Austria

The Austrian currency is the Euro (EUR). In 2023, EUR 0.96 was equal to USD 1. In that year, the average worker in Austria earned EUR  57 082 (Secretariat estimate).

Each person is taxed separately. However, the Austrian taxation system follows the “ability-to-pay” principle. Several tax reliefs depend on non-personal characteristics but requirements related to special life circumstances, including such connected to the family situation given.

  • Work related expenses: a tax allowance of at least EUR 132 is available to all employees.

  • Social security contributions and connected contributions (see Section 2).

  • Mainly work related expenses (‘Werbungskosten’) are - if qualified - deductible in the amount effectively expended.

  • Traffic relief depending on the distance between home and working place as well as the availability of public transport.

The following allowances are deductible from income (EUR per month):

During the period May 2022 through June 2023 allowances deductible from income are increased by the following amounts (EUR per month):

  • Tax-free wage supplements exist for dirty, hard, dangerous, night, weekend and holiday work and overtime. The supplement for 10 hours of overtime up to EUR 86 per month is tax free, while other supplements are tax free up to EUR 360 (EUR 540 for night work) per month:

  • Special expenses (‘Sonderausgaben’): Tax allowances for contributions to state-approved churches up to EUR 400 per year and for donations up to 10% of income for research and humanitarian purposes, environmental protection, fire brigades, civil protection, etc.

  • In response to the increased popularity of working from home two new specific legal regulations have been introduced in 2021. First, expenses for ergonomic office furniture (e.g. desks, swivel chairs or desk lamps) are tax-deductible in a sum of up to EUR 300 per year. Second, to compensate for additional expenses, a lump-sum allowance of EUR 3 per day worked from home can be deducted. This is possible for a maximum of 100 home office days per year. Thus, up to EUR 300 per year and employee can be left tax-free. One option is that the employer can pay out up to 3 euros per home office day tax-exempt. If the tax-free maximum amount of EUR 3 per day is not used up or if the employer does not grant a lump sum at all, the employee can claim the difference as income-related expenses. Currently these two policy measures are in force up to assessment period 2023.

Since 2022 the tax schedule is:

* The top marginal tax rate of 55% applies only until 2025.

There is a special taxation other than the normal tax schedule for Christmas and leave bonus to the extent that their sum does not exceed two average monthly payments (1/6 of current income) or EUR 83 333. Otherwise the tax amount is calculated according to the following formula:

If income for Christmas and leave bonus exceeds EUR 83 333, the exceeding amount is added to current income and taxed accordingly using the regular rate schedule (MTR of 50% or 55%, see above).

  • Traffic (commuting) tax credit of up to EUR 1,105, composed by the basic traffic tax credit of EUR 421 and a supplement of EUR 684. In the case of a current income above EUR 16,832, the tax credit is faded out uniformly to EUR 421 for income above EUR 25,774. For commuters with a traffic allowance (see 1.1.2.2.) the basic traffic tax credit is EUR 726. Thus, the deductible amount accumulates to a maximum of EUR 1,147.

    If the overall income tax liability of current income is negative, a refund of social security contributions applies. The refund amounts to the absolute value of the negative result of the tax calculation for current income, limited to 55% of overall social security contributions paid. The refundable amount is capped at EUR 1,210 (the case for commuters with a traffic allowance earning below EUR 16,832). The standard case, however, allows a refund of up to EUR 1,105.

The following tax credits exist for taxpayers with children:

  • Non-payable family tax credit of EUR 2,000 each child (EUR 650 if the child is older than 18 years). There exist several options for allocating the credit between the eligible parties. The parents can split up the tax credit one half each or one parent receives the full benefit. The allocation can be defined for each child separately.

  • Child tax credit of EUR 741.6 (EUR 61.8 per month) per child. This tax credit is paid together with child allowances and is not connected with an income tax assessment. Therefore, it is treated as a transfer in this Report (similar treatment as in the OECD Revenue Statistics). Sole earner or single parent tax credit for families with children: The sole earner credit is not given when a spouse’s yearly income exceeds EUR 6 312. The single parent credit is not granted if the parent lives more than 6 months per calendar year with a partner. This tax credit is EUR 520 for one child and increases by EUR 184 for the second child and by EUR 232 for the third and every additional child. This tax credit is non-wastable and can be paid as a negative income tax (in addition to the refund of social security contributions in respect of the traffic tax credit).

