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In this page: Accounting Rules | Tax Rates | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework | Standards | Business Practices

 

Accounting Rules

Tax Year
The financial year begins on 1st January and ends on 31st December of each year.
Accounting Standards
Most of the companies are using IFRS, with only a few are now using US GAAP or the Austrian code.
From 2005, it has become mandatory for all listed European companies, including Austrian companies, to use IFRS.
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Institut Osterreichischer Wirtschaftsprufer
Accounting Reports
The accountancy system in Austria is regulated by the Bilanzbuchhaltungsgesetz 2006 (BibuG - Management Accountancy Law).
Publication Requirements
According to their legal status, Austrian companies have to publish annually a profit and loss account, a balance sheet and an appendix.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
Paritaetische Kommission Bilanzbuchhaltungsberufe – PK , Supervisory body.
KWT, Kammer der Wirtschaftstreuhaender , Chamber of Public Accountants
WKO, Wirtschaftskammer Oesterreich , Economic Chamber
Marketing platform of Austrian accountants , Austrian Accountant
BOEB , Private association of accountants
Certification and Auditing
The companies have to seek a statutory auditor to conduct an annual audit of the financial health of their organization.
You can contact the Supervisory body (Paritaetische Kommission Bilanzbuchhaltungsberufe – PK or the Chamber of Public Accountants (Kammer der Wirtschaftstreuhaender -KWT).
Accounting News
Accounting news on Central Europe by einnews.com

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
Value Added Tax (VAT)
Tax Rate
20%
Reduced Tax Rate
A reduced rate of 10% applies to some basic goods such as food, agricultural products, rents, tourist services, public utilities (except electricity) and entertainment. A 12% rate applies to wine from farm production carried out by the producing farmer.
Other Consumption Taxes
Excise duties are also levied on certain products, especially on spirits.
- To get further information on the VAT rates in Austria, please check thelist of vat rates applied within the European Union, as well as the Austrian Ministry of Finances web site.
- More detailed information on excise duties is available concerning alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, energy products on the European Commission website.
Besides other taxes like municipality tax, real-estate tax, gift tax, stamp duty, road toll tax, etc.  are also applied.

Learn more about Service Providers in Austria on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
25%
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
A company is considered resident if its effective management is in Austria or if it is incorporated in Austria.
A resident company is taxed on worldwide income, while as a non-resident company is taxed only on Austrian-source income.
Capital Gains Taxation
Generally charged at 25%.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
All normal operating expenses as well as extra-ordinary expenses are allowed as deductions against gross income. Special expenses like contributions to social insurance, public relief funds, medical & health insurance, occupational pension funds are also deductible.
Other Corporate Taxes
Stamp duty, license fees and registration charges: Stamp duties are due on certain transactions and documents generally levied at a rate ranging from 0.8 to 2%.

Social Security: Social security contributions are compulsory and determined as percentages of total monthly earnings. Social security is payable both by employers and employees. The employer must contribute from 21.7% to 21.83% of the employee's salary depending on the status and the income of the employee.

Payroll tax: A payroll tax is levied by municipalities at a general rate of 3% on total salaries and social contributions paid monthly by permanent establishments based in Austria.

Real property tax: An annual real estate tax of up to 2% of the assessed value of property is levied by municipalities.

Capital duty: A 1% capital transfer tax on contributions to company capital.

Other Domestic Resources
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.
 

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  Austria OECD United States Germany
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 12.0 12.0 11.0 9.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 170.0 176.0 175.0 207.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 53.1 42.7 46.7 46.8

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Individual tax rate taxable income in EUR Austria individual income tax rates are progressive up to 50%
from 0 EUR to 11,000 EUR 0%
from 11,001 EUR to 25,000 EUR 20.44%
from 25,001 EUR to 60,000 EUR 33.73%
Beyond 60,000 EUR 50%
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Deductions include expenses incurred towards: insurance premium, purchase of a house or home improvements, retirement savings, work related expenses (like keeping an accommodation close to the workplace, professional use of home computer or internet or car or mobile phone), etc. Generally it is possible to take a flat rate deduction for such expenses.

