VAT exemption for face masks
0% VAT rate can be implemented in cash register systems from 23 January

The mandatory wearing of FFP2 face masks in stores and on public transport is a vital measure being taken by the federal government. In order to minimise the financial burden imposed on individual citizens by this measure, the government plans to grant full exemption from VAT on all shipments and intra-Community purchases of face masks (with Combined Nomenclature numbers 6307 90 10, 6307 90 98, 4818 90 10 and 4818 90 90).

A proposed law reducing the VAT rate from 20% to 0%, in derogation from Section 10 of the Austrian Value Added Tax Act, was approved by the National Council on 20 January 2021. The reduction will apply to shipments and intra-Community purchases concluded or taking place after 22 January 2021 and (in line with the European provision on import VAT exemption) prior to 1 July 2021. The statutory basis will provide for corresponding retroactive effect.

In order to avoid the retrospective adjustment of invoices and reclaiming of VAT, the corresponding VAT rate can be entered in cash register systems and applied with effect from 23 January 2021.

In order to enable this tax relief to benefit consumers, the Federal Ministry of Finance urges that the VAT reduction should be reflected in the price charged to customers.