  • Taxpayers with an income tax liability below EUR 550 receive an additional transfer, the so-called ‘Kindermehrbetrag’. If the income tax liability (exclusive of tax credits) is lower than EUR 550 (in the case of one child), the difference of EUR 550 and the correspondent tax liability is refunded. The maximum amount payable is EUR 550 for each child.

  • Additional traffic tax credit in case of entitlement to traffic relief according to the distance between home address and working place (see 1.1.2.2.). In this case employees are entitled to an additional yearly traffic tax credit of EUR 2 per km distance from home to working place. For the period May 2022 to June 2023, this tax credit is raised by EUR 0.50 per month per km of distance from home to workplace.

  • Tax payers who make legally required alimony payments to their child qualify for an alimony tax credit of EUR 372 (EUR 31 per month). For a second child, the credit is EUR 47 per month. For every other child the monthly deductible amount is EUR 62. The alimony tax credit is non-payable.

  • A tax credit for retired persons which amounts to EUR 1,278 for single earners with income up to EUR 20,967 if the spouse’s income does not exceed EUR 2,315. Otherwise, the tax credit is EUR 868. The tax credit is linearly reduced to 0 for incomes between EUR 18,410 (EUR 20,967 for sole earners) and EUR 26,826. If the income tax liability is negative, a refund of social security contributions applies. The refund is limited to 80% of total social security contributions paid, respectively to EUR 579.

None.

There are two payroll taxes which are levied on employers for all private sector employees with a monthly gross wage total of more than EUR 1 095: the contribution to the Family Burden Equalisation Fund (3.7%) and the Community Tax (3%). If the assessment basis does not exceed 1460 EUR per calendar month, it is reduced by 1095 EUR. The wage-dependent part of the contribution to the Austrian Economic Chamber (listed under heading 1000, Taxes on profits, OECD Revenue Statistics), which is levied, together with the contributions to the Family Burden Equalisation Fund, at different rates depending upon the Länder Chamber (average rate is approximately 0.4%), is not taken into account. The contribution for the promotion of residential buildings (listed under heading 3000, Taxes on payroll, OECD Revenue Statistics) is included in the social security contributions shown above. It is levied by the Health Insurance Companies on monthly (current) income) along with the other social security contribution amounts.

No recurrent payments.

A family allowance is granted for each child. The monthly payment is EUR 120.6 for the first child, EUR 135.6 for the second, EUR 160.8 for the third and is further increased for each additional child. It rises by EUR 8.4 for children above 3 years of age, EUR 29.1 for children above 10 years of age and by EUR 54.1 for students (above 19 years of age). The taxing wages calculations only consider households with 2 children aged between 6 and 11 inclusive.

Parents are entitled to a childcare transfer, introduced in 2002. The flexibility of the childcare transfer was again increased significantly. The entitled parent can choose the period of payments between 365 and 851 days (if they split up parental leave: 456 and 1,063 days) resulting in a transfer of EUR 15.38 (in case of 851/1,063 days) to EUR 35.85 per day (in case of 365/456 days). Also, instead of fixed amounts the parents can opt for 80% of the last net-earning, limited to EUR 69.83 per day (14 months; 12 plus 2). Additionally, parents receive a bonus of EUR 1,000 if the period of transfer payments is split at least at a ratio of 40:60 between parents.  

The child tax credit (EUR 61.8 per month, see section 1.1.4) is paid together with the family allowance and therefore treated as a transfer.

There is a supplement to the family allowance of EUR 21.2 per month for the third and every additional child if the family’s taxable income (i.e. the sum of the tax base for the progressive income tax schedule) in the preceding year did not exceed EUR 55 000. This supplement is paid on application after a tax assessment of the very year.

An additional family allowance (“13th family allowance”) of EUR 105.8 is given for children in the age between 6 and 15 years every September.

With the eco-social tax reform 2021 a national emissions certificate trading scheme covering non-ETS sectors has been introduced. The system comprises a regional climate bonus to compensate for the resulting additional burden on households. For 2023, every Austrian resident (primary residency for at least 6 months in the calendar year) is entitled to a direct payment consisting of a lump sum transfer of 110 EUR and a regionally differentiated amount. Children up to the age of 18 years receive half the amount.

