Austria – statute of limitation

Due to COVID-19, the Austrian tax authorities have granted very generous deferrals of payments for all types of taxation. So far, tax payments that were booked on the tax account until the end of September, are generally deferred until 15 January 2021.

Due to the ongoing economic disruption and the expected inability to balance the tax liability by that date, the rules are amended as follows:

  • The tax deferrals granted until 15 January 2021 should – without submission of a new application – be extended until 31 March 2021. The date 31 March 2021 will also be a payment deadline for ongoing taxes that are due between 26 September 2020 and 28 February 2021.
  • If no application for deferral has been submitted since the beginning of the pandemic, but a liquidity shortfall has now arisen, an application for deferral until 31 March 2021 with simplified requirements should be approved by the tax authorities.
  • All approvals of deferrals shall be revoked on the opening of insolvency proceedings (condition subsequent).
  • If a payment plan for due taxes was agreed in September, no changes shall ensue.

Instalment payments:

  • As an alternative, it will be possible to submit an application for payment in instalments until 30 September 2020 at the latest (or by the end of the deferral period, if earlier), with the taxpayer being eligible to claim payment in instalments. The legislation envisages a standard repayment period of one year. The taxable entity is free to choose the rate of repayment, meaning that various, appropriate repayment rates are possible (e.g. progressive increase). To the extent that no payments are missed during the period, the final instalment can, on application, be paid in instalments over an additional six-month period if immediate payment would lead to significant hardship.
  • However, this also means that the standard rules on deferral and instalment plans will apply for taxes recognized in the tax account after 25 September 2020 (except advance payments for Q4) and these cannot be included in the above measures.

Interest:

  • The requirement to pay deferral interest and penalty surcharges for late payment will be suspended until 31 March 2021.
  • In addition to 2020, the requirement to pay claim interest for 2019 will also be waived.

These rules will not apply for taxes at federal state and municipality levels.

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