Do you have to register for Austrian VAT if you’re selling goods to customers in Austria? Also, what are the VAT rates in Austria? Let’s find out!

Austria introduced the European Value Added Tax system in 1973, locally known as Umsatzsteuer, replacing the turnover tax.

VAT in Austria – general rules

The Austrian VAT system is in line with the European Union system defined in EU directives on VAT. It covers obligations regarding:

  • registration of foreign companies for VAT purposes,
  • VAT declaration obligations,
  • compliance rules.

Is registration for Austrian VAT mandatory?

The owner of a foreign company providing taxable supplies of goods or services in Austria should contact the Austrian Tax Office (Finanzamt) to register as a VAT taxpayer.

However, there are cases where VAT registration in Austria is mandatory. These include the following situations:

  • importing goods into Austria from outside the European Union,
  • intra-Community sale or purchase of goods from another EU country,
  • purchase/sale of goods in Austria,
  • consignment warehousing of goods within the country (contracts for stockpiling on demand are exempt from tax),
  • organization of conferences or live exhibitions,
  • non-VAT registered companies providing services in Austria under reverse charge rules,
  • e-commerce sales, exceeding the threshold of 42,000 euros (this limit should be combined for B2C sales throughout the EU).

IMPORTANT! Entrepreneurs providing services and selling goods online to consumers within the EU, whose turnover from such sales exceeds 42,000 euros (for all countries), can register for VAT OSS instead of registering for Austrian VAT.

What information is required to obtain an Austrian VAT number and registration?

The Austrian tax authorities will request the completion of the following forms, along with the submission of the following documentation:

  • VAT registration forms,
  • a copy of the articles of association,
  • an extract from the trade register.

The VAT number is issued by the authorities upon submission of the questionnaire for joint-stock companies/limited liability companies (Verf 15), for partnerships (Verf 16), and the questionnaire for individuals (Verf 24).

Non-resident companies located within the EU have the option of direct registration. However, it’s important to note that companies from outside the EU must designate a specific tax representative for VAT registration on their behalf.

VAT in Austria

Where are Austrian VAT registrations submitted?

If a foreign company does not have a permanent establishment located in Austria, it should submit the registration form to the Graz-Stadt tax office.

A company having a permanent establishment in Austria should register with the local tax authority.

What is the deadline for filing VAT returns in Austria?

VAT returns must be submitted by the 15th day of the second month following the reporting period (month or quarter). For example, the declaration for March should be submitted by May 15th.

The VAT tax return is prepared annually/quarterly/monthly depending on the amount of VAT for the previous year.

Additionally, in Austria, there is an obligation to submit an annual VAT declaration (known as a summary declaration) by April 30th for the previous year if the form is submitted in paper form, or by June 30th if submitted electronically.

Rates VAT in Austria

20% standard
  • all goods and services not covered by the lower rate,
13% reduced
  • domestic flights,
  • admission to sports events,
  • admission to cultural events and amusement parks,
  • firewood,
  • some agricultural articles,
  • wine production (from the farm),
  • cut flowers and ornamental plants,
10% reduced
  • foodstuff,
  • takeaway food,
  • water supplies,
  • pharmaceutical products,
  • domestic transportation (excluding flights),
  • international and intra-Community road and rail transportation,
  • newspapers and magazines,
  • printed books,
  • e-books,
  • cable and subscription-based television,
  • television licence,
  • social services,
  • household waste disposal,
  • waste and sewage disposal,
  • restaurants (excluding all beverages),
  • cut flowers and plants for food production,
  • certain agricultural deliveries,
  • writers and composers,
0% zero
  • intra-Community and international transportation (excluding road and rail)
  • accommodation in hotels.

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VAT in Austria - a complete guide. Rates and registration thresholds | VAT in Europe #21 lucy adams avatarbackground

Author: Lucy Adams

She has extensive knowledge in the field of accounting and constantly gains experience working for both small businesses and larger corporations. Her mission is to explain complex financial and accounting issues and teach business owners and those interested in the subject how to manage their finances effectively. She enjoys giving practical advice, discussing current accounting issues, and analyzing legislative changes that may affect business operations. She enjoys a straightforward approach to finance that helps entrepreneurs focus on growing their businesses. She translates complex issues into easy-to-understand language so that anyone can confidently make decisions that impact the success of their business.

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  10. VAT in France - a complete guide
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