Self-employed and social security in Austria

Last update: 19th Mar 2024
Published: 24th Sep 2022

When carrying out business activities in Austria, the entrepreneur becomes part of Austrian social security. What is the amount of levies in Austria? What is included in the insurance premiums?

Austrian trade and the establishment of social insurance in Austria (Sozialversicherung)

The Austrian Social Insurance Institution or SVS (Sozialversicherungsanstalt der Selbständigen) is informed of the establishment of your Austrian business through the Austrian Trade Licensing Office. The self-employed person is therefore not obliged to register with the SVS independently.

The social insurance commences on the date of the business registration!

What constitutes social security for a self-employed person?

The social security system of the CSO includes:

  • pension insurance - Pensionsversicherung,
  • health insurance - Krankenversicherung,
  • accident insurance - Unfallversicherung,
  • pension insurance for the self-employed - Selbständigenvorsorge.

Unemployment insurance is not part of the Austrian social insurance of the self-employed. However, it is possible to register for voluntary unemployment insurance, in other words to take out unemployment insurance voluntarily. Consider this carefully, as without voluntary unemployment insurance you are not entitled to unemployment benefit when you stop working.

Amount of social levies in 2024

The amount of Austrian social levies is determined by the assessment base or income of the self-employed person. As it is not possible to determine the assessment base for newly established Austrian self-employed persons, the SVS sets a provisional or minimum assessment base. For 2024, the provisional social contributions are set at €150,44 per month. They are payable quarterly, i.e. in the amount of €451,32, on the following dates:

QuarterlyMonthAmountDue by the deadline
First quarterJanuary, February, March€451,3229. 2. 2024
Second quarterApril, May, June€451,3231. 5. 2024
Third quarterJuly, August, September€451,3231. 8. 2024
Fourth quarterOctober, November, December€451,3231. 12. 2024

Social security contributions are paid in full, including for one day of insurance. This is the case if the trade is established at the end of the month or if it is cancelled or interrupted at the beginning of the month.

The self-employed person shall pay the preliminary social security levies at the above rate for the first three years of his/her employment. Thereafter, or in the fourth year, the assessment base is calculated on the income from three years ago. Thus, if the employment activity started in 2024, the preliminary levies will be paid by the self-employed person until 2026. In 2027, the levies will be calculated on the income earned in 2024.

The tax return is used to establish the actual income and to calculate the definitive assessment base. On the basis of the filed tax return, the Austrian tax office issues a decision or Einkommensteuerbescheid, with one decision being sent to the self-employed person and the other to the SVS. From that decision, the SVS determines the final assessment base.

When the definitive assessment base is determined, it may be found that the provisional levies have been paid at a lower amount than they should have been in relation to the actual income. In this case, the self-employed person is liable to pay the difference in premiums as follows:

  • pension insurance from the first year of the self-employed person's trade,
  • health insurance from the third year of the occupation.
Read also:

Returning taxes from Austria. L1I Form.

If you are working or worked in Austria and are filing a tax return you may also have to attach some additional documents. One of them is the form L1i – Erklärung zur ArbeitnehmerInnenveranlagung.

Returning taxes from Austria. L1I Form.

Outstanding social insurance debts

Non-payment of insurance premiums may result not only in arrears of insurance premiums, but also in:

  • cancellation of child benefits,
  • cancellation of a trade.

Working in Austria? Don't forget to file your tax return and get your Austrian tax refund.

I want help with my tax refund