Coronavirus: Current Actions in Austria - An overview of important regulations

Markus Leitner

Leitner Hirth Rechtsanwälte GmbH

Corona relief fund

  • The aim is to quickly provide financial resources for Austrian companies that are experiencing serious liquidity bottlenecks due to the Corona crisis.
  • The total framework of all measures of the Corona Aid Fund amounts to EUR 15 billion, which can be used flexibly according to immediate needs for fixed cost subsidies on the one hand and for guarantees on the other.
  • Target group: Companies and sectors which are particularly affected by measures such as bans on entry, travel or assembly restrictions and have liquidity problems. In addition, the Corona Relief Fund helps companies that are confronted with major sales losses and the threat to their business base as a result of the Corona crisis.
  • Contact point for customers is the house bank. Depending on the sector and size, the COFAG - Covid-19 financing agency, together with aws, ÖHT and OeKB, will then process the applications.

Bridging guarantee for trade and industry

  • The aim is to facilitate the financing of working capital loans for companies whose sales and earnings development is affected by order cancellations, delivery defaults or other market changes due to the "coronavirus crisis".
  • Target group: Commercial and industrial SMEs as well as persons/companies that are self-employed in a liberal profession, whether or not they are members of a chamber of commerce.
  • Support is provided for working capital financing (e.g. purchases of goods, personnel costs) as well as financing for the deferral of existing credit lines to healthy companies which, due to the current "coronavirus crisis", have no or insufficient liquidity to finance current operations or whose sales and earnings development is impaired by order cancellations or market changes, by means of the provision of a guarantee:
  • up to 100% guarantee rate for a loan of up to EUR 500,000
  • up to 90 % guarantee rate for a loan up to EUR 27,7 million*)
  • up to 80% guarantee rate for a loan of up to EUR 1.5 million
  • The application is made via the house bank, which subsequently submits the application to Austria Wirtschaftsservice - aws.

Hardship Fund

  • The aim is to provide emergency financial aid for self-employed persons.
  • In a first phase, emergency aid of up to 1,000 euros has already been provided.
  • The subsidy in the second phase is a maximum of 2,000 euros for a predetermined period of one month. For this purpose, six out of a total of three observation periods are to be selected.
  • The maximum total grant amounts to 6,000 euros. The kronkrete subsidy is calculated according to the respective net income loss from the self-employed/commercial activity in the period under review.

Working capital loan for exporters

  • The aim is to secure the location and continuation of export-oriented companies.
  • Target group: SMEs and large companies
  • Export companies can apply for a credit line of 10 percent (large companies) or 15 percent (small and medium-sized companies) of their export turnover at OeKB. The credit line comprises two billion euros.
  • The application is made through the house bank.

Tax deferrals and tax suspensions

  • Target group: Basically all enterprises that can credibly demonstrate a liquidity shortage due to the Covid-19 measures.
  • Reduction of income or corporate tax prepayments for 2020,
  • Non-determination of advance payments of income or corporation tax and of interest to be claimed; and
  • Deferral of instalments and neglect of deferral interest and late payment surcharges.

Deferral of social security contributions

  • Target group Austrian Health Insurance Fund: Companies with liquidity problems caused by Covid-19.
  • For companies affected by the "Closure Ordinance" or a ban on entering the premises in accordance with the Epidemics Act, the contributions are automatically deferred.
  • Other farms with corona-related liquidity problems can apply to the ÖGK for payment in instalments or deferral.
  • For the duration of the deferral, no interest on arrears will be charged.
  • No applications for execution or insolvency of ÖGK.
  • Target group SVS: tradesmen, farmers, freelancers and new self-employed persons.
  • Upon application, outstanding social security contributions can be deferred and payment of instalments can be agreed.
  • On application, a reduction of the provisional contribution base according to the GSVG/FSVG can be agreed.

Short-time work

  • The aim is to avoid dismissals for operational reasons and to secure employment and operational know-how in Austria.
  • Target group: Employers who carry out short-time work in a company / in companies / in parts of companies with a business location in Austria.
  • The AMS reimburses the employer for the costs of the lost working hours in accordance with fixed flat rates in the form of a short-time work allowance.
  • The flat rates include all social security contributions and other wage-related employer's contributions.

XLNC ARCHIVE | 07 May 2020


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