Payroll and HR in Austria

Payroll and HR in Austria

Local Information

Local Time (Vienna) (LIVE):10:04 PM
Local Currency:$1 = €0.86
Business Language(s):German, Croatian
Tax Year Dates:1st January – 31st December


Based in the heart of Europe, it’s no surprise that Austria is one of the most stable markets in the EU. It has around 8.5 million citizens and a GDP of $50,546 per capita, making Austria a healthy and affluent country. Engineering, manufacturing, and luxury good production are all major components of the economy, as well as finance and retail.

Austria prides itself in providing a social safety net for those who need it most. They attribute much of their social and economic harmony to workers’ rights. However, the cost of this social equality comes in the form of high tax rates within high end groups.

To balance this equation and attract foreign investment, Austria makes it easy for companies to set up these businesses both practically and financially. What it doesn’t do though is make it simple to process payroll or taxes.

International payroll and HR can present a number of difficulties for those not versed in the country’s legislation and regulations. Fortunately, IRIS FMP are here to help guide you and take care of compliance whilst you get on with the important day to day.

Learn about living and working in Austria.

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Details correct at time of publication. You should not rely on these details without first seeking professional international advice.

Employer Must-Dos

To set up payroll in Austria, the following processes must be undertaken:

  • Apply for a provisional work permit (Einzelsicherungsbescheinigung)
  • Annual income tax return

HR in Austria

Employee Rights

Austria’s progressive social programme is expressed in the process of “collective bargaining”. Collective bargaining is a mechanism which gives employees representation when negotiating fair conditions.

Collective bargaining impacts employee pay, as well as working conditions and is the key aspect of doing HR in Austria. One of the benefits of collective bargaining to employers is fewer strikes. Thanks to their legal framework for employer/employee relations, both parties can come to mutual understanding about fair wages and treatments without resorting to union action.

Austria also protects employees against discrimination based on race, age, gender, and sexual orientation. Anything over 40 hours a week or 8 hours a day must be paid as overtime, and overtime cannot exceed 10 hours a day or 50 a week, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Payroll in Austria


There are no national minimum wage or wage growth requirements (unless hiring apprentices) in Austria. Instead, wages are determined by collective bargaining, and are based on the position and the experience the applicant has.

Ultimately, employers must follow the collective bargaining laws that were decided upon between the economic chambers and the unions at the time employee contracts are drawn up.

Income Tax

The tax assessment base equals the sum of income minus income-related expenses, special expenses, extraordinary burdens and tax free amounts. They are progressive based on the employee’s income.

Employees are taxed for income earned in Austria if living there for less than 6 months, and taxed on worldwide income if living there for more than 6 months. The corporate income tax rate is 25%, which makes it a competitive country to establish a payroll in.

Expatriate Tax Concession

An expatriate who meets certain conditions is entitled to deduct a lump sum for professional expenses up to 20% of taxable remuneration, capped at a maximum of EUR 10,000.

If the employee does not work in Austria for the whole year, the maximum amount is to be calculated on a pro rata basis. Months commenced are treated as full months.

The lump sum is meant to cover e.g. the following expenses (no proof required):

  • Monthly rent and operating costs of the second household
  • School fees
  • Home leave and business trip expenses
  • Moving expenses

Expatriates can deduct the lump sum for professional expenses if:

  • they have not been resident in Austria during the past 10 years and;
  • they work temporarily in Austria (maximum 5 years) and;
  • they have been seconded by a foreign employer and have an employment relationship with a company/permanent establishment in Austria and;
    • they keep a domicile in their home country and
    • are subject to tax in Austria with their income from employment

The calculation basis for the flat rate deduction is the gross salary

  • less special payments within the “Jahressechstel”
  • less tax-free remuneration

and thereof 20% resp. max. EUR 10,000 p.a.

No proof of actual expenses is needed in this regard.

If the expatriate wishes to claim professional expenses that exceed the flat rate of 10,000 EUR (e.g. for the apartment in Austria or for trips home to visit family), these can be claimed in his or her tax declaration.

Find Out More About International Payroll

Download our free guide to international payroll today, covering further considerations and implications of payroll and HR abroad.

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IRIS FMP’s Austrian Payroll and HR Solutions

No matter if you’re looking for payroll and HR services in Vienna or Salzburg, IRIS FMP offer cost-effective solutions that are designed around your business needs. We will help with tax compliance, visas and much more, including:

  • Employment Contracts
  • Payroll Processing
  • Handling of payments (salaries)
  • Annual declarations (lodging, apprenticeship & training taxes for concerned companies)
  • Relations with social bodies
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Tax and Labor Law Consulting
  • Assisting in payroll audit (or payroll department audit)
  • Handling of confidential payroll
  • Assistance in company restructuring plan
  • Assistance in implementation of procedures
  • Assistance with start-up (in link with lawyers)

Stay Compliant with Austrian Payroll

We’re help to help throughout all stages of your expansion. Get guidance and support from one of our expert team today, and make sure your business is compliant with Austrian legislation.

Start your International Expansion Today