Currently the Austrian Authorities announced a number of supporting measures and alleviations for entrepreneurs and employees in the time of crisis. Not all the details have been published yet, more information follows on a day-by-day basis. In the following, we may provide you with a summary of the announced measures (stand March 18, 2020). For detailed information, we will be happy to assist you in a personal call. As soon as more information will become available, we will provide updated information immediately.
Measures Federal Ministry of Finance (“BMF”, see Info GZ.2020-0.178.784) dated March 14, 2020
Deferral and reduction of income taxes can be filed in the event of liquidity constraints due to the SARS-CoV-2-Virus pandemic. Further, deferral or payment in installments can be applied for in respect to other taxes and liabilities already due (VAT, payroll taxes etc). Such deferrals and installment payments will not be subject to late payment interest. Moreover, a request for reduction of any penalties for late payment can be filed.
Measures of the Public Labour Office (“AMS”) – Corona working time reduction model
The Austrian authorities introduced the Corona short-term work model (“Corona-Kurzarbeit”), with which the employees can be retained and labour costs reduced temporarily. For the measures, the following requirements have to be fulfilled:
- agreement between the social partners (“Sozialpartnervereinbarung”) has to be concluded between the Chamber of Commerce and the Trade Union
- this agreement represents a company agreement (“Betriebsvereinbarung”) or an individual agreement (for companies without a works council)
- approval of the Public Labour Office (“AMS”)
- eligible for support are all employees, exemptions exist for employers only
- the Public Labour Office will reimburse the employer the costs of non-working hours. The reimbursement covers the corresponding social security contributions (from the beginning onwards) and all the payroll related employer contributions as well as related 13. and 14. pay. The employer pays effectively only the costs of the actual hours worked.
- in case of the right to continued remuneration or the right to substitution payments (“Ersatzleistung”, eg sick leave payments or similar) the payments will not be granted
- the work time may be reduced down to 10% of the original working time in the period of the reduced working-time period (
- trainees are also eligible.
Before the start of the working-time reduction, employees shall have used up all their remaining vacation and overtime entitlements from the previous years if so required by the employer. Depending on the income level of the employees whose working-time has been reduced, the AMS will remunerate between 80% and 90% of their net earnings during the reduced working-time period.
Measures Social Security Insurance – Austrian Health Insurance Agency (“ÖGK”)
The Austrian Health Insurance Agency implemented the following measures as of March 16, 2020:
- reminders will not be sent for unpaid contributions
- automatic deferral for unpaid contributions or contributions partly paid or paid late
- applications for payment in installments will be processed quickly and efficiently
- collection measures will not be initiated
- insolvency proceeding will not be filed
The entrepreneurs should continue to file the registrations for the obligatory social security insurance of employees in due time before the start of the employment. Delays due to the Corona pandemic can be applied for without penalties. These measures apply until further notice, for the months February, March and April 2020 at least. Detailed legal regulations are planned and can be expected shortly.
Measures Social Security for Self Employed
Self-Employed impacted directly or indirectly by the Corona pandemic and Quarantine measures or experience major reduction of business activity and therefore have payment difficulties will be supported by the Social Security Institution of the Self Employed (SVS). The Social Security Institution offers the following measures:
- deferral of contributions
- installment payments of contributions
- reduction of the preliminary assessed contribution base
- complete or partly non assessment of interest for late payment
Measures for small enterprises and sole proprietorships (“KMU/EPU”)
The aws bridging guarantee supports the financing of operating resources of enterprises that are impacted by the Corona pandemic, so that no sufficient liquidity for the financing of the ongoing business is available or negative development of turnover and earnings caused by the reduction of orders or changes on the market.
- guarantee for up to 80% of loans up to € 2,5 Mio per small enterprise (max 5 years)
- no service and guarantee fees will be charged by aws
Small-, smallest- and middle size enterprises will receive from the Business Agency Vienna (“Wirtschaftsagentur Wien”) a subsidy for costs in connection with teleworking space and secure connections between the teleworking working places and the business location(s). This also covers consulting services of third providers and investments in IT equipment (maximum 75% of the costs, max € 10.000,00).
Information regarding direct federal support of € 100 Mio for family businesses, self-employed and sole proprietorships will follow. Further information will be provided regarding the aid-measures in the amount of € 38 Billion announced by the Federal Government by the beginning of next week.
Measures for the sector of tourism
Federal liability will be assumed in the amount of 80% to secure new bridging loans and overdraft loans.
- assumption of loan guarantee in the amount of 80% of a loan up to a total of € 400.000,00 (max 3 years)
- service fees of 1% of total loan sum and guarantee fees of 0,8% per year (contingent upon risk) will be carried by the Federal State in total
Measures for the sector of export
Export enterprises can immediately apply for a credit line in the amount of 10% (for large enterprises) or 15% (for small and medium sized enterprises) of the export turnover with the OeKB. The maximum amount is € 60 Mio per enterprise for a maximum of 2 years. This measure should support the continuance of the business and the business location.
The above mentioned measures will be granted to all professional groups, including the medical sector and artists.
Further measures were announced by single federal states and in connection with the additional time for childcare for children of up to 14 years of age.
Stay safe, stay sane!
Stefan Walter / Lukas Zeinler / Andreas Auer / Kristina Weis / Michael Heck