Banking, Money and Taxes in Austria

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Austria Money

According to the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) World Economic Outlook Survey 2015, Austria has the 30th largest economy in the world, and so – unsurprisingly – expats relocating to Austria can look forward to dealing with a banking system that is modern, efficient, stable and user-friendly.

The banking system in Austria is sophisticated and well-established. Opening a bank account is a fairly straightforward task and there are many different types of bank accounts on offer. Internet banking is a standard feature in Austria.
 

Money in Austria


Since 1999, the official currency used in Austria has been the Euro (EUR). One euro is subdivided into 100 cents.
 

  • Notes: EUR 5, 10, 20, 50, 200 and 500
  • Coins: EUR 2 and 1; 50, 20, 10, 5,2, and 1 cents. 

Banking in Austria


Austria's centralised, government-regulated banking system ensures that there are a myriad of reliable, high-quality banking institutions for expats to choose from. 
 

The country's main central bank, the Austrian National Bank (Österreichische Nationalbank, or OeNB) is a corporation with capital shares (50 percent of which, by law, are owned by the government), and its chief function is to promote financial stability within the country.

The Austrian banking system also includes joint-stock banks, private banks, banking houses, postal savings banks, private savings banks, mortgage banks, building societies and specialised cooperative credit institutions. Some of the more established of these include Allgemeine Sparkasse Oberosterreich, Bankhaus Spaengler, Easybank, Erste Bank, Bank Austria Creditanstalt, and Österreichische Volksbanken AG.
 

Opening times vary between banks, but in Vienna are usually from 8am to 3pm on all weekdays, except Thursdays (when they stay open till 5.30pm). It is not uncommon for banks, especially in more rural areas, to close over lunch (between 12.30 and 1.30pm).

 

Opening a bank account in Austria

Opening a bank account in Austria is, by all accounts, a straightforward and pain-free process. To open an account, expats simply need to appear in person at their bank of choice and in possession of the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Proof of residence in Austria
  • Meldezettel (Residence Registration Form – not always required)
  • Employment details 

 

Expats will be required to fill out forms, which will be captured by a teller. When foreigners open an account they will then be provided with an information pack, detailing the bank's personal banking and financial services, and will be assigned a personal banker to help them with future transactions. New account details (kontonummer), and the bank's swift code (bankleitzahl) – both of which are essential for receiving payments and transferring funds – will be included in this information pack; however, the new bank card will arrive in the post about three days later.
 

ATMs and credit cards in Austria

Almost all bank branches have ATMs that let people withdraw cash, get account statements and transfer money 24 hours a day.


The most common type of bank account in Austria is a girokonto, or current account. Upon opening one of these, expats will be issued with a bankomatkarte (ATM card – usually bearing the Maestro logo), which allows the holder to withdraw cash and make debit purchases at large retail outlets. Most banks in Austria will not issue a foreigner a credit card until they have been employed in Austria for three months.
 

Telephone, mobile and Internet banking are all popular in Austria, and are offered as free services by the major banks.
 

It is also common practice in Austria to use a bank account to set up standing orders (dauerauftrag) for fixed monthly expenses, such as rent, and direct debit authorisation (einzugsermächtigung), for variable monthly expenses, such as telephone and utility bills.
 

Taxes in Austria


All foreign nationals working in Austria for more than six months are defined, for taxation purposes, as residents in Austria, and are therefore liable for taxation on all the income they derive from Austrian sources.
 

Personal income tax and social security contributions are deducted directly from an individual's salary, on a progressive scale:

  • 0 percent on incomes under  EUR 11,000
  • 36.5 percent on incomes between EUR 11,000 and EUR 25,000
  • 43.2 percent on incomes between EUR 25,000 and EUR 60,000
  • 50 percent on incomes higher than EUR 60,000

Note that Austria has double taxation agreements in place with more than 40 countries. Expats who hail from a country with one such agreement in place will not have to pay tax on their Austrian-source income as well as any income they generate from within their country of origin.

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