Because Christmas parties and other company parties can no longer take place this year, companies are allowed to give their employees vouchers of up to 365 euros as a replacement. This was announced by the government’s club chairmen, August Wöginger (ÖVP) and Sigrid Maurer (Greens), on Tuesday.
Background: Company events such as Christmas parties are tax-free for up to 365 euros per employee per year. This year, this sum can also be paid out in vouchers so that entrepreneurs and employees can continue to take advantage of this tax break.
The regulation is to be implemented on December 10th or 11th as part of the Income Tax Act. What was still open: What are the specific vouchers? Are there certain regulations? Wöginger explained further details on KURIER request on Friday.
Wöginger: “Completely normal vouchers”
The model is definitely not comparable with the gastro vouchers in Vienna, emphasizes Wöginger: “These are completely normal vouchers that can also be purchased in everyday life.” For example, a dinner in a certain restaurant or a shopping voucher. “The employer buys the vouchers and then gives them to the employees,” explains Wöginger. These vouchers are tax-free up to a limit of 365 euros. Prerequisite: They must be purchased and passed on by the end of 2020. From then on, they will apply indefinitely, because there is no other legal option.
Wöginger once again insists that the vouchers should primarily support regional trade. He suggests the formation of purchasing groups. But this cannot be stipulated by law: “Of course we cannot constitutionally restrict this. But I cannot imagine that someone would distribute vouchers for a non-domestic company,” says Wöginger.
Obviously high demand
In any case, there has already been a lot of feedback: “Companies are asking whether they can already buy vouchers”, says Wöginger. The all-clear to everyone who has already bought one: The tax deduction should be possible retrospectively until at least mid-November.