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01 September 2020

Covid-19 investment premium of 14% can be applied for as of 01 September

Starting on 01.09.2020 and until 28.02.2021 at the latest, companies can apply for the max. 14% COVID-19 investment premium, provided that the investment measures serve the greening, digitalisation or health and life science sectors.

Together with the (COVID-19) investment premium of 7% for "normal" investments, an incentive is to be created for companies to invest in and after the COVID-19 crisis and thus to secure company locations and business premises in Austria, to create jobs and training places and to contribute overall to strengthening Austria as a business location.


The essential conditions for funding are that the investments must be tangible or intangible new investments in depreciable fixed assets that must be capitalised. Investments in second-hand goods are also eligible for funding if they are a new acquisition for the investing enterprise. The eligible enterprise must also have a registered office and/or a place of business in Austria.

In order to qualify for the investment premium, which is a non-repayable, income tax-free grant, a number of hurdles must be overcome. In terms of time, the first measures in connection with the investment must be taken between 1 August 2020 (but never before) and 28 February 2021; these are, for example, orders, purchase contracts, deliveries, payments, invoices or the start of construction. Planning services, obtaining official approvals and financing discussions do not count as so-called first measures.

The investments must be commissioned and paid for by 28 February 2022 at the latest - this deadline is extended to the end of February 2024 if the investment volume exceeds € 20 million. In terms of amount, the lower limit of an eligible investment is € 5,000 net and the upper limit is an investment volume (i.e. several investments per company can be supported) of € 50 million net per company or group.

Several aspects have to be taken into account when deciding whether an investment premium can be claimed, and if so, whether it can be claimed at 14%. The subsidy guideline "COVID-19-Investment Premium for Companies" makes it clear that no investment premium can be claimed for investments in plants that serve the extraction, transport or storage of fossil fuels (or such investments that use fossil fuels directly). However, the subsidy can still be claimed if the investments are in existing plants that use fossil fuels directly and if a substantial greenhouse gas reduction is achieved through the investment.

Furthermore, investments in connection with the acquisition of real estate, costs for company acquisitions and takeovers, the acquisition of shareholdings or investments in financial assets are excluded from the investment premium. The turnover tax associated with investments is also generally not an eligible expense - however, if the lack of input tax deduction entitlement is proven, the turnover tax represents an eligible cost component.


The special subsidy of 14% of the investment costs can only be claimed if the investment measure serves the purposes of greening, digitalisation or the health and life science sector. The funding guidelines are very comprehensive, especially on the topic of greening. For example, investments in connection with heat pumps, thermal building refurbishment, etc. are subsidised by 14%. heat pumps, thermal building renovation, local heating supply based on renewable energy sources, air pollution control, environmentally friendly management of hazardous waste, photovoltaic systems and electricity storage, green electricity systems, promotion of electromobility, etc. The area of digitalisation should lead to companies from many sectors being able to claim the 14% COVID 19 investment premium.

For example, funding is available for investments in digital infrastructure and technologies (artificial intelligence, cloud computing, 3D printing, blockchain, big data), in the introduction or improvement of IT and cybersecurity measures, e-commerce or also in home office options and mobile working. According to the funding guidelines, investments in hardware, in the acquisition of new software and in infrastructure (with the exception of construction measures) are eligible for funding.

Hardware investments include servers, drones, 3D printers, video conferencing equipment, digitally controlled robots, network components and simulation equipment. Infrastructure can be investments to connect to high performance networks, broadband, Wi-Fi networks, cloud solutions or uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Finally, the 14% funded investments in connection with health and life sciences are also included in the funding. Health and Life Science are also explained in more detail in the funding guidelines.

Specifically, investments in equipment for the development and production of pharmaceutical products for human and veterinary medicine are supported; the same applies to investments for the production of products that are of strategic importance in pandemics (such as face masks, protective clothing, surgical clothing and drapes or ventilation equipment for intensive care).


The COVID 19 investment premium must be applied for in writing via the aws funding manager - the accounting aspect is particularly important for obtaining the funding. An account of the investments made must be provided no later than three months after commissioning and payment of theinvestment. From a grant amount of € 12,000, the correctness of the content of the accounts for the question of capitalisation of the investments applied for funding must also be confirmed by an auditor, tax advisor or accountant.

Furthermore, the subsidised assets (with the exception of software) must remain in Austria for at least three years in each case and may not be sold or used for purposes outside a location in Austria during this retention period. If retirement is unavoidable due to force majeure or technical infirmity, the funding may be maintained through replacement investments (and compliance with the lock-up period).

Finally, records related to the grant must be kept securely and in an orderly manner for 10 years after the end of the calendar year of the last grant payment.

For further information please contact our partner UNICONSULT, Mag. Orth