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Tax Rulings in Austria

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Niklas Schmidt & Eva Stadler |  Wolf Theiss

1. Introduction

As is the case in most countries in the world, tax law is rather complicated also in Austria. Fortunately, there exist several types of tax rulings. Ruling procedures aim at increasing planning certainty for taxpayers, in order to make Austria an even more attractive business location and place to live.

2. Legally binding formal tax rulings

Austrian law provides for legally binding formal tax rulings (Auskunftsbescheide). They can be applied for in connection with corporate restructurings, tax groups, international tax law, value added tax, and the existence of abuse of law. They are issued upon a taxpayer's written request, which must, inter alia, contain a comprehensive and consistent description of the envisaged transaction, an explanation of the taxpayer's vested interest in receiving the ruling, specific legal questions, and a comprehensive analysis of the legal issues raised.

The competent tax office must issue a formal tax ruling. Such ruling must contain the facts and statutory provisions on which it is based, a legal assessment of the facts, and the time frame during which it is valid. In addition, the taxpayer may be required to report on whether the facts of the case have been implemented as planned.

Obtaining such a formal ruling (irrespective of whether the result is in line with the taxpayer's view or not) involves administrative costs amounting to EUR 1,500 to EUR 20,000. If the facts presented in the request do not, or only insignificantly, devia