Article

E-Invoicing in Austria

21 March 2023

Requirement and rules

Unimaze explores everything you need to know about e-invoicing in Austria, including the benefits, the legal requirements, and how to get started.

Electronic invoicing in Austria has been mandatory for central public administrators since 2014, in line with the country’s initiative to comply with the European directive.

In 2020, Austria extended the mandate to municipal authorities and federal states.

While electronic invoice has been voluntary for private businesses since 2013, ditching paper invoices can yield multiple benefits for B2B operators.

Unimaze explores everything you need to know about e-invoicing in Austria, including the benefits, the legal requirements, and how to get started.

E-Invoicing in Austria: A quick overview

E-Invoicing/CTC Model

  • B2G: Centralized/Peppol
  • B2B: Post-Audit

Mandatory infrastructure

  • B2G Federal level: USP/Peppol
  • B2G Other levels: BBG
  • B2B: Not Applicable

Mandatory e-Invoice format

  • B2G: Web interface (several versions), Peppol BIS, UBL (various versions)
  • B2B: No Clear-cut Applicable

Issuing Mandate

  • B2G: Suppliers to Central Authorities
  • B2B: No Clear-cut Requirements

Receiving mandate

  • B2G: All Contracting Authorities
  • B2B: Buyer Has to Give Consent

Digital Signature

  • Optional

Archiving abroad

  • Allowed under specific conditions

Archiving period

  • Movable Property: 7 years
  • Immovable Property: 22 years
E-Invoicing in Austria

The Timeline

E-Invoicing in Austria: The Timeline

2012

The Austrian government introduces electronic invoicing through the enactment of ICT Consolidation Act (ICTKonG).

2014

Austria introduces mandatory e-invoicing for central public administrators in the country to comply with European directives.

2020

The Austrian government directs that the country’s municipal authorities and federal states start receiving e-invoices.

The use of e-invoices is voluntary for companies.

Preparing for e-Invoice sending and receiving of e-Invoices in Austria

The Federal Ministry of Finance runs the Austrian e-invoicing program. The Ministry is responsible for developing and maintaining the country's electronic invoicing system.

The Ministry has published an in-depth guide detailing the e-invoicing to the public sector guidelines, complete with FAQs and templates.

E-invoicing in Austria is aligned with the EU 2014/55/EU directive to ensure the infrastructure is interoperable with other countries in the EU.

The directive enables Austrian public entities to receive and process e-invoices in the European standard format (EN-16931).

The Austrian government has also created a central electronic invoicing platform called the Federal Services Portal l (Unternehmens service portal - USP).

The USP enables suppliers to the public administrators to exchange e-invoices through:

  • Creating invoices manually via an online platform
  • Directly uploading invoices to the system
  • Invoices transfer via service provider

The FSP not only oversees invoice exchange but also facilitates the processing via the eblinterface format.

While private businesses looking to connect to the Peppol network don’t have to register on the FSP portal, they must partner with a certified provider like Unimaze for e-invoicing.

Benefits of working with an external provider instead of registering on FSP

Working with a Peppol access point provider in Austria, like Unimaze, can offer several benefits for Austrian B2B and private businesses. These include:

Compliance with regulations

Austria uses ebInterface, Peppol Bis, and UBL standards for e-invoicing. An e-invoice access point provider can help ensure that your e-invoices comply with relevant regulations in Austria, reducing the risk of non-compliance penalties and fines.

Integration with existing systems

While registering with FSP is easy, integrating the portal into your accounting system can be challenging and inconvenient.

Unimaze e-invoicing cloud-based e-invoicing software can integrate with your existing ERP systems, making it easier to send and receive e-invoices without incurring hefty setup fees.

Unimaze e-invoicing can integrate with ERP and accounting systems like Microsoft Dynamics 365, Concord, Xero, SAP, Uniconta, and Navision.

Improved efficiency

E-invoicing can reduce the time and effort involved in sending and receiving invoices.

For Austria's B2B businesses, Unimaze can further help improve proficiency by automating invoice processing. That way, we can reduce the time and resources required to manage invoices.

Enhanced security

Electronic invoicing can improve security by reducing the risk of invoice fraud and errors.

Partnering with Unimaze as your access point provider in Austria gives you an additional layer of security through next-level data encryption. We'll also ensure that only authorized users can access your e-invoicing system.

Lower costs

E-invoicing can reduce costs by eliminating the need for paper, printing, and postage.

For Austria's B2B businesses, working with Unimaze can reduce costs by offering competitive pricing, reducing errors and disputes, and streamlining invoicing.

Improved customer experience

E-invoicing can improve the customer experience by providing a faster, more convenient way to receive and pay invoices.

Unimaze can help take customer experience a notch higher by ensuring we sort out glitches as fast as possible, ensuring an interrupted invoicing process.

