Individuals are tax resident in Austria if they have a domicile and/or their habitual abode in Austria.
Regarding the first term: A domicile (Wohnsitz) for tax purposes is maintained where a taxpayer has a dwelling place under circumstances which permit the conclusion that the taxpayer intends to keep and use it. Thus, the prerequisites for having a domicile are as follows:
- the existence of a dwelling place, i.e., one or more rooms which are furnished for the purpose of living there regularly;
- the legal or factual ability to use such dwelling place at any time, whereby it is irrelevant whether the domicile is actually used; and
- the existence of circumstances that permit the conclusion that the taxpayer will maintain and use the dwelling place.
If these prerequisites are fulfilled, then also a permanently rented hotel room, a holiday home or a spouse's residence in Austria can qualify as a taxpayer's Austrian domicile. However, there is a special provision which enables individuals to have secondary homes in Austria without becoming Austrian tax residents. Pursuant to this provision, a taxpayer's Austrian dwelling place does not qualify as a domicile in a given year if the following prerequisites are met:
- the taxpayer's centre of vital interests is outside of Austria for the whole respective calendar year and for a consecutive period of more than five calendar years in total;
- the taxpayer (and a spouse, if any) use the dwelling place (alone or together with other Austrian dwelling places) for at most 70 calendar days a calendar year; and
- the taxpayer keeps a list of the days during which the dwelling place is used.
Regarding the second term: A taxpayer's habitual abode (gewöhnlicher Aufenthalt) is maintained where the taxpayer stays under circumstances which permit the conclusion that the taxpayer intends to dwell there not only temporarily. Staying in Austria for more than six months irrefutably leads to an Austrian habitual abode, even for the first six months. Whereas a taxpayer can have more than one domicile, he can only have one habitual abode.