Blümel presents turnover compensation – what we need now is unbureaucratic assistance for affected companies
Package to pay 80% of net turnover up to EUR 800,000 – applications open from today
The dramatic rise in numbers of infections in Austria and in many countries of Europe is leading to necessary restrictions on public life, and this is having an impact on the domestic economy. The Ministry of Finance has developed a new instrument aimed at compensating a large part of the turnover of those businesses instructed to close by the government or which are particularly restricted as a result of government orders. "We are dealing not only with a health crisis, but also with an economic crisis. As an exporting nation and tourist destination, naturally, the current situation is having a severe impact on Austria's economy. For many businesses, the drastic effects constitute a serious threat, and we must and shall provide them with rapid assistance," declared Finance Minister Gernot Blümel.
Key elements of the turnover compensation
For the period during which a business is ordered to close, affected Austrian companies will receive compensation totalling 80% of their turnover. In order to enable this compensation to be paid as straightforwardly, unbureaucratically and swiftly as possible, it will be automatically calculated using tax data held by the Austrian Tax Administration. Applications can be made via FinanzOnline, and turnover compensation can be applied for from today until 15 December. Funds will be transferred within 14 days. As approved by the EU Commission, the maximum payment amount per company is capped at EUR 800,000, subject to deduction of certain types of coronavirus assistance. Phase 1 of the fixed cost subsidy will not need to be offset; similarly, short-time working will not be deducted. It is also specified that new turnover resulting from the switch to delivery in the case of restaurants, and sales generated from business trips in the case of hotels, need not be taken into account.
The qualifying conditions for applying are as follows: a registered office, business establishment or operating activity in Austria, absence of insolvency proceedings and a job guarantee from 3 to 30 November 2020.
Fixed cost subsidy of up to EUR 800,000 in November
For companies not directly affected by the measures, but which are suffering substantial falls in turnover as a result of coronavirus, the fixed cost subsidy is an effective form of economic assistance. Before the end of November, a fixed cost subsidy of up to EUR 800,000, less assistance already received, will be available. This will take account of write-offs as well as frustrated expenses (e.g. in the case of travel agencies). In addition, a combination of turnover compensation (for November) and fixed cost subsidy (for months apart from November) is possible for affected companies, covering differing periods. The negotiations with the European Commission relating to phase 2 of the fixed cost subsidy, with a total subsidy amount of EUR 3 million, are being continued in parallel.
Finance Minister Gernot Blümel summed up the assistance on offer: "Every business that we can successfully help through the crisis will secure vital jobs in Austria. Unlike in Germany, we will compensate not only businesses with up to 50 employees, but all Austrian businesses that are hit particularly hard by closure or the consequences of closure, paying 80% of their net turnover up to EUR 800,000. In parallel to this, the fixed cost subsidy will be expanded in order to offer assistance on a broader basis."