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Austria Announces Turnover Compensation and Fixed Cost Subsidy Phase II for COVID-19 — Orbitax Tax News & Alerts

Austria's Ministry of Finance has announced that taxpayers may apply via FinanzOnline from 23 November 2020 for turnover compensation and fixed cost subsidies, which are being provided in response to COVID-19.


Blümel: Applications open today for extension to turnover compensation and fixed cost subsidy phase II

Fast and straightforward application via FinanzOnline

The coronavirus pandemic is imposing necessary restrictions on public life, and this is having effects on the domestic economy. "We are not only dealing with a health crisis, but also an economic crisis. As an exporting nation and tourist destination, naturally the current situation is having a severe impact on Austria's economy. The drastic consequences are a serious threat to many businesses. We must and will provide rapid assistance to such companies," declared Finance Minister Gernot Blümel.

Applications open for turnover compensation from today

For periods of compulsory closure, businesses affected by the lockdown extension will receive compensation in the sum of 80% of turnover. Applications may be made with effect from this afternoon via FinanzOnline.

Close-contact services, such as hairdressers, massage therapists or beauticians, will receive compensation of 80% of turnover for their period of closure based on turnover figures for November 2019.

Due to the differing framework conditions existing between services and retailers, Austria's Constitutional Service is recommending differing compensation approaches, since figures vary across the different sectors. Based on the different background conditions, retailers are being categorised into different levels, to which three criteria apply: gross profit of the respective sectors, catch-up effects, and the perishability and seasonality of goods.

  • A flower shop forced to dispose of a lot of produce during lockdown due to its perishable nature will receive 60% in turnover compensation, as will stores selling shoes and leather goods or clothing.
  • Businesses from the sector of metalware and construction supplies, sporting equipment, or those selling curtains, rugs and carpets, will receive 40% turnover compensation.
  • The lowest percentage of compensation will go to businesses selling furniture and other fixtures, since these will scarcely undergo any loss of value, and the time of sale will not affect the quality of the goods. The same also applies to retailers in entertainment electronics and to vehicle dealers.

Fixed cost subsidy online

The fixed cost subsidy phase II 800,000 is also open for applications with effect from today. The subsidy takes account of write-downs, specific personnel costs for skeleton operations, as well as frustrated expenses. It is important in particular for travel agencies and event organisers, since advance payments made will be compensated on a pro-rata basis.

Fixed costs will be paid in the sum of actual lost turnover, although assistance already received, such as 100% guarantees, will be deducted. The fixed cost subsidy phase II 800,000 can be requested for a period more than three times as long as the fixed cost subsidy I, namely a maximum of 9.5 instead of 3 months. For small businesses with up to EUR 120,000 annual turnover, there exists the possibility of consolidation into a lump sum. Such businesses can also make applications without engaging a tax adviser. A combination of turnover compensation and fixed cost subsidy is also available to affected businesses for differing periods.

Following approval from the European Commission of the fixed cost subsidy phase II in a total subsidy amount of EUR 3 million, national implementation is now being launched. Austria and Germany are, to date, the first and only countries to receive approval for subsidies under this new system. Under the Commission rules, the payment will not be deemed a fixed cost subsidy, but loss compensation.

In this context, a specified percentage of losses made in the period up to 30 June 2021, either forecast or notified in retrospect, can be indemnified. Details of such losses must be confirmed by a tax adviser.

Finance Minister Gernot Blümel summarised the assistance thus: "Every business which we succeed in helping through this crisis will secure valuable jobs in Austria. Through the finalised instruments of fixed cost subsidy phase II and turnover compensation, we have created effective assistance which can be applied for starting today."