Pallawatsch about tax

Climate bonus to be increased to up to 290 euros this year

15.05.2024 09:20

Pallawatsch about the climate bonus: The turquoise-green government announces its increase for this year and at the same time surprises with the announcement that higher earners will have to pay tax on the bonus. Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler's government made an embarrassing miscalculation.

It is more than unusual for financial benefits to be taxed by the state. According to this model, family allowance or child benefit would also have to be taxed. But that's not all: the climate bonus is actually a refund of the CO2 price to all citizens. The idea behind it: Those who consume less CO2 keep more of the climate bonus. Climate-friendly behavior is thus rewarded.

Government suddenly talks of a "watering can"
Now the government is suddenly talking about a "watering can" that they want to end. High earners have to pay tax on their bonus retrospectively via their employee tax assessment. The Climate Protection Ministry made an embarrassing error in the calculation. The tax is due from a gross monthly income of over 6660 euros. In the morning, however, there was still talk of around 4750 euros gross (14 times a year). After a lengthy "recalculation" by the Ministry of Finance, the correction was made in the afternoon.

Child bonus remains tax-free
In any case, the climate bonus will be added to the assessment basis for income tax assessment. The climate bonus for children does not have to be taxed. The amounts are rising sharply this year due to expensive energy prices, the minimum amount from 110 euros to 145 euros and the maximum amount from 220 to 290 euros. The amount is based on the CO2 price and is automatically adjusted upwards. Who gets how much depends on where you live.

As in previous years, the bonus will again be paid out to all people who have had their main residence in Austria for more than six months. The corresponding legal adjustments will be submitted to the National Council today by means of an amendment and should be passed in plenary on the same day.

Finance Minister Brunner speaks of meeting security (Bild: REUTERS)
Finance Minister Brunner speaks of meeting security

"Every measure must, if possible, be more accurate and fairer," says Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP), explaining the tax for top earners. The climate bonus has been criticized in the past for not being accurate and has now been adjusted accordingly. The criticism came from the Court of Audit, the SPÖ, the Neos and experts, among others.

Payment by bank transfer and RSa letter

In order to ensure efficient processing, an automated data transfer to the Ministry of Finance is planned. Persons who are affected by the tax liability of the climate bonus due to their income level will subsequently be assessed by the tax authorities, regardless of the type of payment.

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