Austria: New bonuses from the government in 2024

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Since January 1, 2023, family benefits in Austria have been valorized. Specifically, the family allowance, the multiple-child supplement, the child tax credit, the childcare allowance, and the school-starting allowance will now be adjusted annually in line with inflation. For the coming year, 2024, families in Austria will receive 9.7 percent more as a result of the valorization. That is up to 2,200 euros more per year.

In addition, the EU’s so-called “Work-Life Balance Directive” has been implemented since November. One effect of this is that the family time bonus, i.e., the allowance for fathers during paternity leave, will be doubled to around 1,450 euros per month. That is 47.82 euros per day instead of the previous 23.91 euros. The offset applies retroactively until August 1. It will not be offset against the childcare allowance.

From January, the full family bonus of 1,500 euros per year will be paid out for the first time. This year, entitled persons received half the bonus of 750 euros as a one-off payment in July.

Certain conditions must be met to be entitled to the bonus. The relative must be entitled to at least level 4 care allowance, and their own average monthly income must not exceed €1,500 net, “unless they have already given up their job to provide care or are insured as a carer,” according to parliament.
The electricity price brake, which has been in place for over a year, will continue to apply until the end of 2024. This subsidizes the costs of consumption of the first 2,900 kWh per year by 30 cents and is intended to bring relief of up to 500 euros per year. It only applies to private households, not to companies or associations. No application is necessary; the amount is automatically applied to the electricity bill.

All households with more than three people will receive an additional amount, the “supplementary electricity allowance.” According to the Ministry of Finance on Sunday, the amount and form of the allowance will be determined by ordinance. Details will follow.

The network cost subsidy of 200 euros is also making a comeback in the new year. This can be applied to low-income households. Households that are exempt from the GIS—now, the ORF household tax—due to their income or as recipients of unemployment benefits, social assistance, or student grants are entitled to this. In total, the subsidy amounts to 75% of the system usage fees to be charged by the network operator, up to a maximum of EUR 200.

The climate bonus for 2023 of up to EUR 220 has already been paid out to the majority of Austrians. However, while some have already received the bonus in October, others, such as new residents or newborns, are still waiting for their payment. These are expected to receive the bonus in February.

The climate bonus will be renegotiated for the coming year. As this depends on the additional revenue from CO2 pricing, it could be raised again in 2024. The CO2 tax will be increased from the current 32.5 euros to 45 euros per tonne of CO2 from January. According to the finanz.at portal, this could lead to an increase in the climate bonus to up to 260 euros.

The 60-euro monthly allowance per child is paid to sole earners with a gross income of less than 2,000 euros per month, as well as recipients of social welfare, unemployment benefits, unemployment assistance, or equalization allowance. Payments are made retrospectively.

As reported, Vienna already began paying out the outstanding grants for the months of July to October at the beginning of December. In Styria, this will now begin in January – with a retroactive one-off payment of 360 euros for the entire 2023 entitlement period. This adds up to a total subsidy of 1,080 euros for each child until the end of 2024.

Recipients of social assistance without children will receive this allowance or will have received it until the end of 2023. From this year onwards, social assistance will be increased by inflation anyway.

The repair bonus of up to 200 euros can also be claimed again in 2024. The procedure remains the same: before you order a repair, you must apply for a repair voucher on Reparaturbonus.at. To do this, you must enter your address, contact details, and an account number in an online form. You will then receive a code at the email address provided, which must be entered in the online form for confirmation.

You can then redeem this repair voucher at a partner business within three weeks. All 2,000 participating partner businesses in Austria can be found on the website.

For school events with a sporting focus, e.g., school ski courses, additional support can also be applied for this year. By providing proof of a social benefit, pupils will receive approval for the “School Sports Week 100” within a few days. In this way, the School Sports Weeks Service Center is helping to ensure that as many children and young people as possible can take part in school winter and summer sports weeks. The application form is available online at www.sportwochen.org/lehrer/spowo-100er

In order to support their employees in the face of high inflation, companies were able to pay their employees an inflation bonus of up to 3,000 euros gross for net in 2022 and 2023. This tax and duty-free employee bonus has now been extended for 2024. What has changed: The bonus must be anchored in the collective agreement or similar.

