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FAQ: Family Bonus

Table of contents

1. What is the Family Bonus Plus, and what is the amount of the entitlement?

The Family Bonus Plus is a tax deduction amounting to € 1,500 per child and year up to the 18th year of the child’s life, which means that the tax burden is reduced by up to € 1,500 per year. After the child’s 18th birthday, a reduced Family Bonus Plus totalling € 500 is granted annually, provided that family allowance is received for this child.

This measure will benefit 950,000 families and 1.6 million children to an amount of € 1.5 billion per year.

2. Will there be a “cap” on the Family Bonus Plus?

No, there will not be any “capping”. The Family Bonus Plus is limited only by the amount of your own income tax and the absolute amount of the family bonus of € 1,500 per child per year until and € 500 per child per year after the child’s 18th birthday.

If someone has so far paid € 3,000 in wage tax and has two children (up to 18 years of age), he/she will in future no longer pay any income tax, i.e. will be 100 percent exempt from his/her tax burden.

3. Why do the current child allowance and the tax deductibility of childcare costs up to the age of 10 no longer apply?

The Federal Government has also set itself the goal of simplifying the tax system and making it more transparent. In terms of this approach, the child allowance and the tax deductibility of childcare costs up to the age of 10, which meant a particular bureaucratic effort for the citizens, are dispensed with. The Family Bonus Plus, however, has the quintuple effect of the two cancelled measures.

4. From what gross salary on does the Family Bonus Plus take effect?

The Family Bonus Plus takes effect from the very first tax euro. It can then be fully exploited from a monthly gross income of approx. € 1,700 (for one child) upward.

5. How to claim the Family Bonus Plus?

This can be done either on an ongoing basis via payroll accounting (i.e. by the employer) or retrospectively in the course of the tax return or employee tax assessment, respectively.

If you opt for consideration of the Family Bonus Plus via payroll accounting, you will feel a monthly tax relief. To do this, you must complete Form E 30 and submit it exclusively to your employer, not to the tax office.

If you prefer to claim your entire Family Bonus Plus in retrospect, you can do so in your tax return or employee tax assessment 2019, respectively, by enclosing Supplement L1k. In this case, the payment will be made in 2020.

6. How can the Family Bonus Plus be apportioned among spouses/partners?

Spouses/partners can split the family bonus. This means that either one person can receive the full family bonus totalling € 1,500 (or € 500) for the respective child, or the amount is instead apportioned between the spouses/partners (750/750 or 250/250). 

Since the Family Bonus Plus can be considered only once in its entirety for each child, it is split 750/750 (or 250/250, respectively) if claimed by both parties to an extent that is too high overall.

7. Is the Family Bonus Plus available for children abroad as well?

The Family Bonus Plus to the legally stipulated amount is due for children in Austria.

For children in the EU/EEA region or Switzerland, the Family Bonus Plus is indexed (increased or decreased) and thus adjusted to the price level of the country of residence.

There is no family bonus for children in third countries, i.e. outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland.

The same rules apply to the single-parent tax credit, the single-earner tax credit, and the support money deduction.

8. How much do low-income parents get? How much do non-tax-paying parents get?

The Family Bonus Plus reduces the tax burden of the parents concerned. For low-income taxpayers, the tax burden is therefore completely eliminated if it is less than the Family Bonus Plus.

However, all single parents and sole earners will receive a minimum relief of € 250 – the so-called additional child allowance – per child and year in future. If unemployment benefits/minimum social security benefits or a benefit from the basic services is received for at least 11 months (330 days), this additional child allowance is not due.

9. How is the Family Bonus Plus apportioned between parents who live apart?

The Family Bonus Plus is available for children of separated parents as well. In this case, the recipient of the family allowance and the person paying support money for the child can claim it. It can be apportioned here, too.

This means that either one of the two persons can receive the full family bonus totalling € 1,500 (or € 500) for the child in question, or the amount is instead apportioned between the recipient of the family allowance and the support money payer (750/750 or 250/250, respectively).

Since the Family Bonus Plus can be considered only once in its entirety for each child, it is split 750/750 (or 250/250, respectively) if claimed by both parties to an extent that is too high overall.

10. What happens if the partner obliged to provide support does not pay support if the parents live apart? Is this partner still entitled to the Family Bonus Plus?

A support money debtor can claim the Family Bonus Plus only for the number of months for which he/she pays full support money and is entitled to a support money deduction. If the support money is paid in full during the year, there is also full entitlement to the Family Bonus Plus.

However, if the support money is not paid in full during the year, the support money payer is entitled to it only to a reduced extent.

If no support money is paid at all, the support money debtor is not entitled to a Family Bonus Plus either. In this case, the other parent can claim the full bonus to the amount of € 1,500 (or € 500). If the other parent has a new spouse/partner, it is also possible to split it with the new spouse/partner in order to make full use of the Family Bonus Plus.

