Fee for Rental and Leasehold Contracts of all Kinds

Fee for rental and leasehold contracts pursuant to § 33 item 5 of the Austrian Fees Act (Gebührengesetz) of 1957 

Rental and leasehold contracts subject to fees

The fee for rental and leasehold contracts in accordance with § 33 item 5 of the Austrian Fees Act of 1957 (GebG) applies to rental and leasehold contracts of all kinds as well as other contracts, whereby a person is granted the use of an non-consumable thing for a certain time at a defined price (§§ 1090 et seq. of the Austrian General Civil Code – Allgemeines bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, ABGB). A duty to pay a fee exists only if a contractual document exists.

 Following are exempt from the duty to pay fees:

  • Contracts for the lease of housing
    • that were concluded on 11 November 2017, or later (see Austrian Federal Law Gazette I № 147/2017 of 10 November 2017) are generally exempt from the fee
    • that were concluded before 11 November 2017 are exempt if the term does not exceed 3 months. It should be noted that in the case of housing leases of more than 3 months, for the calculation of the fee the term is limited to 3 years.

  • Copyright and ancillary copyright usage agreements, as well as patent, trademark and model license agreements.
  • Rental and leasehold contracts where the value relevant for the fee calculation does not exceed € 150. 
  • Letter of formal notice, whereby the payment of a maintenance and improvement contribution in accordance with § 45 of the Austrian Tenancy Law Act (Mietrechtsgesetz, MRG) is requested.

     
    The term “housing” means buildings or parts of buildings that are used predominantly for residential purposes, including other independent spaces and other parts of the property (such as basement and attic rooms, storage areas and home gardens, which are typically associated with living spaces).


    Buildings or spaces inside of buildings are deemed residential if they are intended to allow private life in self-contained rooms, especially including overnight accommodation. The exemption covers the rental or surrender of use not only of the actual living space, but also of the leased ancillary rooms such as basement and attic rooms. Parking space or garden area leased jointly (i.e. in the same contract) with the living space is likewise deemed rented for residential purposes, unless dominated by another use. 

    A predominant use for residential purposes exists if the area used for residential purposes exceeds that used for other purposes.


Amount of the fee

The fee is generally one percent, for hunting leases two percent, of the assessment base.

The amount of the assessment basis depends

  • on the contractually agreed expenditures (remuneration) and
  • on the contractually agreed term (duration)
  • The assessment base is calculated from the annual value of the recurring remunerations multiplied with the duration, plus the one-off expenditures.

Remuneration

The remuneration includes all one-off and recurring expenditures which the lessee or tenant has to provide in order to obtain the use of the leased thing.

Such recurring expenditures are, for example, rent, operating costs, costs for hot water and heating, insurance of the leased thing (e.g. mandatory comprehensive insurance in case of motor vehicle leasing), which the lessee has contractually agreed to pay to the lessor. This applies even if they are settled e.g. via a property management and are to be made to these rather than to the lessor or landlord.

In particular, remuneration payments for investments, construction cost contributions or other amounts that the lessee has to pay to the lessor only once may be deemed one-off benefits.

The assessment base also includes the applicable VAT, if this is agreed in the contract in addition to the net remuneration.

Duration

A rental or leasehold contract can be concluded for an indefinite or a definite time.

A contract of indefinite duration exists if a contracting party is able to dissolve the contract at any time, albeit in compliance with a contractually agreed period of notice. Insofar as both contracting parties are bound by the contract for a definite time, the contract is concluded for a definite time. The contract is concluded for both an indefinite and a definite time if both contracting parties are bound for a definite time (e.g. by a waiver of right of termination) by a contract concluded for an indefinite time.

If there is an option for extension, i.e. the right to extend the leasehold by unilateral declaration, this extension period is to be included into the fee calculation from the beginning.

For a contract concluded for an indefinite time, the duration is deemed three years.

In the case of a contract concluded for a definite time, as a matter of principle this agreed definite duration is to be used for the calculation of the fee; in case of a combination of definite and indefinite duration, three years are to be added to the definite duration.

