In Austria, companies are responsible for calculating the wage tax for employee remuneration, including certain reimbursed business expenses which may be considered as income. When computing the wage tax, the employer also needs to take into account certain tax exemptions or tax benefits such as:
- Miscellaneous bonuses, supplements and overtime work payment
- Business trips (mileage allowance as well as per diem allowances for business trips)
- Traveling between home and the workplace – lump sum for commuters and transportation organized by an employer
Many employers pay allowances to employees to reflect expenses they incur in their role. These allowances are generally administered though collective bargaining agreements. In Austria, the rights and entitlements arising from the employment relationship are not regulated by law, but are exclusively secured by the collective agreement which vary by industry.
For companies that do not fall within any collective agreement, the federal wage tax regulation can be applied. We’ll cover some of the more typical employee business expense reimbursements below from the federal level.
Employees are entitled to receive payments from their employers for costs associated with a business trip. The following business trip reimbursements are not subject to wage tax as long as certain conditions are met:
- Transportation costs (e.g. mileage allowance)
- Per diem (meal) allowances
- Overnight accommodation costs
The Austrian Income Tax Act (Einkommensteuergesetz) defines a business trip as an activity where an employee works away from their normal place of work as instructed by their employer. If the collective agreement contains a special regulation of the term business trip, then this regulation is to be applied.
Reimbursements of actual transportation costs (e.g. rail, air, taxi) are tax-exempt.
When reimbursing the employee for using their own private car for business trips, mileage allowances are tax-exempt. Mileage allowances are paid per kilometer driven. The official kilometer allowance can be paid out tax-free for a maximum of 30,000 km per calendar year. For business trips by bicycle, a maximum of 1,500 km can be claimed tax-free per calendar year.
|Vehicle type||Mileage allowance in euros|
The official allowance is a flat-rate payment for all costs incurred when using a private vehicle for journeys as part of a business trip. In addition to the standard depreciation and fuel, this mileage allowance also covers the highway toll sticker, highway and tunnel toll payments, as well as parking charges.
No further tax-exempt travel costs may be paid in addition to the mileage allowance. For a complete list of expenses that are covered by the official kilometer rate, please click here.
In order to provide evidence of mileage allowances, a vehicle log must be kept containing the following:
- mileage reading
- number of kilometers traveled on business per day
- point of departure and destination
- purpose of each business trip