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The Exchange of Tax Information Portal is an initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum conducts peer reviews of its member jurisdictions' ability to co-operate with other tax administrations in accordance with the internationally agreed standard. The standard provides for exchange of information on request where it is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. Effective exchange of information requires that jurisdictions ensure information is available, that it can be obtained by the tax authorities and that there are mechanisms in place allowing for the exchange of that information. The Global Forum's peer review process examines both the legal and regulatory aspects of exchange (Phase 1 reviews) and the exchange of information in practice (Phase 2). The EOI Portal will track the development of these peer reviews, including changes that jurisdictions make in response to the Global Forum's recommendations.

Peer Review: Supplementary Report to Phase 2 Review - Austria

This report for Austria has been published on 3 Aug 2015. You can buy this report, or browse it online below.

Skip directly to the Executive Summary. You may also want to view the tables of determinations and ratings.


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Determinations and Recommendations

Jurisdictions should ensure that ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements is available to their competent authorities. (ToR A.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.   Austria has put in place in 2011 new provisions to prohibit the issue of bearer shares by unlisted joint-stock companies and further introduced in 2014 incentives and sanctions to ensure that the identity of all holders of shares in unlisted joint-stock companies will be known in all instances. However, full effect was given to these provisions only from 1st January 2014.   It is recommended that Austria continues to ensure that the 2011 and the 2014 provisions are effectively implemented and monitored. 
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.   In the case of fiduciary relationship, there are some uncertainties as regards the detailed obligations to keep accounting records where the Treugeber or settlor is not resident in Austria and assets held through the fiduciary are located abroad.  Austria should make it clear that reliable accounting records are kept in the case of fiduciary relationships in any situation. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
Competent authorities should have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any person within their territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information (irrespective of any legal obligation on such person to maintain the secrecy of the information). (ToR B.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Since the last review in August 2013, Austria has substantially updated its EOI network on a bilateral basis and ratified the Multilateral Convention, but Rrestrictions on access to bank information provided for by Austria’s domestic legislation are still applicable in respect of 21 out of Austria’s 118 EOI relationships. While these restrictions prevented the exchange of banking information during the peer review period, most of the EOI relationships affected have since been updated to conform to the standard.  Austria should continue to update its EOI network to ensure that its competent authority has access to bank information in respect of EOI requests made pursuant to all of its EOI agreements. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.   Austria was unable to answer 44 requests for banking information due to the restrictions under domestic law and the applicable EOI agreements. However, most of the EOI relationships affected have since been updated to conform to the standard. While Austria had experience on exchanging banking information during the peer review period, Austria had little practical experience on exchanging banking information in respect of these new/renegotiated treaties.   Austria should monitor that it exchanges bank information in accordance with the standard under these new/ renegotiated agreements. 
The rights and safeguards (e.g. notification, appeal rights) that apply to persons in the requested jurisdiction should be compatible with effective exchange of information. (ToR B.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Since the last review in August 2013, Austria has substantially updated its EOI network on a bilateral basis and ratified the Multilateral Convention, but restrictions on access to bank information provided for by Austria’s domestic legislation are still applicable in respect of 21 out of Austria’s 118 EOI relationships.   Austria should continue to update its EOI network to ensure that all its agreements provide for exchange of information to the standard.  
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.      
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
The jurisdictions' mechanisms for exchange of information should have adequate provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information received. (ToR C.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
The exchange of information mechanisms should respect the rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties. (ToR C.4)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
The jurisdiction should provide information under its network of agreements in a timely manner. (ToR C.5)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The assessment team is not in a position to evaluate whether this element is in place, as it involves issues of practice that are dealt with in the Phase 2 review.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.