The Austrian Ministry of Finance published the draft for legal appraisal of the amendment to federal tax law (“Abgabenänderungsgesetz 2016”). We outlined the most important amendments:
Income Tax Act (EStG).
The minister of finance shall be entitled for a decree which will set the amount of income for shareholding managers by using company cars. Tax exemptions on ecological aspects (electric cars) can also be permitted by decree.
In the future the tax free amount for children will be automatically considered by the tax authorities.
Studentships and grants (eg for postgraduate scientific works) will generally be considered as self-employment income if not classified as income from employment. However, to avoid multiple insurance obligations that can face foreign students in Austria, a tax exemption will be effective if the grants will not exceed EUR 11.000 and no other taxable income occurs.
Tax effective donations.
Amendments for the requirements of tax effective donations on private museums are planned. Instead of a notice of the ministry of culture the competent tax office will proof requirements based on a therefore issued tax decree.
After the amendment, only net wages can be assumed if the employer pays amounts without deduction of wage tax and the employer knows or at least should have known that wage taxes are due.
Value added tax (UStG).
The legislator intends to harmonize the definition of real estate in the VAT act to the definition according to European community law. This will effect delivery as well as rent of real estate. Thereby high court decisions will be codified.
Short term rental of real estate up to 14 days will be unconditionally taxable. Thus daily rentals of seminar facilities eg by hotels will be more simple because evidence that the tenant is entitled to claim input VAT deduction must not be provided.
Handling of the small business tax exemption will be amended to European Community Law. In the future only entrepreneurs who run their business in Austria can claim the tax exemption for small businesses. Moreover the calculation of the EUR 30.000 limitation will be adjusted to meet European Community Law requirements. Specific other tax-exempted revenues will not be considered for calculation of the small business limit.
Fiscal Code (BAO).
Tax payers shall now be entitled to claim that their appeal will be filed to the tax court of appeals or can file their appeal directly to the tax court of appeals if the tax authorities are in default. Until now the tax payers are dependent on the filing actions of the tax authorities.
Taxpayers shall be able to apply for assistance in taxation proceedings. Until now obligatory assistance could only be requested in fiscal penalty proceedings. The legislator reacts to doubts of the high court for ensuring the right on a fair procedure.
We will keep you informed on further developments of enactment.
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