Photovoltaic modules: VAT exemption from 01.01.2024
The government bill for the Budget Accompanying Act 2024 (BBG 2024), which was passed on 18 October 2023, provides for a sales tax benefit for photovoltaic modules. This is intended to further promote the expansion of renewable energies and drive forward the sustainable use of solar energy.
According to the government proposal, a temporary zero tax rate is to be introduced for deliveries, intra-Community acquisitions, imports and installations of photovoltaic modules to the operator from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2025. This does not exclude the right to deduct input tax, provided that
- the bottleneck capacity of the photovoltaic system does not exceed or will not exceed 35 kilowatts (peak) and
- the photovoltaic system is operated on or near buildings that serve residential purposes, are used by public corporations or are used by corporations, associations of persons and property funds that serve charitable, benevolent or ecclesiastical purposes.
Definition of the operator
The government bill stipulates that the operator of a photovoltaic system is the person who operates the system from an economic point of view, even if the small business exemption (section 6 (1) no. 27 UStG) is utilised.
Use of buildings and spatial restrictions
The photovoltaic system must be operated on or near buildings that can be used for the above-mentioned purposes. A system is deemed to be located near the aforementioned buildings if, for example, it is installed on the same property, on garages, sheds or a fence. The system is also deemed to be close to the property if there is a spatial utilisation connection between the property and the photovoltaic system, e.g. if there is a uniform building complex.
Independent ancillary services
Supplies and other services that do not fulfil a separate purpose for the recipient, but are necessary to install and operate the photovoltaic system, share the VAT fate of the supply of the photovoltaic module; these are therefore dependent ancillary services. This applies, for example, to the supply and installation of photovoltaic modules including accessories and storage.
No application for an investment subsidy under the Renewable Energy Expansion Act1 may have been submitted for the photovoltaic system in question by 31 December 2023.