Launched during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, people registered as unemployed with the AMS who take part in training courses received an additional subsidy on top of the AMS allowance. Depending on the duration of the training course, training participants receive different amounts – between 75 euros (level 1) and 374 euros (level 3) per month.

➤ A new parental family allowance has been introduced in the federal capital (and has been in force since January 1). Single parents and couples with children who are particularly affected by poverty are set to benefit. A reduction made necessary by a Constitutional Court ruling would have resulted in a loss of 105.36 euros per month for around 13,000 households. For 10,000 couples with children, this is enough to compensate for the monthly loss. The new family allowance for them amounts to a total of 94.82 euros. Single parents will receive an additional 47.41 euros per month.

➤ Already a hit in 2023, the Vienna Repair Bonus (which has nothing to do with the Austrian Repair Bonus) is to be continued this year. The city of Vienna will give you up to 100 euros if you have broken items repaired. Bicycle, teddy bear, or closet – the bonus can be used for various products. The aim of the subsidy is to avoid waste and save resources.

➤ The new heating cost subsidy of 150 euros for the 2023/2024 heating period can already be applied for (until the end of March 2024). In some cases, an additional 75 euros is even possible (special subsidy). Social welfare recipients automatically receive the bonus. Please note: The bonus depends on the equalization allowance.

➤ The state of Lower Austria is providing 4 million euros for pubs in Lower Austria. They can apply for funding from January 1st. But: Kebab and sausage stands will miss out. Only businesses with traditional cuisine will receive funding. There are special tests for Italian or Asian restaurants.

➤ The Upper Austrian childcare bonus is awarded to parents or one parent who lives with their child or children in the same household and does not use the kindergarten, which is free of charge until 1 pm. The subsidy of 960 euros can be applied for from the child’s 3rd birthday (37th month of life) up to the start of the compulsory kindergarten year. Payment is made in two installments.

➤ Families in Upper Austria receive 200 euros per child to help them start school. This payment is limited to a maximum of 800 euros – i.e. four children. An application is not necessary, or the deadline for this has already expired. The amount is paid in two installments of 100 euros per child. The second tranche of up to 400 euros will be paid out automatically from the second school semester (February 2024).

➤ With the help of the heating price cap, subsidies of up to 2,000 euros are also possible this year. The net household income and the household’s heating costs are taken into account when calculating the amount of the subsidy. Households in Burgenland with a maximum net annual household income of 63,000 euros can apply. The bonus can now be applied for online at www.burgenland.at/wpd, but applications can be submitted all year round.

➤ From a distance of 20 km and an income of less than 3,426 euros gross per month (+ 10% for spouses, + 10% for each child for whom family allowance is received), commuters from Burgenland can apply for an eco-bonus. The annual subsidy amounts to EUR 44.10 for a distance of at least 20 km to the place of work, EUR 61.50 from 50 km, and EUR 91.90 from 100 km + EUR 0.60 per additional kilometer driven.

The bonus can only be applied for retrospectively for one calendar year and by April 30 of the following year at the latest at the Office of the Burgenland Provincial Government.

➤ It was paid out 12,000 times last year to around 570,000 Salzburg residents. Now, from January 1st, the heating cost subsidy can be applied for again. In contrast to other federal states, strict conditions apply for this – but at 600 euros, it is also significantly more generous than elsewhere. However, following a recent increase in income limits, the number of recipients is likely to rise further this year. The deadline for applying for the heating cost subsidy is September 30, 2024. Good to know: As experience has shown that many applications are to be expected, the processing time can take up to two months.

➤ In Carinthia, too, applications for a heating cost subsidy can be submitted to the municipality of the main residence until March 29, 2024. The large heating subsidy plus energy bonus now amounts to 280 euros; with the small heating subsidy plus energy bonus, eligible persons receive 210 euros.

The income limits have been raised further. The large heating subsidy for single people is 1,160 euros net, and for two-person households, 1,680 euros net. The small heating subsidy is for single people at 1,360 euros net, and for two-person households at 1,880 euros net. For each additional person living in the same household, a supplement of 310 euros is added to the income limits (applies to both the small and the large subsidy). All information can be found on the state’s homepage at www.ktn.gv.at

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