The regionally differentiated compensation is based on the municipality of residence. The amount varies depending on the infrastructure (such as schools or shopping facilities) and public transport connections. Four categories are defined. The regional compensation amounts to 0, 40, 75 or 110 EUR. Therefore, the total “climate bonus” paid lies between 110 and 220 EUR.

For the Taxing Wages model a weighted average is calculated. The specific category of climate bonus is known for each municipality. Weights are based on the population in the municipality at the beginning of 2023. An average climate bonus of EUR 175 per adult and EUR 87,5 per child are derived for 2023.

In 2004, the first step of a comprehensive tax reform came into force. The general tax credit was increased from EUR 887 to EUR 1 264 and the phasing-out rules were considerably simplified and harmonized for all groups of taxpayers.

The tax reform in 2005 brought a new income tax schedule. Apart from the top rate of 50% for incomes exceeding EUR 51 000, it shows the average tax rate for two amounts of income. The tax amounts for incomes between these values have to be calculated by linear interpolation. The formulas that have to be applied are defined in the tax law. The tax reform included some measures which were made retrospective for 2004. These measures are an increase of the sole earner and the single parent tax credit depending on the number of children (together with a higher income limit for the spouse of a single earner) and an increase of traffic reliefs by about 15%. The maximum deductible amount for church contributions was increased as well. In 2006, the traffic reliefs were raised again by about 10%.

In 2007, the traffic allowance was increased by 10% (effective from 1st July). Additionally, the maximum negative tax for employees with traffic allowances was raised from EUR 110 to EUR 240 (for 2008 and 2009). In 2008, the family allowance for the third child and all subsequent children was increased. Furthermore, the unemployment insurance contribution of low-earning employees was reduced (effective from 1st July). Also in 2008, for monthly earnings up to EUR 1 100 the rate was set to zero, for earnings below EUR 1 200 the contribution was set to 1%, below EUR 1 350 2% and above it was set to the current rate of 3%. Since 2008, these income limits have been raised according to the increase of the ceiling levels of social security contributions every year.

In September 2008, the parliament decided some measures to compensate for the strong increase of food and energy prices: inter alia, the tax exemption of overtime supplements was increased and the 13th child allowance was introduced.

The tax reform 2009 (effective from the 1st of January) brought an increase of the zero bracket (from EUR 10 000 to EUR 11 000), a reduction of the marginal income tax rates (except the top rate), an upward shift of the top rate bracket (from EUR 51 000 to EUR 60 000) and several measures for families with children: child allowance (EUR 220 or EUR 132 each parent p.a.), deductibility of cost for child care (up to EUR 2 300 p.a. per child), tax-free payments (up to EUR 500 p.a.) from employers to their employees for child care and an increase of the child tax credit.

Starting in 2013 a progressive rate schedule is applied to Christmas and leave bonus instead of a flat rate regime of 6% (see 1.1.3.)

The tax reform 2016 decreased all marginal tax rates significantly, notably the marginal tax rate of the first tax bracket, which was reduced by 11.5 percentage points from 36.5% to 25%. Limited to the years 2016 to 2020 the top marginal tax rate is temporarily increased by 5% points to 55%. These 55% apply to those parts of income exceeding EUR 1 million a year.

The tax credit for employees was increased from EUR 345 to EUR 400. The non-wastable tax credit (reimbursement of social security contributions) for low earnings was extended. For employees the non-wastable tax credit was increased to a maximum of 50% of social security contributions up to a ceiling of EUR 400 a year. For commuters eligible for the commuter tax allowance the maximum amount of the non-wastable tax credit is EUR 500. This system of a non-wastable tax credit was extended to pensioners too, limited to EUR 110.

Besides the already existing broad financial support for families (payable tax credit and transfers as well as deductibility of cost for child care) the tax reform 2016 increased the tax allowance for children from EUR 220 to EUR 440 per child. If both parents claim for this tax allowance, it increases to EUR 600 (two times EUR 300).

Tax expenditures (tax allowances) for private insurances (e.g. health and pension insurances) and mortgages were abolished for new contracts beginning with 2016. For existing contracts these tax allowances are maintained for a transitional period of five years.

