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Austrian federal government launches an economic stimulus package

Federal Minister Margarete Schramböck © Austrian Federal Chancellery

Loss carrybacks

The possibility of claiming loss carrybacks will exist for a limited period of time. This option will be available both to natural persons and companies. The loss carryback will take place only on the level of the group parent. The loss carryback is limited to € 5 million.
The amount subject to the loss carryback is to be determined within the context of the annual tax assessment process. It will then be applied against the group's income for the year 2019. If the loss carryback is not fully used in 2019, it should be principally also applicable for income generated in the year 2018.
In order to quickly strengthen the liquidity of loss-making companies, the possibility should also exist to take advantage of a "loss carryback" in previous years before the tax assessment for the year 2020 is completed. This means firms will not have to make the entire delayed tax prepayments for the year 2019. Or else it will serve as the basis for companies to be paid back tax prepayments which have already been made. Directives will be issued on the detailed technical design of the loss carryback regulations.

Declining deductions for depreciation

Another measure aiming at stimulating the economy is the possibility of a degressive deduction for depreciation (Afa) as an alternative to the linear depreciation method. The annual depreciation should take place up within a framework of a freely selectable level of up to 30 percent.
The resulting increase of the AfA at the beginning of the useful life will lead to liquidity advantages for companies based on the reduction of the tax assessment base and is designed to positively impact investment decisions. Moreover, tax recognition of a degressive AfA is in line with corporate law and thus facilitates the determination of profits for tax purposes (tax results) and with respect to the business results.
The degressive balance method would not be applicable for certain assets, for example buildings, passenger cars (but not for cars with zero CO₂ emissions), used assets and facilities serving the purpose of mining, transporting or storage fossil fuels.
However, an accelerated form of the accelerated linear method of depreciation is foreseen for buildings.

Accelerated depreciation of buildings

The AfA applied to the first year of depreciation is to amount to three times the legally stipulated standard depreciation rate, whereas it will equal two times the standard ate in the second year before returning to the previous standard rate as of the third year of depreciation. This measure is designed to promote the creation of affordable residential housing and should thus provide tax support to new residential construction in Austria.

Extension of delayed payments on taxes and facilitation of tax payments

At the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, tax authorities announced that tax payments would, as a rule, be delayed until 1 October 2020. The delays granted are now to be extended to 15 January 2021. In this way it will not be necessary for taxable entities to submit a new application and for authorities to issue a new notice. As an additional option, there is also the possibility to apply for instalment payments with favourable terms and conditions.
Furthermore, interest on delayed payments is not to be levied in the period 15 March 2020 until 15 January 2021. Subsequently, a gradual increase of interest on delayed payments is to be implemented until November 2021.
Accordingly, with respect to the extension of delayed tax payments up until 15 January 2021, a similar approach is being taken to taxes as in the field of social insurance law.


Find out more about support measures for companies



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