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Working in Austria versus tax return

5th Jul 2023

Are you working in Austria and have to file a tax return? What will you need to file your tax return?

What documents are needed to file an Austrian tax return?

To file an Austrian tax return you will need:

  • Form L1 for the Austrian tax return,
  • L1i or Erklärung zur Arbeitnehmerinnenveranlagung,
  • L16 or Lohnzettel,
  • EU/EWR Bescheinigung form.

Austrian tax return form
The Austrian tax return must be filed on the official L1 form, which is available from the relevant Austrian employment offices.

L1i or Erklärung zur Arbeitnehmerinnenveranlagung

The L1i form serves as confirmation that you have no income in your home country.

L16 or Lohnzettel

The L16 form is a confirmation of Austrian income, contributions and advance tax payments.

Bescheinigung EU/EWR

The EU/EWR form is a confirmation of the amount of income outside Austria.

Don't have one of the forms available? We will provide you with one!

Tax return filing process

As a first step, it is important to request a Lohnzettel form from your employer. You then need to file a tax return in your home country. Once you have filed your tax return, the tax office in your home country will issue you with an EU/EWR form, which is necessary for filing your Austrian tax return. The last step is to file your tax return in Austria and get your tax back.

Remember that if you don't file a tax return in your home country, the EU/EWR form will not be validated by the tax office!

How do I file my tax return?

  • In person - at the local Austrian tax office,
  • by post - to the local Austrian tax office,
  • electronically - via Finanzonline.

Deadlines for filing the 2022 tax return

  • in paper form - by 30 April 2023 or by 1 May 2023,
  • in electronic form - by 30 June 2023.

What can I deduct from my Austrian tax return?

Austrian deductions can be summarised into three main categories:

  1. General expenses - these are expenses related to employment, education or job search, e.g. travel costs, course costs or mobile phone charges.
  2. Other expenses - e.g. home office, family bonus or additional insurance.
  3. Extraordinary expenses - these are expenses related to a chronic illness or disability. This includes dental or medical expenses.

Other deductible items related to employment include such things as work clothes, work equipment, moving expenses, or travel expenses to a permanent residence to visit family.

Be sure to keep all receipts for your expenses!

Automatic tax refund from Austria

In 2016, Austria underwent a tax reform. This reform resulted in automatic taxation or automatic tax refunds. Simply put, the Austrian tax authorities will give you a tax refund, even without filing a tax return. This applies to taxpayers who fall into the low-income category, or those who are not required to file a tax return, under the following conditions:

  • if your tax-free income for 2021 did not exceed €11,000,
  • if your taxable income for 2021 did not exceed €12 000.

Beware, however, the automatic tax refund is not so convenient!

Benefits of automatic taxation - relief for the taxpayer and a refund for anyone who fails to file a tax return. Disadvantages of automatic taxation - the tax office will not recognise any expenses in automatic taxation as it has no information about them.

Important: Are you not obliged to file an Austrian tax return? However, you are most likely entitled to a tax refund from Austria. So file a voluntary tax return to avoid automatic taxation and get your full tax back. You can claim your tax back up to 5 years!

I am interested
in a tax refund from Austria

Not sure how to file your tax return? Leave the tax processing to our tax experts. Or you can process your tax return yourself in the online application.