The tax year for individuals is always the calendar year.
Income tax returns can be filed with the local tax office after the end of each calendar year. Separate returns are required for the period in which an individual is resident and for the period in which an individual is non-resident (but with income subject to Austrian taxation).
Joint filing of income tax returns is not permitted. Tax returns have to be filed by April 30 of the following year (paper form) or end of June of the following year (electronic filing). In case the taxpayer has only salary income where wage tax has already been withheld, a tax return can be filed within five years after the end of the tax year.
In case of filing a tax return, an annual amount of EUR 9,000 is added to a non-resident's annual income.
Payment of tax
In general, income tax is withheld from salaries/wages, interest, and dividends (see Dividend income in the Income determination section for more information). Income tax on other types of income is payable quarterly, with an annual return filing requirement.
The final tax will be assessed by an assessment note and is payable within one month after tax assessment.
From 1 October of the following year until the date of tax assessment, interest is payable on the final tax amount due (or will be paid by the tax office in case of tax refund). Interest can be prevented if a sufficient down payment is made by 30 September. The interest rate is the basic interest rate of the ECB plus 2%.
Tax audit process
The tax office checks the information provided (request of additional documents or information possible) and has to issue a tax assessment note within six months after filing.
Until the statute of limitations passes (see below), additional checks by the tax office are possible. Tax audits usually cover the prior three years for which tax assessment notes were issued.
Statute of limitations
The statute of limitations for excise taxes is three years, for other taxes five years. In case of tax fraud, the period is ten years.
Topics of focus for tax authorities
Currently, the tax office shows special attention to expenses for double household, family home trips, and use of (company) cars with foreign plates in Austria.