New System in Austria from Fiscal Authorities

For obtaining a binding ruling Austria introduced a new system in 2011.

(PresseBox) ( Berlin, )
Previously, rulings were granted on an informal basis; this provided protection on a “good faith” basis, but tax authorities were not obliged to issue rulings. Now a binding ruling can be obtained for the following fields of law:

• transfer pricing
• group taxation
• reorganization

In order to receive an advance ruling, a written application is necessary. This request should contain a detailed description of the facts and planned transaction, an analysis of the legal problem and the formulation of specific legal questions. A description of the applicant’s interests and the basis for the administrative costs should also be included. The Austrian fiscal authority issues a ruling concerning the application; the authority can accept the applicant’s position or issue a differing position. The administrative decision includes consideration of the following points:

• fiscal appreciation of the planned transaction
• taxes concerned
• included tax regulations
• time frame for the ruling

If the transaction is carried out, the advance ruling is binding for the tax authority. If the transaction differs essentially from the primary facts, the ruling is not binding. In Austria, a fee is charged for using the advance ruling service. The amount of the fee depends on the requester’s annual revenue. The minimum fee amounts to EUR 1,500 and ranges up to a maximum of EUR 20,000. If the application is refused by the fiscal authority for formal reasons or recalled by the applicant, a fee of EUR 500 is to be paid. The advance ruling in Austria will help reduce uncertainties resulting from different interpretations of tax law. It will help investors plan and coordinate their investments in Austria with greater legal certainty. The ruling may also avoid disputes regarding tax audits.

Author: David Gloser, david.gloser@ecovis.com
ECOVIS Austria Wirtschaftsprüfungs- und Steuerberatungsgesellschaft mbH
http://www.ecovis.com/...
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