Austrian tax returns—what are the deadlines in 2023?
Not sure whether you need to submit a tax return—or when to do it by? No problem: we’ve put together the key info for you on your tax return in Austria.
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Like it or not, tax return season is upon us. And we get it—it’s not always easy to keep an overview of all things tax-related. But don’t fret—we’ve put together a helpful guide with everything you need to know about the submission deadlines for your tax return in Austria.
Tip: If you live or work in Germany, then check out our guide to deadlines for tax returns there!
Do I need to submit a tax return?
If you’re an employee, you generally don’t need to submit a tax return because your employer sends your income tax contribution directly to the tax authorities when they pay your monthly salary. If you’re freelance, you’ll need to submit a tax return, provided you earn more than €11,000 annually. If your income is lower than this, you won’t need to file a return—or pay any taxes at all.
Filing a voluntary tax return with an employee assessment
Even if you aren’t required to file, you can submit a return on a voluntary basis. This might be a good idea if you want to deduct expenses and get an income tax refund. However, your refund will be calculated as though you’d earned the same amount over the entire year. In other words, if your income fluctuates—because you’ve changed jobs, for example—it’s worth doing what’s called an “employee assessment.”
In this assessment, your tax payments are recalculated and distributed evenly across the year. You’ll generally find that you’ve paid too much, in which case you’ll receive a refund for the income tax you’ve overpaid. But what if you need to top up your tax payment? In this case—provided you aren’t required to do the assessment—you can simply revoke your application, and you won’t have to pay an extra cent.
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Can you file a voluntary tax return retroactively?
You’ve got five years to deal with your voluntary employee assessment retroactively. In other words, you can submit a retroactive tax return for 2018 up through the end of this year. And, if you’ve got some free evenings or weekends, you can get cracking on your tax returns for 2019, 2020, and 2021, too. For your 2022 return, you’ve got until the end of December, 2027.
Mandatory assessments—clarifications and deadlines
If it’s mandatory for you to submit a tax return, you’ll have less time than you would for a voluntary submission. In addition, different deadlines apply, depending on the reason for the mandatory assessment.
For example, you’re obliged to submit a return if your total annual income was more than €12,000 and if one of the following situations applies:
- Your additional income exceeds the mandatory assessment limit of €730
- You’ve received at least two additional income sources subject to income tax over the course of the calendar year
- A personal allowance notice was taken into account during payroll accounting
If you submit your tax declaration for 2022 in paper form, April 30, 2023 is the submission deadline. You’ve got more time if you submit your tax return electronically via FinanzOnline. In this case, the deadline is June 30, 2023.
In some cases, the submission deadline is extended to September 30, regardless of whether you’re using the paper form or FinanzOnline for your tax return. The September 30 deadline applies if you’ve had two or more sources of income that were subject to income tax, or if the sole-earner or single-parent tax credit was taken into account.
Missed the filing deadline? Don’t worry.
In principle, Austria has a grace period of three days for all taxes. That means there is no legal impact for delays of up to three days. Bear in mind that public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays don’t count towards the deadline.
If you think you’re still going to miss the above deadline, you can request an extension from the tax authorities. However, you need to do this as soon as possible—otherwise you run the risk of a late penalty (two percent of the owed amount). Plus, you need to have a good reason for the deadline extension, such as a lengthy illness or absence. Working with an accountant will also give you more time for your tax return. However, you need to make sure it’s really worth it—tax advisors don’t come cheap!
What should I do if I receive a request from the tax authorities?
Even if you don’t actually need to submit a tax return, the tax authorities may request that you do so. This usually happens if they’re aware that you’ve earned an extra source of income—or perhaps because you submitted a declaration in the year prior. It’s important to note that you will definitely need to submit a tax return if the tax authorities ask you to.
Submitting an employee assessment without an application
If you’re an employee who only receives income subject to income tax, you’ll even get automatic tax credits in certain circumstances. That’s because, since July 2017, unrequested employee assessments mean that tax assessments are carried out automatically—even if you’ve never submitted a tax return. Any excess income tax that was collected from you is automatically refunded—and your tax credit is automatically paid into your account.
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