I am employed in Austria. How can I decrease my tax base and increase my tax refund?

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I am employed in Austria. How can I decrease my tax base and increase my tax refund?

The basis for this is filing a tax return. That is not all, however. You have to firmly determine whether you are a resident of Austria (more about tax residency in Austria can be found HERE). The form L1i is all you need to reach unlimited tax liability. With this form you will be considered an austrian tax resident with unlimited tax liability, in other words an Austrian with a czech (or your country’s) passport.

In order to fully take advantage of your austrian residency status you can include various expenses, which lower the tax base. The austrian tax system offers these deductible expenses:

  • 1. Arbeitskleidung – work attire – this expense can only be applied in cases, where you are required to wear certain clothes to work (a uniform, medical attire, a costume for acting, a lab coat, protective gear like helmets, etc.). This deduction cannot be applied for everyday clothing that conforms to your workplace’s dress code.

What do I have to submit to the tax office?

Receipts from the store with a specific description of the clothing and date of purchase.

  • 2. Arbeitsmittel – work resources – Everything that is necessary for your work belongs here (computer, hard drives, work phone, etc.). If your work resources cannot be separated from your personal items, they will be taken into account only partially.

What do I have to submit to the tax office?

Receipts from the store with a specific item description and the date of purchase.

  • 3. Bewirtungsspesen – service expenses – These are tied to boarding / leaving your job and expenses connected to these events (for example welcoming ceremonies, toasting or buffets).

What do I have to submit to the tax office?

Receipts with the description of purchased beverages and food alongside the date of purchase or catering company invoices.

  • 4. Büromaterial und Porti – office supplies and postage

What do I have to submit to the tax office?

Receipts with item description and date of purchase.

  • 5. Doppelte Haushaltsfürhung – dual household – It can be applied for the period of transition when moving to your new workplace. After this period you are expected to have moved to the place of work or back to your home. These factors play a key role when determining this expense:
  • Your marital status (married – can apply for 2 years, single – can apply for max. 6 months)
  • Number of children (whether the taxpayer has children or not)

What do I have to submit to the tax office?

Extract from the land registry, payment documents such as rent invoices, utility bills for water, electricity, gas, etc. from both your home country and Austria.

  • 6.  Fachliteratur und Fachzeitschriften – professional literature and magazines – This can include law books, scientific publications, psychotherapeutic booklets, etc.

What do I have to submit to the tax office?

Invoices with item descriptions of the books, media or magazines with the date of purchase.

  • 7. Familienheimfahrten – transport expenses – Can be applied when you regularly travel back to your home country. Notable examples include: Expenses for gas, highway stamps, road tolls, etc.

What do I have to submit to the tax office?

Receipts from gas stations, receipts for highway stamps, toll payment confirmations or a copy of your certificate of roadworthiness.

  • 8. Fehlgelder – employee expenses – These are expenses that the employer agrees to pay for you.

What do I have to submit to the tax office?

Receipts with item description of the items your employer paid for.

  • 9. Fortbildungsaufwand – further education expenses – These are for courses, seminars, certificates, etc.

What do I have to submit to the tax office?

A receipt or an invoice of the courses or seminars you paid, course completion certificates and confirmations, etc.

  • 10. Kilometergeld Fahrrad – fixed bike travel costs – Can be deducted from taxes if you use a bike. You are eligible to get a deduction of 0,42 € per kilometer with the maximum cap of 2000 km which is 480 €. 

What do I have to submit to the tax office?

Confirmation from your employer stating that you need a bicycle to fulfil your work duties.

  • 11. Pendlerpauschale – expenses for daily work commute – This deduction is accepted if:
  • You cannot use public transport and your distance from work is at least 20 km
  • Half of your work commute can’t be travelled via public transport and the distance from your work is at least 2 km
  • 12. Reisekosten – travel expenses – Can be applied for only if your employer does not pay for your accommodation, does not provide you with a work car or does not pay for your work commute. If you are compensated for these costs partially you can apply for the difference between the real expenses and what your employer paid for.

Be careful for the cost of driving to work (from your home to your work location)! In this case it’s the fixed compensation Pendlerpauschale.

What do I have to submit to the tax office?

A handwritten travel log (with the dates, places and travel times along with kilometers travelled all separated into private travel and work commute)

  • 13. Telefongebühren – phone bills – Can be fully deducted.

What do I have to submit to the tax office?

An extract of phone calls made separated into work and private calls for the whole taxed period.

  • 14. Umzugskosten – moving expenses – Eligible only when moving due to work circumstances and only if the employee does not keep the original home.

What do I have to submit to the tax office?

Invoice from the moving company.

  • 15. Unfall mit dem eigenen KFZ – accident with your personal motorized vehicle – Can be applied for if you had an accident during the fulfilment of your work duties.

Source: bmf.gv.at


Do these cases apply to you? Utilize the benefits of the austrian tax system. With our app you will be able to fill the austrian tax return forms fast and with ease. Fill out your form on Neotax.eu.