Update on Current COVID-19 Subsidies
To continue to support Austrian companies which have suffered financially from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the Austrian Federal Government has extended existing COVID-19 subsidy instruments and made some requirements more stringent. In the following contribution (last updated 23 November 2021), we will inform you about the most important points of the previous COVID-19 subsidies that can still be applied for, as well as those that have been extended.
Fixed costs subsidy 800,000
Applications for the fixed costs subsidy 800,000 (“FCS 800k”) can still be submitted until 31 March 2022 via FinanzOnline.
The FCS 800k covers the fixed costs of companies which, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have suffered a revenue shortfall of at least 30% and cumulatively fulfil the prerequisites set out in the FCS 800k guidelines. The fixed costs must have been incurred between 16 September 2020 and 30 June 2021 at the latest (max. 10 calculation periods, although two blocks of consecutive periods are also permissible).
The percentage of the FCS 800k corresponds to the percentage of the revenue shortfall (e.g., for a revenue shortfall of 70%, 70% of the fixed costs will be reimbursed). The maximum amount of the subsidy is EUR 1.8m per company.
If an applicant company claims the FCS 800k, the same company cannot apply for compensation for losses (see below).
Further information on the FCS 800k can be found via the following links (information in German): https://steuernachrichten.pwc.at/blog/2021/04/01/covid-19-fixkostenzuschuss-ii-bis-eur-800-000/ and https://www.fixkostenzuschuss.at/fkz800k/
“Compensation for losses” and “Extended compensation for losses”
Applications for the compensation for losses (“CFL”) can still be submitted until 31 March 2022 via FinanzOnline.
The CFL reimburses the losses suffered by the applicant company from operating activities in Austria between 16 September 2020 and 30 June 2021 at the latest (for up to max. 10 consecutive assessment periods). This is granted for a revenue shortfall of at least 30%. The amount of the CFL is 70% of the calculated assessment base (90% for small and micro-businesses) and is limited to EUR 10m per applicant company.
If an applicant company claims the CFL, it is not permitted to apply for the FCS 800k.
On 28 July 2021, the extended compensation for losses (“ECFL”) entered into force. The general prerequisites are the same as for the CFL. To apply for the ECFL, a company must suffer a loss in the period between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021 at the latest (applications can be submitted for up to max. 6 consecutive assessment periods) and suffer a revenue shortfall of at least 50% (previously only a revenue shortfall of 30% was required). The amount of the ECFL is 70%, or 90% for small and micro-businesses, with a maximum amount of EUR 10m, which is unchanged from the CFL. However, subsidies received following the grant of a CFL for periods between 16 September 2020 and 30 June 2021 must be taken into account when calculating the maximum ceiling for the ECFL.
The application for the ECFL can be submitted until 30 June 2022 via FinanzOnline.
Further information on the CFL and the ECFL can be found via the following links (information in German): https://steuernachrichten.pwc.at/blog/2021/02/18/covid-19-verlustersatz-bis-eur-3-mio/ and https://www.fixkostenzuschuss.at/verlustersatz/ and https://www.fixkostenzuschuss.at/verlustersatz-verlaengert/
Revenue shortfall bonus II
On 27 July 2021, the revenue shortfall bonus was extended on issuance of the Guidelines on the Extension of the Revenue Shortfall Bonus (“RSB II Guidelines”) for the months July, August and September 2021. The general prerequisites are the same as for the previous revenue shortfall bonus (available for the months up to and including June 2021), but the revenue shortfall bonus II can only be applied for if the revenue shortfall is at least 50% (previously only 40%).
The amount of the revenue shortfall bonus II is calculated based on the revenue shortfall in the assessment period and the relevant percentage rate (between 10% and 40%, in accordance with Annex 2 of the RSB II Guidelines) for the sector in which the company was predominantly operational in the assessment period. The revenue shortfall bonus II does not include any (optional) advance payment of the FCS 800k. Furthermore, the total amount of the revenue shortfall bonus II and short-time working subsidies for the assessment period must not exceed the revenues in the comparison period. The comparison period is the calendar month in the year 2019 which corresponds to the calendar month in the assessment period (July, August, September 2021).
The revenue shortfall bonus II is capped at EUR 80,000 per calendar month and can be granted until the maximum amount of EUR 1.8m under the law on state aid has been reached, reduced by any other support measures under the State Aid Temporary Framework that may have been received.
The revenue shortfall bonus II can be applied for from the 16th day of the calendar month following the assessment period (e.g., 16 August 2021 for the period July 2021) until the 15th day of the fourth calendar month following the assessment period (e.g., 15 November 2021 for the period July 2021) via FinanzOnline.
Further information on the revenue shortfall bonus II can be found via the following link (information in German): https://www.fixkostenzuschuss.at/ausfallsbonus2/
The COVID-19 investment premium was created as an incentive for business investments to counteract the reluctance of Austrian businesses to invest due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The subsidy is available for new business investments at Austrian locations (which must be capitalised) in tangible and intangible assets that are eligible for depreciation/amortisation.
The standard rate is 7% of the acquisition costs of the new investments; it increases to 14% for new investments in the innovation areas of greening, digitalisation, health and life sciences. The maximum eligible investment volume is EUR 50m (excl. VAT) per company or group. It was possible to submit applications until 28 February 2021 via the online platform “Fördermanager” of Austria Wirtschaftservice GmbH (aws).
The initial measures (such as purchase orders, supplies of goods, supplies of services, advance payments, payments or start of construction) in connection with the investment must have been taken between 1 August 2020 and 31 May 2021. Planning services and financing consultations do not count as initial measures. Furthermore, the start of operation/usage and payment of the investment must be completed by 28 February 2023, or by 28 February 2025 for an investment volume of more than EUR 20m.
The applicant company must send the aws final accounts regarding the investments made within max. 3 months following the last date of initial operation/usage of the investments to be subsidised in the context of the approval granted by the aws.
Please note the following exception to the three-month submission period: Final accounts submitted to the aws by 30 September 2021 are not subject to the three-month submission period.
Furthermore, above a subsidy amount of EUR 12,000, the accounts must be confirmed by an auditor, tax advisor or accountant to the extent authorised by law with regard to the capitalisation of the investments for which the subsidy is requested, the timely commencement of the initial measure per investment, and the timely initial usage/operation and payment.
Further information on the investment premium can be found via the following links (information in German): https://steuernachrichten.pwc.at/blog/2021/06/07/covid-19-neue-investitionspraemie/ and https://www.aws.at/corona-hilfen-des-bundes/aws-investitionspraemie/