VAT news update

VAT rates in Austria

Quick overview

Standard Rate Reduced Rate Other Rates
20% 10% 5%, 13%, 19%

The local name for VAT in Austria is Umsatzsteuer

Apart from the temporary 5% rate explained below, we see that VAT rate reduction from 20 to 10% on feminine care products was effected per 1 January 2021.  For more information about (recent) rate change developments in Austria, please click here.

Standard rate: 20%
This is in place since 1 January 1984.  Before that, the standard rate was 18%. This rate applies for all transactions that take place in Austria, unless an exception applies (such as a reduced rate, the zero rate or an exemption, or a reason to treat the transaction as outside scope of VAT).

Zero rate (0%)
Austria applies various exemptions with a refund of tax paid at preceding stages (zero rates), such as intra-Community and international transport, intra-Community supplies of goods, exports of goods (and related services) to non-EU countries, supplies to international organizations, sea vessels and aircraft and related goods/services, services to goods and goods under customs control, and supplies of monetary gold to central banks.

Reduced rate 1: 10%
Examples: Foodstuffs, water supplies, pharmaceutical products  (medicinal products according to the Austrian Medicines Act), transport of passengers, books (including electronically supplied publications), books on other physical means of support, newspapers, periodical, pay TV/ cable TV, TV licence, hotel accommodation, restaurant and catering services, social services (if not exempt), and collection of domestic waste and street cleaning (if not outside scope/by public body).

Due to Covid-19, various reduced rated transactions have been brought under a temporary 5% rate:
This applies to restaurants, the cultural sector and publications as originally communicated, but also to accommodation services (hotels), campsites and e-books.  This arrangement has recently been extended to 31 December 2021

Reduced rate 2: 13%
Examples: Domestic transport of passengers by aircraft, theaters, concerts, museums, zoos or botanical gardens if carried out by non-profit organisations (if not exempt), admission to amusement parks, and admission to sporting events.

Parking rate: 13%
Member States which, at 1 January 1991, were applying a reduced rate to the supply of goods or services other than those specified in Annex III may apply the reduced rate to the supply of those goods or services, provided that the rate is not lower than 12 %. In Austria, the parking rate applies to wine from farm production carried out by the producing farmer.

Special rate: 19%
A special rate of 19% applies in Jungholz and Mittelberg.  The Jungholz and Mittelberg exclave valley are applying the German rate. Jungholz is a village in the district of Reutte in the Austrian state of Tyrol that is accessible only via Germany. The lack of a road connection to anywhere else in Austria led to Jungholz being included in the German customs area until Austria joined the EU in 1995.  The same applies to Mittelberg.  The town of Mittelberg lies in the Kleinwalsertal, a valley that is accessible by road only from Germany.

For a description of how the VAT rates are structured in the European Union, please see here.  The European Commission has also made an EU VAT rate database available where you can find the applicable VAT rate by entering the CN/CPA code of the goods respectively services (you can find more information here).

A global VAT/GST rate overview can be found here (note this is a work in progress).

This post was last updated on 3 April 2021.



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