Dear clients,

Due to the currently prevailing exceptional situation, also in the area of authorities, courts and proceedings, a relief of the pressure of deadlines and time limits is now to be achieved. As already mentioned in our previous dispatch, deadlines will be extended and dates rescheduled.

As a result of the omnibus law "2.COVID-19 Act" passed in Parliament on 20 March 2020, which already entered into force on 22 March 2020 (partly also with retroactive effect) and is to expire again at the end of 31 December 2020, all ongoing procedural deadlines in civil law matters (civil proceedings, land register and company register proceedings, execution proceedings, insolvency proceedings) as well as all ongoing procedural deadlines in administrative proceedings will be interrupted for a certain period of time. Excluded from this scope of application are proceedings in which a court decides on the legality of an ongoing deprivation of liberty under the Accommodation Act, the Home Residence Act, the Tuberculosis Act or the Epidemic Act 1950, as well as benefit deadlines.


We may give you an overview of the main changes below.

Interruption of time limits in court proceedings

According to the Covid 19 Act, all procedural deadlines whose event triggering the deadline falls in the period after 22 March 2020, or the deadline has not yet expired by 22 March 2020, are interrupted until the end of 30 April 2020. The deadlines shall start anew on 1 May 2020 (i.e. to the full extent again).

The court may nevertheless pronounce a judgement in individual proceedings if it is necessary and there is interest, so that the time limit is not interrupted until the expiry of 30 April 2020. If such a ruling is made, the court shall at the same time set a new reasonable time limit. This decision cannot be appealed.


Interruption of time limits in financial criminal proceedings and proceedings before tax authorities

As already announced in our previous dispatch, the tax authorities will also change their time limits. With the new Covid 19 Act, the relevant provisions of the Financial Crimes Act and the Federal Fiscal Code have also been amended to the effect that

  • the time limit in ordinary appeal proceedings (section 323c BAO),
  • the running of the objection period (section 145(1) FinStrG),
  • the time limit for appeal (section 150(2) FinStrG), and
  • the deadline for filing a complaint (section 150(4) FinStrG)

is interrupted in each case if the deadline had not yet expired by the end of 16.03.2020 or if the start of the period falls within the period from 16.03.2020 to the end of 30.04.2020. The interrupted time limits shall begin to run again on 01.05.2020.

However, in the respective proceedings (e.g. in order to avert considerable and irreparable damage to a party, unless the interest of the general public in combating the spread of the Corona virus prevails), the competent financial penal authority or tax authority may declare that a time limit is not interrupted. With such a pronouncement, which will certainly only be made in exceptional cases, the authority must simultaneously set a new reasonable deadline.     


Interruption of time limits in administrative proceedings
Procedural deadlines

In pending administrative proceedings to which the Administrative Procedure Acts (AVG, VStG, VVG) apply, all time limits whose event triggering the time limit falls in the period after 22 March 2020 and which have not yet expired by 22 March 2020 shall be interrupted until the end of 30 April 2020. They shall start to run again (in full) on 01.05.2020. This also applies to limitation periods, but not to maximum periods set by constitutional law and to periods under the Epidemics Act 1950.

These provisions shall also apply mutatis mutandis to the proceedings of the administrative courts if the AVG is also applicable to the respective proceedings. These provisions shall also apply mutatis mutandis to the proceedings of the Administrative Court and the Constitutional Court.

Due to the explicit reference to procedures to which the above-mentioned procedural laws are applicable, it is always necessary to check in individual cases whether special material laws (Oö. BauO 1994, GewO 1994, etc.) provide for their own procedural regulations or whether these laws - possibly with certain modifications - refer to the (subsidiary) application of the above-mentioned administrative procedural laws and the time limits in these procedures are therefore also interrupted.

Analogous to the explanations on the interruption of time limits in court and financial penal proceedings, the competent authority also has the possibility in administrative proceedings in individual cases to declare that a time limit will not be interrupted, while setting a new reasonable time limit. However, this requires a justification in the sense of the previous explanations (danger to life and limb, etc.).


Substantive deadlines       

With regard to administrative proceedings that are not yet pending, the period from 22.03.2020 to 30.04.2020 shall also not be included in the time in which an application initiating proceedings must be filed. 

Measures that extend beyond 01.05.2020

Whether an extension of the legally ordered interruption of the deadline beyond 01.05.2020 will be necessary, or whether - in addition to the already ordered exceptions - further exceptions are to be made, cannot be estimated at the present time, or only with great difficulty.

In order to be able to make a situation-specific and timely decision in this matter, the Federal Chancellor or the respective responsible members of the government were authorised by law to extend or shorten the ordered general interruption of time limits or to provide for further general exceptions to the interruption. It remains to be seen whether these powers will actually have to be used.


We hope you are well and stay healthy!


Yours sincerely,

TJP-Oaklins Group
TJP Austroexpert Steuerberatungsgesellschaft m.b.H.

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