Looking back on a successful year for the Finance Ministry's Coronavirus Hotline – 361 000 queries resolved For the past year, the Finance Ministry has been answering enquiries via phone and e-mail on turnover compensation, fixed-cost subsidy and more – waiting times are less than 60 seconds, with 99.6 % of queries resolved in a single contact

Since 20 April 2020, the Federal Ministry of Finance has been operating a Coronavirus Hotline aimed at providing Austrian companies with the best possible advice and support. Callers to 050 233 770 can obtain information on matters including tax relief, short-time working, the hardship fund, turnover loss bonus, various assistance funds, fixed-cost subsidy, turnover compensation and loss compensation. An end-of-year review reveals that the Hotline is being very well received by businesses, and that almost all questions and issues are resolved immediately.

According to Finance Minister Gernot Blümel, "At the onset of the crisis, we reacted swiftly to protect people's health and to sustain the economy and jobs as effectively as possible through these difficult times. In order to do so, over the past twelve months we have set up numerous different targeted assistance instruments, optimally adapted to the challenges in the different sectors. Since it is not always entirely easy for affected business leaders to keep track, we set up the BMF Coronavirus Hotline."

Demand for this additional range of services and information provision from the Ministry of Finance has been high; from 20 April 2020 until now, staff have answered 361 000 enquiries, responding to around 346 000 telephone calls and approximately 15 000 e-mails.

"Fortunately, we have been able to resolve right away 99.6 % of the 361 000 issues raised, at the time of initial contact. In view of the high number of enquiries, I would like to express my particular thanks to our committed Hotline staff," declared Blümel. "For over a year, they have been making an extremely important contribution to the provision of a service-oriented tax administration and to our domestic businesses and jobs."

The average wait time for callers to be connected to a member of staff is less than 60 seconds. The majority of calls over the past twelve months have concerned turnover compensation and the fixed-cost subsidy, as well as the assistance fund and guarantees. At the beginning of the crisis, questions mainly related to the hardship fund and short-time working.

The Hotline is available from Monday to Thursday from 7.30 am to 3.30 pm and on Fridays from 7.30 am to 12.00 pm. In addition, written enquiries may be submitted using the contact form on the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance or by e-mail to: corona.hotline@bmf.gv.at.