Automatic tax credits are given based on the number of income earning individuals in a household and whether there are children.

Special Expatriate Tax Regime
There is no special expatriate tax regime in Austria. However the country’s tax authorities do accept a number of deductions on account of additional cost of living incurred by expatriates.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
Website of the Austrian Ministry of Finance.
Withholding Taxes
Withholding tax rates are 25% for dividends, 25% for interest and 20% for royalties.

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Sources of Fiscal Information

Tax Authorities
Federal Ministry of Finance
Other Domestic Resources
Taxes in Austria as described by ABA (Invest in Austria)

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Learn more about Taxes and Accounting in Austria on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

Intellectual Property

National Organizations
The body responsible for the protection of intellectual property is the Austrian Patent Office.
Regional Organizations
European Patent Office (EPO)
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
 

National Regulation and International Agreements

 
Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patent
 
Patent Law (Federal Law No. 259/1970), last amended in 2001.
20 years (maximum). Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Trademark
 
Trademark Protection Law (Federal Law No. 260/1970), last amended by in 1999.
10 years (extendible). Trademark Law Treaty
Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
Design
 
Semiconductor Protection Right Law 1988 (Federal Law No. 372/88 on the Protection of Topographies of Microelectronic Semiconductor Products), last amended in 1996.
10 years (maximum)  
Copyright
 
Federal Act on Copyright in Works of Literature and Act on Related Rights, April 1936, last amendment in 1998.
Generally 70 years after the death of the author of the work. Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models
 
Designs Law (Federal Law No. 497/1990, June 1990), last amended in 1992.
5 years ( extendible up to 25 years after every 5 years).  

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
The judiciary is independent in Austria.
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreign nationals in Austria enjoy treatment at par with the natives from the country's judicial system, including the commercial disputes.
The Language of Justice
The judicial language is German which is accepted nationwide, although some of the states also have their own additional official languages.
Recourse to an Interpreter
Possible
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The Austrian laws are based on the constitution of 1920 (revised in 1929 and reinstated in 1945); originating from Roman laws and judicial reviews of legislative acts by the Constitutional Court.
Austria being a member of the European Union, the laws in the country need to comply with the conditions of the Community legislation. Austria accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
Checking National Laws Online
Legal Information System of the Republic of Austria (RIS) 

Learn more about Lawyers and Legal in Austria on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Standards

National Standards Organizations
Austrian Bureau of Standards
Austrian Electrotechnical Committee
Integration in the International Standards Network
Member of International Organization for Standardization

Member of International Communication Union  

Member of IEC

Member of CEN (European Committee for standardization)

Classification of Standards
Austrian Standards Plus ( AS+)
Online Consultation of Standards
Visit the Austrian Bureau of Standards
Certification Organizations
Austrian Testing Organization (TueV Oesterreich)

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Business Practices

General Information
Kwintessential cross cultural solutions
Country Commercial Guide- Austria
Opening Hours and Days
Shopping hours: Shops and stores are generally open from Mon-Fri 0800-1800 (with a one- or two-hour lunch break in smaller towns) and Sat 1200-1700. Big stores and shops in tourist resorts now open Mon-Fri 0800-2100 and Sat/Sun 0800-1800.
Business and Office hours: Mon-Fri 0800-1230 and 1330-1730.
Banking Hours: Mon, Tues, Wed and Fri 0800-1230 and 1330-1500; Thurs 0800-1230 and 1330-1730. Different opening hours may be kept in the various federal provinces
 

Public Holidays

New Year's Day January 1, Tuesday
Epiphany January 6, Sunday
Easter Monday In March - April
Labor Day May 1, Thursday
Corpus Christi Day In May-June
Assumption Day August 15, Friday
National Day October 26, Sunday
All Saints Day November 1, Saturday
Immaculate Conception December 8, Monday
Christmas Day December 25, Thursday
St. Stephen's Day December 26, Friday
 
 

Periods When Companies Usually Close

The vacation season is in Austria is July and August. During this period many decision-makers are on vacation, generally for 3-4 weeks. Thus business visits or events are not recommended during these two months.
 

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Last Updates: October 2014