11. What happens if one parent bears most of the childcare costs?

Within a transitional period of three years, a supplementary splitting variant is provided for partners living apart. This is the case if one parent bears most of the childcare costs (in addition to the support money) until the child reaches the age of 10. Childcare costs must also amount to at least € 1,000 per year. The Family Bonus Plus will then be split at a ratio of € 1,350 : € 150 (90 % : 10 %).

This prevents disadvantage to those living apart who have previously borne additional care costs.

You can claim this splitting variant only retroactively in the course of the employee tax assessment.

12. Do recipients of minimum social security benefits, unemployment benefits or maternity benefits also receive a Family Bonus Plus?

Recipients of minimum social security benefits, unemployment benefits or maternity benefits have no taxable income, so the Family Bonus Plus has no effect.

13. How does the new regulation affect people with disabilities? Are people with disabilities worse off than before?

The existing regulations for people with disabilities will not be changed by the introduction of the Family Bonus Plus, so that there is no disadvantage. On the contrary: 
Entitlement to the family bonus is linked to entitlement to family allowance. Consequently, parents of children with disabilities for whom family allowance is received (regardless of the age of the children) can in future also be entitled to the corresponding Family Bonus Plus.
The entitlement to (increased) family allowance will of course also remain unaffected.

14. How can the Family Bonus Plus be apportioned between parents who live apart?

As a rule, the Family Bonus Plus can be split only between the person entitled to the family allowance and the support money debtor. If the support money debtor pays to the full amount of his/her obligations, there are the following options concerning the apportionment:

If there is agreement, the Family Bonus Plus can be split at any of the ratios 1500/0 (500/0), 750/750 (250/250) or 0/1500 (0/500).

If there is no agreement, the Family Bonus Plus is split at the ratio 750/750 (250/250).

An exception to this rule exists until 2021 inclusive if one parent bears most of the childcare costs. See item 11.

A new partner who does not receive family allowance is not entitled to the Family Bonus Plus if the support money debtor duly pays the support money. 

15. Questions concerning the family allowances

If you have any questions about the family allowance, such as a change of the beneficiary, please contact the Federal Chancellery (Directorate General V – Families and Youth).

16. Who is entitled to the Family Bonus Plus for half- or complete orphans?

The general rules apply. Once more, the decisive factor is who receives the family allowance. If, for example, the grandfather of an orphan receives the family allowance, the grandfather can claim the Family Bonus Plus.

17. When can an entrepreneur who is not employed apply for the Family Bonus Plus?

The Family Bonus Plus can be asserted only in the course of the annual tax assessment; i.e. for the first time for the year 2019 in 2020 with the annual return for the year 2019.

18. Is there an advantage or disadvantage, respectively, if I apply for the Family Bonus Plus via the employer or via the annual assessment?

Not in terms of the amount – the only difference is the time of consideration (monthly via the wage in the current year or in the following year via the employee tax assessment, respectively).

19. How does the Family Bonus Plus work if, for example, the child is born only in June 2019? Is the family bonus then calculated on a pro rata basis?

The Family Bonus Plus is subject to a monthly review. I.e. one is entitled to apply for the Family Bonus Plus from the month in which the child is born.

20. How is the Family Bonus Plus apportioned if the parent who pays support money does not live in Austria and is not taxable in Austria?

Since the Family Bonus Plus is based on the support money deduction of support money debtors, and a non-taxpayer is generally not entitled to the support money deduction amount, as a rule the non-taxable person living abroad is not entitled to a Family Bonus Plus. This can therefore be applied for by the recipient of the family allowance and/or a new partner, if applicable.

21. Is the employer required to accept Form E 30?

The Austrian Income Tax Act comprises provisions on the consideration of the Family Bonus Plus and tax deductions by the employer or the pension-paying body. The employer must include the declaration of the employee (pensioner) into the payroll account. Therefore, the employer cannot refuse consideration of the Family Bonus Plus once all the requirements are fulfilled and all the necessary documents are on hand.

22. Does the E30 form have to be re-submitted to the employer every year, or only if changes have occurred or if the employee wishes different consideration?

A change notification E31 is required only if a change in circumstances has actually occurred. These are for example:

  • Change of the beneficiary of the family allowance
  • Lapse of the family allowance
  • Transfer of the child’s residence to another country
  • Termination of a marriage or partnership
  • Lapse of the support money deduction entitlement  

Annual re-registration by means of E 30 is not provided for in the law. The employer must at any rate discontinue the Family Bonus Plus when a child has reached the age of 18. Continuation is possible only if the E30 form and an allowance confirmation are re-submitted to the employer.