Complying with e-Invoicing regulations in austria

In Austria, businesses can comply with e-invoicing regulations through two electronic invoice formats: the widely-used international PEPPOL or the national ebInterface.

The PEPPOL standard provides a convenient way for businesses to exchange invoices globally in a standardized format. To utilize PEPPOL, businesses must enlist the services of a third-party provider who will handle the verification and validation of invoices sent to the Austrian government.

Alternatively, they can use the ebInterface, a format developed by the Austrian government for e-invoicing. The ebInterface can facilitate electronic invoice exchanges between businesses and the government based on XML.

Registration on the Federal Service Portal is required to use this format, and invoices can be uploaded manually or via a web service.

Note: USP portal no longer accepts early versions of the ebInterface format, such as 4.0, 4.1, and 4.2. To continue using e-invoicing on the USP portal, users are advised to migrate to the latest version, 6.0, or utilize version 4.3.

How Unimaze can help with e-Invoicing in Austria compliance

Unimaze offers world-class e-invoicing solutions designed to help businesses comply with regulations anywhere in the world.

With Unimaze as your electronic invoice service provider, you will comply with regulations in Austria and other countries in and outside Europe.

Our solutions are flexible to suit any business or corporation.

To learn more about e-invoicing in Austria, book a free consultation session, and we’ll help you determine which electronic invoicing solution works best for your organization.

E-Invoicing in Austria: FAQs

How do I Invoice in Austria?

Invoicing in Austria follows certain rules and regulations that must be adhered to to ensure that your invoices are legally valid. Here are the steps to invoicing in Austria:

  • Include your business information: Your invoice should include your name, address, and contact information.
  • Include the customer's information: Include the customer's name, address, and other contact information.
  • Create a unique invoice number: Each invoice should have a unique number to help you keep track of them.
  • Date the invoice: Include the date on which the invoice was created.
  • Describe the goods or services: Describe the goods or services you are billing for.
  • Include the price and payment terms: Include the price of the goods or services, applicable taxes, and the payment terms.
  • Specify payment details: Provide details on how the customer can pay you, including your bank account information.
  • Add any applicable tax: If you are required to charge VAT, include it on the invoice.
  • Send the invoice: Once you have created it, send it to the customer.

It is important to note that invoices in Austria must be in German and issued as per the Austrian Value Added Tax (VAT) Act.

Additionally, invoices must be archived for at least seven years for tax purposes.

How Does VAT Work in Austria?

The VAT rate in Austria is 20%, although 10% and 13% reduced rates apply to certain goods and services. Here is how VAT works in Austria:

  • VAT registration: Businesses exceeding a certain turnover threshold must register for VAT with the tax authority.
  • VAT calculation: VAT is calculated as a percentage of the sale price of goods or services. For example, if you sell a product for €100, the VAT would be €20 (20% of €100).
  • VAT invoicing: When a business sells goods or services, it must issue an invoice that includes the VAT charged. The VAT invoice must meet specific requirements set by the tax authority, such as the business name and address, the customer’s name and address, the VAT rate, and the VAT amount.
  • VAT deduction: Businesses registered for VAT can deduct the VAT they have paid on purchases and expenses from the VAT they have collected on sales. This is known as input VAT deduction.
  • VAT payment: Businesses must regularly pay the VAT collected on their sales to the tax authority, typically quarterly or monthly. The VAT payment differs between the VAT collected and the VAT deducted.
  • VAT refunds: If a business has paid more than they have collected, it can apply for a VAT refund from the tax authority.

It is important to note that VAT compliance in Austria is heavily regulated, and businesses must adhere to strict invoicing and reporting requirements.

Failure to comply with these requirements can result in penalties and fines from the tax authority.

Do I charge VAT to Austria?

Whether or not you need to charge VAT to customers in Austria depends on several factors, including the nature of your business, the goods or services you are providing, and your turnover.

If your business is located outside Austria but selling goods or services to customers in Austria, you may need to charge VAT if you exceed the distance selling threshold.

The selling threshold in Austria is €35,000 per year. If you exceed this threshold, you must register for VAT in Austria and charge Austrian VAT on your sales.

If your business is based in Austria, you will generally need to charge Austrian VAT on your sales, regardless of whether you sell to customers in Austria or abroad.

However, if you are selling to customers outside of the European Union, you may be able to zero-rate your sales, meaning you do not need to charge VAT.

It is important to note that VAT rules can be complex and depend on many factors.

If you are unsure whether you need to charge VAT to customers in Austria, it is recommended that you seek professional advice from an accountant or tax expert.

E-Invoicing in Austria: VAT requirements

  • Issuing invoices with prescribed information according to the VAT Act.
  • Creation of electronic invoices
  • Archiving books and all necessary records for at least seven years
  • Correctly invoicing customers for goods or services in accordance with Austrian VAT rules at the time of delivery
  • Processing of credit notes and other corrections
  • Use of approved foreign currency exchange rates

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