Austria Vat Guide

In the realm of international business, understanding the nuances of tax systems in different jurisdictions is critical. As such, our focus today turns to the Value Added Tax (VAT) system in Austria, a system steeped in complexities and specificities that could easily ensnare the unprepared.

This guide aims to shed light on the intricate labyrinth that is the Austrian VAT system, from the applicable rates to the process of registration, compliance procedures, and even the exemptions available.

Whether you’re an established multinational or a fledgling start-up, this insight could prove invaluable in your navigation of Austria’s tax landscape.

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Key Takeaways

  • VAT in Austria was introduced in 1973 and is applied to the sale of goods and services.
  • The standard VAT rate in Austria is 20%, while the reduced rate is 10%.
  • Businesses with an annual turnover of €35,000 or more must file registering for VAT, it can be done online through the tax authorities’ website.
  • Invoices must include specific information, such as the supplier’s VAT number, and must be kept for at least 7 years. Non-compliance with invoicing and record-keeping requirements may result in penalties.

Understanding Austria VAT Rate

In Austria, the standard Value Added Tax (VAT) rate is set at 20%. Certain goods and services, however, attract reduced rates of 10% and 13%.

It’s crucial to note that VAT registration is mandatory for businesses with an annual turnover exceeding €35,000.

This segment will further elucidate the intricacies of the Austrian VAT system. It will focus on its rates, exemptions, and the obligations of businesses under this tax regime.

Key Aspects of VAT in Austria

Undoubtedly, understanding the key aspects of VAT in Austria is crucial for businesses operating within the country, as it has a significant impact on their financial operations and compliance requirements.

Austria VAT registration is mandatory, with severe financial penalties for tardiness.

The standard VAT rate is 20%, while reduced rates are 10%. Compliance includes accurate invoicing, timely return filings, and prompt payment, underlining the importance of these aspects.

VAT on Digital Products

In Austria, the standard VAT rate of 20% is applicable to digital products, creating a unique set of considerations for businesses in this sector.

This extends to digital service providers outside the EU, who may need to appoint a fiscal representative for VAT registration purposes.

Furthermore, the One-Stop Shop (OSS) scheme provides a streamlined mechanism for reporting and paying VAT on cross-border B2C digital sales.

EU VAT Rules for Digital Goods

Navigating the complexity of EU VAT rules for digital goods, which apply to electronically supplied services (ESS) within Austria and the EU, requires a clear understanding of the guidelines.

In relation to Austrian VAT:

  1. B2B and B2C supplies follow different place of supply rules.
  2. No established VAT registration threshold exists for non-resident, non-EU ESS suppliers.
  3. VAT on ESS in Austria is typically levied at a 20% rate.

Austria SAF-T Compliance

Austria’s adoption of the Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T) marks a significant step in aligning with international standards. This system is critical for businesses operating within or with Austria, demanding a structured and consistent format for tax reporting.

SAF-T simplifies the interaction between companies and Austrian tax authorities.

VAT Registration in Austria

The process of VAT registration in Austria is a critical step for businesses, both resident and non-resident, with an annual turnover exceeding €35,000.

It involves online registration through the tax authorities’ website, after which a VAT number is issued.

This registration not only legitimizes a business’s operations but also imposes an obligation for regular VAT returns, subject to the company’s turnover.

The OSS System and VAT in Austria

Embarking on business activities in Austria necessitates mandatory VAT registration, a process that requires the provision of specific documents. The OSS System, or One Stop Shop, streamlines VAT obligations for businesses selling goods online. Here are key aspects:

  1. The OSS system simplifies VAT procedures for e-commerce.
  2. VAT Austria rules apply to both resident and non-resident businesses.
  3. OSS participants report all EU sales on a single VAT return.

Austrian EC Sales Lists (ESL): Ensuring VAT Compliance

The Austrian EC Sales Lists (ESL) are essential in the landscape of European Union trade. Focused on VAT compliance, these lists comprehensively track intra-community transactions involving goods and services by Austrian businesses registered for VAT.