In 2019 a non-payable family tax credit of EUR 1 500 each child (EUR 500 if the child is older than 18 years) was introduced. The parents can split up the tax credit one half each. Sole- or single-earner with low income, who cannot fully participate on that non-payable family tax credit, can apply for a payable sole- or single-earner family tax credit up to EUR 250 each child.

In 2020 the positive entrance rate of the tax rate schedule was reduced to 20% and the refund of social security contributions for low earners was increased.

From 2021 on, the standard tax allowance for special expenses of EUR 60 was abolished.

From 2022 on, the supplement to the traffic tax credit is raised from EUR 400 to EUR 650. In case of a negative income tax liability, the refund is capped at 55% of overall social security contributions paid or a maximum of EUR 550.

The non-payable family tax credit is increased to EUR 2000 for each child (EUR 650 if the child is older than 18 years). From now on the maximum amount payable by child via the so-called `Kindermehrbetrag’ is EUR 550. Also the definition of eligible recipients has been expanded and is not limited anymore to qualifiers for sole- or single earner tax credits.

Several new (one-time) tax credits and cash transfers have been introduced for 2022:

  • An inflation tax credit of EUR 500 that is faded out uniformly to zero for current income between EUR 18,200 and EUR 24,500. In case of a negative income tax liability, the refund for 2022 is limited to 70% of overall social security contributions paid (max. refundable amount: EUR 1,550).

  • The `climate bonus’: direct, tax-free lump-sum payment of EUR 250 per person. Children up to the age of 18 years receive half the amount. The stated amount applies only for 2022.

  • A one-time supplement to the climate bonus (the anti-inflation bonus). Payment of EUR 250 that is tax-exempt up to a yearly taxable income of EUR 90,000. Again, for children only EUR 125 are paid.

  • An energy cost credit worth EUR 150 (only for households with adjusted gross annual income of EUR 55,000 (single household) or EUR 110,000 (multiple earners)). This cash transfer is a one-time measure to counteract risen energy prices.

    • An additional family allowance of EUR 180 is given in August 2022.

For the period May 2022 through June 2023, increased amounts are granted for the traffic relief and the additional traffic tax credit in case of entitlement to traffic relief.

From 2023, the ‘climate bonus’ consists of a lump sum of EUR 110 and a regionally differentiated amount between 0 and 100% of the lump sum. Children up to the age of 18 years are eligible for half of the amount.

From 2023 onwards, a yearly indexation mechanism for personal income tax and social transfers is in force. Two independent economic research institutes calculate the impact of inflation on PIT revenues. Based on the results, PIT tax bracket thresholds and tax credits are adjusted to neutralise this impact. Two-thirds of the estimated impact of inflation on PIT revenues will be compensated automatically by adjusting thresholds and tax credits. The remaining third of the calculated impact volume is redistributed to compensate recipients of income by discretionary measures. The adjustment is based on the consumer price index. The average of the monthly inflation rates between second half-year in year t-2 and first half-year in year t-1 are used to adjust the parameters in year t.

  • Sector used: All private employees except apprentices employed full-time for the whole year

  • Geographical coverage: Whole country

  • Sex: Male and Female

  • Earnings base:

    • Items excluded:

      • Unemployment compensation

      • Sickness compensation

    • Items included:

      • Vacation payments

      • Overtime payments

      • Recurring cash payments

      • Fringe benefits (taxable value)

  • Basic method of calculation used: Average annual earnings

  • Income tax year ends: 31 December

Period to which the earnings calculation refers to: one year.

The equations for the Austrian system are, in principle, on an individual basis. The only variable which is dependent on the marital status is the head of family (sole earner) tax credit, which is also given to single parents. For the Christmas and leave bonus (both amounting to one monthly wage or salary) there are special rules for the calculation of social security contributions (separate ceilings and slightly lower rate) and wage tax (reduced flat rate). The income tax schedule and the tax credits are applied only for "current pays". The child tax credit is in principle given to the mother (as a negative tax together with "family allowances" = transfer for children). The sole earner and the employee tax credit are connected with negative income tax rules. Therefore, the tax finally paid may be different from tax liability minus tax credits.

Disclaimers

This work is published under the responsibility of the Secretary-General of the OECD. The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Member countries of the OECD.

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area.

The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.

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