Finance Minister Brunner sends tax reform bill for review

The package is intended to provide tax relief for food donations, as well as relief from employee tax assessments without an application for startups and small businesses.

Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) sent the tax reform law for review on Friday. The package includes tax deductions for food donations, and relief for employee tax assessments without an application for startups and small businesses.

Tax exemption for food donations is possible because the relevant EU legal basis for sales tax has changed. In particular, according to the review proposal, tax exemption will be introduced in future for food donations to organizations pursuing charitable objectives. This means that starting in 2025, if the food is donated to a beneficiary organization, no sales tax will be payable on disposal of the food.

Facilitating employee evaluations without application

Further simplification should be made for employee assessment without application, which allows payment of tax debt without submitting a tax return, under certain conditions. With effect from assessment year 2024, existence of compulsory assessment will no longer be a hindrance. For example, if an employee works for two different employers in a year, this does not exclude automatic payment of the tax debt.

The start-up will be added to the employee participation model introduced at the beginning of the year. Virtual business shares, so-called “phantom shares,” have been used as a reward and employee retention tool in recent years, particularly in startups. Employees are given a contractual right to profit sharing for tax purposes, wages included. Now such virtual shares can be transferred to new startup employee shareholders.

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As per the draft assessment of the Tax Amendment Act, digital supplements which were previously sent to the Commission in paper form will no longer be charged. Innovations for small businesses are also planned from 2025: among other things, they will have the opportunity to issue invoices easily, regardless of the displayed invoice amount. For example, information such as service recipient, running invoice number or UID number may be omitted. Finance Minister Bruner believes the new tax reform law will result in “simplifications, less bureaucracy and lower fees.” (APA)

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