Distance selling

The current threshold in Austria is 35,000 Euro (since 1 January 2011)

Legal basis

If goods are dispatched or transported from an EU-Member State to Austria by a foreign supplier or on behalf of a foreign supplier to the below-mentioned customers, the supplies of goods are generally taxable where the goods are located at the time when dispatch or transport of the goods to the customer begins.

By way of derogation, Article 3 (3) – (7) Austrian VAT Act 1994 stipulates that the place of supply of goods dispatched or transported by or on behalf of the supplier from an EU-Member State to another is the place where the goods are located at the time when dispatch or transport of the goods to the customer ends.

Basically, the distance selling regime is only applicable to certain types of movements of goods and to certain customers.

Who can be a customer under the distance selling regime

  • private individuals,
  • taxable persons who receive the goods for other than business purposes,
  • taxpayers subject to the special regime of Art. 3(2)(b) VAT Directive (Schwellenerwerber) who did not opt for the application of the general regime.

Such taxpayers comprise amongst others taxable persons whose supplies are VAT exempt without deduction of VAT (e.g. small enterprises).

  • flat-rate farmers
  • public bodies who are not taxable persons or do not use the goods for their business activity
    (e.g. municipalities).

The rules on distance selling ensure that supplies of goods to private individuals or taxpayers subject to the special regime exceeding the threshold set by each Member State are charged VAT in the country of destination, e.g. in AUSTRIA. Thus, distortion of competition resulting from different VAT rates in the EU can be avoided.

If the distance seller exceeds the threshold in the respective Member State of destination – in AUSTRIA it is set at 35,000 Euro – the rules on distance selling apply. The place of supply is shifted to the country in which the dispatch or transport of the goods to the customer ends, i.e. the country of destination/AUSTRIA.


A German entrepreneur transfers goods to private individuals in Austria. The threshold of Euro 35,000 in Austria is exceeded. The place of supply is shifted from Germany to Austria, i.e. to the end of the transport. The supply of goods is effected in Austria and therefore subject to VAT in Austria. The German entrepreneur has to be registered in Austria for VAT purposes. The invoices issued to these Austrian individuals have to show the Austrian VAT rate!

Note: entrepreneurs who have not established their business in Austria or do not have their permanent address in Austria are not eligible to use the small business scheme according to section 6 paragraph 1 item 27 of the Austrian VAT Act 1994.

How to calculate the threshold

You have to calculate the threshold for each Member State, including AUSTRIA, separately.

To check if you have exceeded the threshold add together the total value of distance sales. Exclude intra-Community supplies of goods, supplies of new means of transport or of goods that are subject to excise duty as well as those supplies for which the margin scheme is applicable.

Entrepreneurs of other EU Member States who carry out supplies to private individuals or taxpayers subject to the special regime, have to charge Austrian VAT if:

  • they have exceeded the threshold of 35,000 Euro in the previous year:
    The first supply of good in the current year is charged with Austrian VAT.
  • they exceed the threshold of 35,000 Euro in the current year:
    The supply that exceeds the threshold is charged with Austrian VAT as well as the following supplies.

The distance selling rules are also applicable if the goods supplied have been imported into the European Union beforehand and have been released for free circulation in Member State other than Austria (Member State of destination). Therefore this kind of supply (chargeable in Austria) can be performed by entrepreneurs established in a third country or third territories as well.

Application for a tax account number or a VAT number

  •  Verf 19: questionnaire for the assessment procedure
    • In addition: indication of sales channels (e.g. homepage, catalogue etc.)
    Note: distance sellers are usually not allocated a VAT number since they only need a tax account number to account for the VAT due. However, if they need a VAT number, they have to fill in form ‘Verf 19’ giving sufficient reasons for their request. 
  • Verf 26: specimen signature sheet
  • Valid VAT number or certificate of registration as taxable person (entrepreneur) issued by the Tax Office of the Member State the entrepreneur has established his business in (original)  
  • Copy of the company statutes
  • Copy of the manager’s passport / ID
  • Copy of the certificate of registration

Tax Representative

The appointment of a Fiscal Representative is only mandatory if the supplier has no permanent address, seat or fixed establishment in an EU Member State and if there is no appropriate mutual agreement procedure. The fiscal representative has to be an authorized recipient as well. 