23. If employees with more than one employer attempt to make multiple declarations (submission of E30 to more than one employer), can this be checked/prevented at some point by payroll accounting? What are the consequences of multiple declarations for the employer (liability)? 

The employer bears a liability risk only if it considers the Family Bonus Plus even though it must recognise that this is obviously incorrect. If an employee submits an E30 for the same children to several employers, the employer will usually not know this and is therefore not liable. Reduction to the lawful values takes place in the course of the (mandatory) tax assessment.

24. When is the employer liable for incorrect information?

Accordingly, the employer is liable only to the extent that obviously incorrect declarations by the employee were considered in the tax deduction – consequently in cases of gross negligence or intent.

Therefore, if the employer has correctly calculated and withheld the wage tax, considering the employee’s declarations, a subsequent adjustment will not lead to assumption of incorrect withholding and remittance of the wage tax. However, if the information provided is obviously incorrect, the employer must not take the Family Bonus Plus into account.

25. How long can the employer take the Family Bonus Plus into account? Does the employer have to request evidence of support money payments at certain intervals (if so, at which intervals)?

When the child has reached the age of 18, the employer automatically stops consideration of the Family Bonus Plus. Therefore, the support money debtor must now apply again for the reduced Family Bonus Plus by submitting an E 30 form with the corresponding evidence of support money payment.

In the course of the application, the employee confirms, inter alia: “I claim the Family Bonus Plus for a child not living in the household, for whom family allowance is received, and confirm that I pay full legal support money for that child.”

If he/she substantiates that he/she is actually paying the statutory support money, the employer is not liable in the event of unjustified claims.

Alternatively, the employee can make a subsequent application in the course of the assessment procedure. 

26. In the event of knowledge of significant changes that the employee does not report, may or must the employer automatically terminate consideration of the Family Bonus Plus even though no correction using Form E 31 has been received?

If the employer becomes aware that substantial circumstances have changed, he/she must take this into account when calculating the wages (Family Bonus Plus is no longer to be considered). 

27. How do I get the family allowance confirmation for the E 30 form?

Via FinanzOnline you can request the family allowance confirmation under “Applications Certifications” and receive it in the Databox.

You can also contact your tax office at your place of residence. The contact addresses of the tax offices can be found at https://service.bmf.gv.at/service/anwend/behoerden/.

28. What is the amount of indexed Family Bonus Plus in other EU countries?

The Family Bonus Plus is indexed due to the different standards of living in other EU countries, including EEA countries and Switzerland. It must be applied for in the same way as the regular Family Bonus Plus. The amount of the indexed Family Bonus Plus can be found in the Family Bonus Plus Tax Deductions EU Adjustment Ordinance, BGBl. II № 257/2018

We have compiled general information about Indexation of the family allowance or child deduction, respectively, for you in cooperation with the responsible Federal Minister for Women, Families and Youth in the Federal Chancellery.

29. Am I entitled to the Family Bonus Plus if I pay child support for a child living in the EU (EEA or Switzerland)?

In the case of parents living apart and residing in different countries, there are different case constellations under family allowance law, which can also lead to potentially varying assessments. However, such an assessment is possible only in the individual case. 

30. As since our separation our child has been living with me for 50 percent of his/her time, I do not pay support money. Can I still apply for the Family Bonus Plus?

Such a case is called support payment in kind. If the support payment in kind fulfils the statutory support obligation and thus there is entitlement to the support money deduction, the support money debtor is also entitled to apply for the Family Bonus Plus.

31. I am self-employed. How can I claim the Family Bonus Plus?

You can claim the Family Bonus Plus in the course of your tax return.

32. When can I apply for the Family Bonus Plus?

If you wish to claim the Family Bonus Plus via your employer’s payroll accounting, you can return the completed form E30 to your employer at any time. This can be done at any time during the year.

33. Where is the form to be submitted?  

You can use Form E 30 to assert consideration of the Family Bonus Plus in your payroll accounting during the year. To this end, you must fill in this form and hand it over to your employer (not to the tax office). On the basis of your data, the Family Bonus Plus will then be considered in the calculation of the monthly wage tax; thus, already during the year you will pay less tax.   

34. What to do if you are self-employed

The Family Bonus Plus is available to all citizens who pay tax. It does not depend on the type of the earnings that constitute the taxable income revenue. Accordingly, the Family Bonus Plus is available also to those who earn income from agriculture and forestry, self-employment or a commercial operation. They can apply for the Family Bonus Plus in their income tax return (Supplement L 1k to Form E 1).

35. When may the form be submitted (during the year or only at the end of the year)

You can submit Form E 30 to the employer for consideration of the Family Bonus Plus by the employer in the payroll accounting at any time. The employer will then take it into account from the following month on. Any changes that affect the Family Bonus Plus must be notified to the employer using Form E 31.