Sometimes things come to an end, as there might be other interesting opportunities like, for example, employment, moving to a different country, or traveling around the world. It also can happen that business doesn’t go well or you realize that the lifestyle of a self-employed person is just not for you. It’s totally ok, and it’s better to come to such conclusions before facing financial problems or burnout.
In case of such scenarios, you might want to officially stop your professional activity as a new self-employed in Austria in order not to have any costs related to insurance.
Closing your account at the SVS
For the SVS, your compulsory insurance ends on the last day of the calendar month in which you stopped being self-employed. It’s important to report the discontinuation of your self-employed activity to the SVS within one month. If you report it later, they can only end your compulsory insurance on the last day of the calendar month in which they received the report. Naturally, you will still receive adjustments for previous years or for the year in which you terminated your activity (i.e., adjustment of contributions based on your actual income). Besides, usually, you will have to pay for previous years, due in the following year in quarterly installments. If you end your business, you need to pay it all at once (hypothetically, you could still ask for a payment plan in installments, but still, the general rule is to pay it at once). In order to successfully close your account at the SVS, you should fill out and send in a form called “change of the income forecast or start/end of opting in for freelancers according to § 2 Paragraph 1 Z 4 GSVG” (“Änderung der Einkommensprognose bzw. Beginn/Ende "Opting in" für Freiberufler nach § 2 Abs. 1 Z 4 GSVG” ) if you opted-in for health insurance, and the form “final cessation of my self-employed activity according to the GSVG” (“Endgültige Einstellung meiner selbständigen Erwerbstätigkeit nach dem GSVG”) if you are paying full contributions. It should be sent by registered mail, your SVS online account or email. In the end, it might happen that you still keep receiving cost calculations from the SVS, but don’t panic - just contact them and present your proof of terminating your SVS account.
If you terminate your activity as a new self-employed, you also have to notify the tax office. The deadline is one month after ending your business activity at the latest. You can do it for no cost, by filling out a form Verf 25 (a questionnaire about giving up a commercial or professional activity) and submitting it to the Tax Office in person, by post, by fax or via Finanz Online . If there are any arrears at the tax office, of course, they still have to be paid. Please note that the tax office will terminate the validity of your VAT number at once. Therefore, you will not be able to use it for intra-community acquisitions or cross-border sales of your products. Furthermore, you will need to file one last income tax (and VAT declaration) for the year in which you have ended your activity. Yet, the actual filing is still only possible after the end of the calendar year. If you still expect some payments (receipts) or expenses to be paid in the following year (e.g. you terminate your activity in November 2019 but still receive some fees in 2020 or you make some payments for expenses in 2020, which are attributable to your business) you need to include them in the tax declaration for the last year (i.e., here: 2019). This is an exception from the general cash in-cash out rule. One important example of this is payments to the SVS, which are usually due after the end of the respective year.
Hungry for more?
Learn how to handle taxes as a new self-employed
Read about the social insurance for new self-employed.