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Who is required to register VAT?

If a foreign company is providing taxable supplies of goods or services in Austria, it may have to contact the tax authorities and register for VAT. There is a number of situations for this obligation to be valid, which are similar (but with differences) to the other member states of the EU. They include:

  • Importing goods into Austria from outside the EU,
  • Intra-community sales (dispatches) or purchases (acquisitions) of goods from another EU country,
  • Buying and selling goods in Austria,
  • Holding goods in Austria on a consignment stock basis. Call-off stock arrangements are exempt,
  • E-commerce sales of goods to consumers, subject to Austrian VAT registration thresholds,
  • Organizing live conferences or exhibitions with on-the-door payments,
  • If a company is otherwise a non-VAT trader, but is receiving services in Austria under the reverse charge rule,
  • The self-supply of goods.

Foreign entities whose annual sales value exceeds EUR 100,000 are obliged to file monthly declarations. However, if the amount falls between EUR 30,000 and EUR 100,000, declarations should be submitted monthly. In both cases, an annual declaration is also required. All settlements are submitted electronically. Only enterprises whose annual sales value does not exceed EUR 30,000.00 are exempt from VAT, in consequence of which there is no obligation to submit declarations.

The deadline for submitting declarations and payments to the Tax Office for VAT is on the 15th day of the month following the closing of the reporting period. However, annual declarations should be submitted by June 30 of the following year.

In the case of erroneous declarations or delays in their delivery, foreign companies may be subject to penalties, which may constitute up to 10% of VAT due. Commitments to the Austrian tax office expire after 5 years, and in the case of recurrent tax crimes or suspected fraud, this period has been extended to 10 years.

In the case of VAT settlements, you cannot deduct input tax on the purchase of recreational services, purchase and rental of cars, motorcycles and other vehicles.

A foreign company operating in Austria must also adapt to local rules concerning, among others: invoicing and archiving of accounts and registers for a period of 7 years.

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