While the deadline for applying for the investment bonus has already expired, certain deadlines must be observed in the course of investment implementation. In this context the funding guideline is currently under revision, which should include further changes.

1. Extension of deadline for setting “first measures”

Initial measures mark the start of investment activity. This includes for example orders, deliveries, the start of services, advance payments, payments, invoices, the conclusion of a purchase contract or the start of construction of the eligible investment (not, however, planning services and financing discussions and financing applications or commitments).
The deadline for the “first measure” marking the start of the investment was actually extended in the wake of the announcement to 31.5.2021. In this context care must be taken to ensure that appropriate initial measures are taken for the requested investments in time.
If the investment costs that have been invoiced and recognized as eligible for funding are higher than the amount specified in the funding commitment of the aws, the funding is reduced aliquot. An increase in the grant due to higher investment costs than those specified in the funding commitment is not possible (see FAQ, point 3.8.).

2. Investment implementation period

The commissioning and payment of the investment must take place within the investment implementation period (“Investitionsdurchführungszeitraum”). In this context it is expected that the deadline for the investment implementation will be 28.2.2023 for investment volume up to EUR 20 Mio excluding VAT (or 28.2.2025 for investment volume > EUR 20 Mio excluding VAT) according to the revised funding guideline.
Full payment is understood to mean, among other things, the existence of a financing agreement. This usually includes an instalment purchase or a credit agreement (see FAQ, point 8.5). For this reason, in the case of an installment purchase, for example, it is not necessary that all installments be paid before the end of the investment implementation period.

3. Final settlement vis-à-vis aws

a.) Deadline for final settlement
The funding applicant must submit a final settlement (“Endabrechnung”) electronically via the aws funding manager (“aws Fördermanager”) after the last commissioning and payment of the investments to be funded.
So far, it has been assumed that the final settlement in connection with the supported investments must be made within 3 months of commissioning and payment. While the revised funding guideline is still in coordination, the FAQs have already been recently maintained. In this context, the 3-month deadline has been deleted.
Based on verbal information from aws, it is currently planned that the final settlement has to be done till the end of the investment implementation period (e.g. 28.2.2023 for investments < EUR 20 Mio [excl VAT]), regardless of the the last commissioning and payment of the investment.

b.) Procedure of final settlement
The final settlement must be done via aws funding manager, once the applicant has received a funding contract (aws will notify via email) and the applicant paid for the investment and put it into operation.
Only one final settlement can be made per funding application, which contains the investments to be funded in accordance with the funding commitment. If the investment bonus exceeds EUR 12,000 the final settlement must be confirmed by an auditor, tax advisor or accountant with regard to the capitalization of the investments.
In this context, separate FAQs on the accounting of the investment premium and a detailed step-by-step guide for the billing process were recently published on the aws homepage.

3. Outlook

Since the adaptation of the funding guideline on the investment is still pending, further developments remain to be seen. Nevertheless the planned changes should subsequently affect all existing funding applications.

Authors:

Christoph Puchner, Managing Director and Tax Advisor & Katharina Geweßler, Tax Advisor from ECOVIS Austria