Disclosure/ Report of Incorrect or Incomplete Tax Declaration

If you have exceeded the Austrian distance selling threshold of EUR 35,000 Euro in previous years, but have not declared these supplies in Austria, you have to subsequently correct this and declare them in Austria. You can either report an incorrect or incomplete tax declaration to the tax authorities or fully disclose these supplies.

You will find more information on the correct procedure of this report on the home page of the Federal Ministry of Finance. See the following link (in German):


Please note that Section 29, paragraph 6 of the Austrian Fiscal Criminal Law has been revised (in force as of 1, October 2014).

Submission of VAT Returns

(annual VAT return, preliminary VAT return)

a. annual VAT return

Form: "U1" (for each calendar year) e.g.: U1 2013
Submission date:  
on paper 30 April of the following year
online 30 June of the following year

b. Preliminary VAT return

Form: "U30" (for each calendar year)  
submission date: on the 15th day of the second following month at the latest
payment of VAT due: on the 15th day of the second following month at the latest
Annual  taxable turnover (net) submission of returns
Up to EUR 30,000 No submission required
EUR 30,000  up to EUR 100,000  quarterly
exceeding  EUR 100,000 monthly

You will find information on the online submission of your VAT return and the registration necessary to do so under the following link:

FinanzOnline (https://finanzonline.bmf.gv.at/fon/)


All of the above-mentioned forms are available on the homepage of the Federal Ministry of Finance under www.bmf.gv.at. See menu item „Forms“.

Registration – Contact Details

Please send your application to register to the dedicated registration section by post or by fax to the following address  

Graz-Stadt Tax Office
For the attention of: BV31 / BV32
Conrad von Hötzendorf-Straße 14 - 18
8018 Graz

+43 50233 333
+43 50233  5938041 (BV 31) bzw.
+43 50233  5938042 (BV 32)
Post.FA68-BV11@bmf.gv.at bzw.

Bank account of the Graz-Stadt Tax Office:
IBAN: AT70 6000 0000 0553 4681
Bank Code No: 60000
Account No.: 5534.681 (Österreichische Postsparkasse)

Excise Duty (see Sections 49-52 Alcohol Excise Tax Act)

If goods subject to excise duty (e.g. alcohol and alcoholic beverages, manufactured tobacco, certain energy products, such as mineral oil) are imported from other Member States for commercial purposes, the excise duty has to be declared and paid in Austria.

Such transfers have to be declared at the Customs Office of Innsbruck in advance and the Excise duty has to be paid accordingly, irrespective of the transfer being made for consideration or not. The transfer of goods subject to excise duty to Austria requires appropriate customs documents to be attached.

The trade in manufactured tobacco is subject to the Austrian Tobacco Monopoly Act!

Please find more information on customs regulations, import bans, restrictions and exemptions on the home page of the Federal Ministry of Finance under www.bmf.gv.at, see heading "Customs".

The rules on the acquisition threshold of EUR 11,000 and the distance selling threshold of EUR 35,000(Article 3 para. 4 item 2 and para. 5 Austrian VAT Law 1994) are not applicable to the supply of goods subject to excise duty; if they are supplied from other Member States, they are always subject to Austrian VAT (intra-Community acquisitions).

We wish to point out that the correct application of customs and tax rules is subject to check by the Customs and the Tax Administrations. According to Section 184 of the Austrian Federal Fiscal Code, the taxable amount can be estimated. 

Further Information

  • General information on the assessment procedure (VAT) in Austria:


  • in English