Expansion of tax incentives for donations to art and culture (“package of laws governing donations and charity”, 2015)

Where
Austria
When
2016
Who
Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance
Key objectives of the measure:
  • Stimulate private funding and donations to bodies serving Austrian art and culture through artistic activity
  • and therewith extend and diversify their potential funding sources
Scope of the measure:
National
Nature of the measure:
legislative
Main feature of the measure:

Until the end of 2015, donations to bodies listed explicitly in the Austrian Income Tax Act (e.g. Austrian National Library, Austrian Film Institute) were tax-deductible. At the initiative of the Federal Chancellery, responsible i.a. for the arts and culture, new tax incentives for private arts and culture funding have been elaborated in cooperation with the leading Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, which holds primary authority. With the package of laws governing donations and charity passed in 2015 and in force since 1 January 2016, the tax-deductibility of contributions (financial and in-kind) has been extended to all non-profit bodies that:

  • conduct artistic activities serving Austrian arts and culture generally accessible to the public (e.g. a theatre organisation that mounts performances or a regional association organising a music festival)
  • have had their eligibility for funding confirmed by public authorities (which means: they receive public funding at least every two years from the federal or regional (Laender) level or from the City of Vienna, and are listed in the publicly accessible “Transparency Online-Portal” on subsidies);

Beneficiary bodies need to obtain a certificate on their eligibility for tax-deductible donations from the Federal Ministry of Finance. All approved beneficiary bodies are open to inspection by potential donors in a public online register, administered by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

For the calendar year of 2016, the law provides for the retroactive deductibility of donations to approved beneficiary bodies in the field of art and culture.

Further the package of laws governing donations and charity amended the Federal Foundation and Fund Act, aiming to stimulate more funds given to and by foundations for charitable and public purposes. The new regulation eases the administrative burden to set up foundations and funds for charitable/public purposes and enables them to become part of the tax-deductible framework.

Results expected through the implementation of the measure:
  • an increase in donations as a funding source for arts and culture organisations thanks to tax incentives
  • general target (no separate indicator for the arts and culture) for the evaluation 2020: increase of the average volume of annual donations over the 2016–2020 period with growth rates similar to those reached during 2010–2013 (2010: EUR 460 million; 2011: EUR 490 m.; 2012: EUR 500 m.; 2013: EUR 550 m.) 
Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:

No data available

Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)
Multi-domain
Cultural Value Chain
Creation
Production
Distribution
Participation