For every transaction within the EU, Austrian companies must accurately document the details. This includes information on the nature of goods or services, the value of transactions, VAT numbers of trading partners, and the dates of transactions.


Intrastat reporting is a crucial aspect for businesses engaged in intra-European Union trade. It involves the detailed recording of goods crossing EU borders. This process is not just a formality; it plays a significant role in the accurate calculation of trade statistics and VAT obligations.

VAT Collection and Invoicing

Understanding the process of VAT invoicing is crucial for businesses operating in Austria. This process involves adherence to specific regulations and requirements outlined in the Austrian VAT Directive.

The standard VAT rate applied in Austria is 20%. Invoices must comply with the VAT Directive, which includes the display of VAT identification numbers.

While electronic invoicing is not mandatory, it is common in business-to-government transactions. Invoices should be retained for a period of seven years.

Filing and Managing VAT Returns

Navigating the complexities of filing and managing VAT returns in Austria requires a clear understanding of the mandatory electronic submissions, strict deadlines, and specific invoicing details required by the Austrian tax authorities. To simplify the process:

  1. The standard Austria VAT rate is 20%.
  2. VAT returns must be filed electronically by the 15th day of the second month following the tax period.
  3. Invoices must include the seller’s and buyer’s VAT number.

Understanding Taxation in Austria

In the context of the Austrian VAT Guide, it is crucial to comprehend the country’s taxation system.

The following section will present an overview of Austria’s tax rates, providing an analytical and precise discussion.

This understanding will offer insight into the financial obligations businesses must fulfill when operating within Austria’s borders.

Austria Tax Rate Overview

The landscape of taxation in Austria, particularly the intricacies of Value Added Tax (VAT), requires keen attention to detail and diligent adherence to specified regulations.

The Austria tax rate includes:

  1. A standard VAT rate of 20%
  2. A reduced VAT rate of 10% applied to certain goods and services
  3. Certain exemptions from VAT, such as healthcare and education.

Understanding the tax rate in Austria is crucial for compliance and effective financial planning.

Practical Tax Considerations

How does one effectively navigate the practical tax considerations for VAT in Austria?

It requires understanding the Austrian VAT rate, regulatory compliance, and possible penalties.

Mandatory VAT registration precedes any business activity.

VAT returns and payments are due simultaneously, with late payments accruing interest.

For non-European companies, a VAT representative is needed, while European ones can appoint a proxyholder.

The importance of detailed, correct invoicing cannot be overstated.

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Drawing on the practical considerations discussed, it becomes evident that a comprehensive understanding of Austria’s VAT rules and regulations is not merely beneficial, but essential for businesses to ensure compliance and avoid penalties.

  1. Understanding the vat rate in Austria is crucial for correct pricing and tax calculations.
  2. The Austria vat guide serves as a comprehensive resource for both resident and non-resident businesses.
  3. Accurate invoicing and record-keeping are essential components of VAT compliance in Austria.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does VAT Work in Austria?

In Austria, VAT (Value Added Tax) is a consumption tax applied to goods and services. It was introduced in 1973 with standard and reduced rates of 20% and 10% respectively. Businesses exceeding €35,000 annual turnover must register for VAT.

How Much Is the VAT in Austria?

The standard Value Added Tax (VAT) rate in Austria is 20%. However, certain services and supplies are subject to reduced rates of 10% or 13%. Some goods and services, like healthcare and education, are VAT exempt.

Can You Claim VAT Back From Austria?

Yes, you can claim VAT back from Austria. Businesses are generally able to reclaim input tax on business expenses, provided they are VAT-registered and the expenses are used for VAT taxable activities.

What Are the Requirements for VAT Invoice in Austria?

In Austria, VAT invoices require specific details including supplier’s VAT number. Electronic invoicing is accepted if properly authenticated. Invoices and records must be kept for a minimum of 7 years as per Austrian tax law.

Barry Caldwell

Barry Caldwell

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