
The new procedure represents a simplification of the process for companies; this procedure allows tax refund applications to be transferred directly to other Member States via the electronic portal of the respective tax office. The decisions are then also transmitted electronically. This meant that the complex VAT refund processes were able to be integrated into FinanzOnline to enable direct processing.
The details in the refund application and in the invoice have been unified throughout the European Union, to enable prompt, more efficient settlement (see also articles 8 and 9 of the Council Directive 2008/9/EC).
The refund application must be filed electronically no later than 30 September of the following year; the application is deemed to have been filed only when all the necessary details (see "Which documents are required?") have been provided. The applicant will then receive two electronic confirmations, one when the application is received and another when the application has reached the refunding country, in order to be able to set the date for a potential return (see ‘Which input taxes can be reimbursed?’).
This deadline cannot be extended. Late submission of the application will result in the input tax refund being refused.
Standard deadlines are in place for processing the application and for reimbursement (four months in principle; up to eight months where additional information is requested). Where the refunding country does not meet the deadline, interest must be paid to the applicant; this only applies where the applicant has complied with the deadlines that apply to him/her.
The entrepreneur can also determine the refund period themselves. The refund period must be at least three consecutive calendar months (e.g. January to March) in one calendar year and must not be longer than one calendar year.
Further information on FinanzOnline for entrepreneurs, a guideline for "Application for refund of input tax amounts in another EU Member State" and requirements for input tax refund under the VAT regulations can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance (→ BMF)German text and the Rz 2836 and following of the Umsatzsteuerrichtlinien 2000 (→ BMF)German text.
For information on the input taxes that can be refunded/deducted in the individual EU Member States, please contact the tax authorities in the Member State in question.
- EU-Directive 2008/9/EC
- Umsatzsteuergesetz (UStG)
- Verordnung für Verfahren für die Erstattung der abziehbaren Vorsteuern
responsible for content: Federal Ministry of Finance