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Taxes For Members

Can you pay your Austrian taxes using a foreign bank account?

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Can you pay your Austrian taxes using a foreign bank account?
Pictured is a person filing their taxes. Photo by Jakub Żerdzicki on Unsplash

If you still use your old bank account in you home country - or an online bank with a non-Austrian IBAN number- as a resident in Austria, you can still pay your income tax without having to open a new account here. But it can be complicated.

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It's not uncommon for foreign residents in Austria to keep their old bank accounts abroad. With the rise in popularity of international online banks such as N26, Wise, and Revolut, even people who are from Austria can sometimes end up with an IBAN that does not start with AT. 

Does that mean once you need to deal with the government - for paying taxes, for example - you’ll need a brand new account created in an Austrian bank?

Usually, no. As we’ve written before, you can keep using your home country’s bank account as long as it is an EU bank or part of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), which includes the European Union and several non-EU countries, such as Switzerland and the UK. 

Since international online banks also usually offer bank accounts based in the EU, you’ll also have no trouble keeping them instead of having to open a new account with an Austrian lender. 

However in practice, you might face a few challenges with something known as “IBAN discrimination”. This is when an employer or company refuses to accept your SEPA IBAN for euro payments or direct debits. This is illegal under the SEPA agreement but happens often.

READ ALSO: Why it's worth filling in your annual tax return in Austria

It's not uncommon to find stories of people who have tried to sign up for a service or utility, such as paying for a mobile plan, but were denied because their IBAN identification, though it was from a euro country, did not start with AT—it was not from Austria.

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But does Austria’s government discriminate against foreign IBAN?

No. If you go on the official financial portal, FinanzOnline, you will see that you can add a SEPA IBAN to your account. This way, you can receive any social benefits (including payouts such as the Klimabonus or family benefits such as the Familienbeihilfe) directly in your bank account as long as this bank is located in a SEPA country. 

It gets a little bit more complicated when it comes to paying your taxes, which you have to transfer yourself if you are, for example, a self-employed worker whose income tax is not automatically deducted from your salary. 

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In those cases, you fill out your tax income assessment and receive information on how much money you owe to the government. Austria has comparatively high taxes to support its social system, and you might have to pay anywhere from 20 to 55 percent of your income in taxes depending on how much you earn (those earning below a threshold which was € 11,693 in 2023 don’t have to pay taxes at all). 

Actually making the transfer is more complicated for those without an Austrian bank account. If you have a local bank account, the payment is made with a few simple buttons since the banks’ systems are integrated with FinanzOnline. If not, you have to do it yourself. 

Austria’s government suggests you use the payment system on the FinanzOnline website, but when you try to use the “electric payment” method online, it leads to the EPS system that will ask you to choose your bank name - and accept only Austrian banks.

READ ALSO: What foreign residents in Austria should know about taxes

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How do I pay using my foreign bank account, then?

You will have to make a bank transfer directly to the government office, as The Local has confirmed with Finanzamt, the country’s financial authority.

Once you make your tax income declaration, you should receive a form called “Anspruchszinsenbescheid”. That will have all the information you need. On the bottom of each page, you will find the bank account to which you need to send the money (Bankverbindung). On the top right, you will find your Steuernummer and your tax number, which you must add as a reference when you transfer. 

It can still take a few days for the office to process your payment. After you log in with your account details, you can check if it has been processed on the homepage of FinanzOnline.

If you don’t see a payment confirmation a few days before the tax payment deadline, you can call Finanzamt from Monday to Thursday from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm and on Friday from 7:30 am to 12:00 pm on 050 233 233 for private individuals and 050 233 333 for businesspeople.

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