Determination of the assessment base in short form

Subject matter of the contract Assessment base
Contract concluded for a definite duration Annual value of the recurring expenditures × definite time + one-off expenditures
Contract concluded for an indefinite duration Annual value of the recurring expenditures × 3 + one-off expenditures
Contract for an indefinite duration with unilateral waiver of right of termination for a definite time Indefinite duration
Contract for indefinite duration with bilateral waiver of right of termination of different definite durations definite duration as many years as are covered by the bilateral waiver of right of termination + indefinite duration
Contract for a definite time, in the event of non-termination one-time extension for a further definite time Definite time + definite time
Contract for a definite duration, in case of non-termination extension for a definite time each time or for an indefinite time Definite time + indefinite duration
Contract for a definite duration; either party may terminate at any time subject to a specific notice period Indefinite duration
Contract for a definite duration; either party may terminate at any time but only subject to the existence certain narrowly defined causes for termination set forth in the contract Definite time
Contract for a specific duration of more than 18 years no more than 18 years

Self-calculation / Payment

The fee is to be calculated by the lessor (e.g. landlord or proprietor) himself/herself and paid to the Tax Office for Fees, Transfer Taxes and Game of Chance. If several rental or leasehold contracts are concluded by the lessor within one calendar month (reporting period), these are to be calculated in their entirety, and the corresponding fee is payable. In case of self-calculation, transmission of the contract to the tax office is waived.

When making a payment via FinanzOnline, the reporting of the settlement order and electronic payment must be made at the latest by the 15th of the second month following the incurrence of the fee debt (due date).

If the payment is not made via FinanzOnline, the fee must be reported by submitting the form sheet “Geb1” by the 15th of the second month after the fee has been incurred (reporting deadline) and paid to the tax office mentioned above by the end of the registration deadline.

There is no obligation for self-calculation in the following cases:

  • for atypical and mixed legal transactions whose classification as rental or leasehold contracts within the meaning of § 33 item 5 of the GebG is not reasonable, 
  • for transactions in which expenditures depend on an amount which can be determined only in the future, and 
  • for legal transactions in which the lessor is personally exempt from the fee.

Example
A leasehold contract is signed on 12 June. The self-calculation, reporting and payment must be made by 15 August at the tax office.
Self-calculation note

Self-calculation note

To all contract documents (original, duplicates, subsequently prepared documents), a note about the performed self-calculation must be annexed, which must contain

  • the fee amount,
  • the date of the self-calculation and 
  • the signature of the lessor.
  • Reporting for payment of self-assessment fees – FinanzOnline

When making a payment via FinanzOnline, the reporting of the settlement order and electronic payment must be made at the latest by the 15th of the second month following the incurrence of the fee debt (due date). In this case, there is no obligation to submit the reporting form sheet Geb1. For further information, see the guide Reporting for the Payment of Self-Assessment Fees (Leitfaden Meldung zur Zahlung von SB). Reporting form sheet “Geb 1”

If the payment is not made via FinanzOnline, the fee must be reported by submitting the form sheet “Geb1” by the 15th of the second month after the fee has been incurred (reporting deadline) and paid to the tax office mentioned above by the end of the registration deadline.

Self-calculation by an authorised representative

The lessor may also authorise one of the legal representatives listed below to calculate and pay the contract fee on the lease contract for him/her. Legal representatives within the meaning of § 33 item 5 para. 5 line subsec. 4 of the GebG are:

  • Lawyers 
  • Notaries public 
  • Chartered public accountants and tax consultants
  • Real estate brokers and property managers within the meaning of the GewO of 1994 and
  • Non-profit building associations within the meaning of the provisions of the Austrian Non-Profit Housing Act (Wohnungsgemeinnützigkeitsgesetz)

For more information on recording, reporting and payment deadlines, please refer to the explanations on the self-calculation of fees for legal transactions, Form sheet “Geb 2a”.

Lessors whose business activities include the conclusion of rental and leasehold contracts (in each calendar month) on an ongoing basis must record the leasehold contracts liable to fees in continuous records.

For more information on recording, reporting and payment deadlines, please refer to the explanations on the self-calculation of fees for legal transactions, Form sheet “Geb 2a”.

Reporting to the tax office

If no self-calculation was carried out or required to be carried out, the rental or leasehold contract must be reported to the Tax Office for Fees, Transfer Taxes and Game of Chance by the 15th of the second month following incurrence of the fee debt. The report is made by presenting an original of the contract or a certified copy, which remains with the tax office. The tax office issues a fee notice and may increase the fee in case of belated reporting of fees or violation of the self-calculation obligation according to § 9 para. 2 of the GebG.

Information by the tax office for self-calculation of the fee 

You can find fiurther information on the procedure for the reporting and payment of fees on our information folder by the Tax Office for Fees, Transaction Tax and Gambling for self-calculation of the fee (in German).


As of: 10 November 2017

Approved by: Federal Ministry of Finance