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Europe Guide

Tax — Austria

Overview

AUSTRIA: An Introduction to Tax Contributed by bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH

Austria’s economy still profits from its strong commercial links to, and its focus on, the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region, specifically in the banking and insurance sectors as well as on its strong exports and domestic demand. Austria’s economy grew by roughly 3% in 2017, the highest rate in six years, and is expected to keep growing at a similar rate in 2019. Therefore Austria’s business sector is fairly optimistic for the years to come and tax revenues are expected to be high.

In the second half of 2017 Austria elected a new government. This new government already proposed a variety of changes regarding the tax legislation and intends to completely rewrite the Austrian Income Tax Act by 2020 including new tax brackets, which should then be adjusted for inflation from time to time. The old government also brought in some measures on the way before the election. So already in 2017 various changes took place in the area of tax law in Austria.

An investment incentive was resolved in January 2017. For investments made between 1 March and 31 December 2017, small and medium sized companies, which do not employ more than 250 people, receive an investment premium of up to 15%. Furthermore, an advanced depreciation scheme may be applied for small and medium-sized companies regarding investments in physical assets besides buildings and cars. Also benefits for start-ups were resolved as they can claim a tax-free risk capital premium of up to EUR50,000 for capital provided by the Austrian Business Service Agency as of 1 January 2018.

Austria relies on its relatively low corporate income tax rate and R&D subsidies to attract foreign investment. The main R&D subsidy was increased from 12% to 14% as of 1 January 2018. The Austrian corporate tax rate was continually lowered from 55% in the 1980s to around 30% in the 1990s to currently 25%. To further increase Austria’s attractiveness to direct investments the new Austrian government plans a general tax cut of the current 25% flat corporate income tax rate (in general or regarding non-distributed profits only), thereby encouraging sustainable growth. Also, the minimum corporate income tax, which is levied even when no balance sheet profit is achieved, is planned to be abolished.

It is planned that corporate and individual income tax as well as VAT might become subject to automatic assessment in the future, so that tax payments can be made by the taxpayer directly upon filing, without the necessity of an assessment decree. Small businesses will receive the possibility to file their tax return via a new online tool or app.

In general, the tax balance sheet’s differences from the balance sheet according to the Austrian Commercial Code (Austrian GAPP) are intended to be minimised. There are also plans to harmonise taxation of businesses to make it more independent of their legal form.

Non-wage labour costs will also be decreased. Only one employer contribution will be levied in contrast to the several different contributions existing as of now.

Depreciation and amortisation will become more flexible for tax purposes in the future, which should allow shorter periods of amortisation for tax purposes than is the case now.

The taxation of digital permanent establishments will be promoted by Austria at the level of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and of the European Union.

The Austrian VAT tax rate for the hotel industry is planned to be lowered from 13% to 10%.

In general, a reverse charge system for VAT will be promoted by the Austrian government at EU level, as this requires an amendment of the VAT directives.

There are plans to increase tax incentives for business transfers within the family, e.g. increasing the tax-free amount for real estate transfer tax.

According to the plans of the government, tax payers will get the possibility to obtain a binding advance ruling, not only regarding transfer prices, restructurings and group taxation which is already in place, but also in the areas of international taxation and VAT.

As all other European Union member states, Austria has implemented a register of the ultimate beneficial owners of corporate and other legal entities incorporated within its territory pursuant to the Directive (EU) 2015/849. As of 15 January 2018 ultimate beneficial owners, intermediaries as well as the members of different organs of the legal entity have to be disclosed in the register. Information which is already included in the companies register does not have to be disclosed again. Furthermore various different exceptions apply for certain legal entities. The first time that the legal entity’s representatives have to disclose information is before 1st of June 2018. The actuality of the disclosed information has to be reviewed annually.

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP - Tax Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Market-leading team renowned for providing stellar advice on tax issues relating to domestic and international M&A transactions, corporate restructurings and refinancing issues. Assists with tax litigation, particularly concerning transfer pricing. Well known for supporting clients from the gaming, transportation and manufacturing sectors. Noted expertise in international tax law and EU taxation policies.

Strengths A client appreciates the team's ability to get to the root of the matter fast, highlighting "its extremely quick responses, very pragmatic, solution-oriented and high-level advice." Commentators appreciate that the lawyers provide "an extremely high level of technical tax advice."

Several interviewees describe the firm as standing out in the market, and it is frequently described as "one of the leaders in the Austrian market." Sources also commend it as "a large department with specialised individuals."

Work highlights Acted for Borealis on a transfer pricing tax dispute relating to the transfer of IP assets from Finland to Austria.

Advised RHI on all tax-related matters relating to its merger with and restructuring of Magnesita.

Notable practitioners

Department head Michael Sedlaczek offers a high level of advice relating to a broad range of tax matters, including litigation and instructions from private clients. Clients recognise him as a leading individual in the field, saying: "He is clearly the go-to guy in tax" and highlight his ability to handle "novel" problems and the "hardest questions." He is particularly active for clients from the gaming sector. Sedlaczek also assists with transfer pricing matters.

Claus Staringer is a highly regarded tax practitioner, and is especially known for his extensive knowledge of tax law and corporate-related matters. Clients appreciate that he has "the ability to bring matters to a point," and believe that there is "hardly anyone in Europe that knows tax law as well as he does." Staringer frequently represents clients in tax law disputes, with a notable focus on transfer pricing issues.

About the Team (content provided by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP)

Please visit the Freshfields website for more details about our work in this category: http://www.freshfields.com/en-gb/what-we-do/services/tax/

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Wolf Theiss - Tax Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Front runner with a dedicated team providing comprehensive tax support to financial institutions and multinational corporations. Remit of work covers corporate tax relating to M&A and restructurings as well as private client work concerning trusts and estate planning both in and outside of Austria. Expertise also covers tax disputes, transfer pricing, real estate tax, voluntary disclosures and financial product-related tax queries.

Strengths Interviewees enthuse over the quality of the team's service, and particularly highlight the "very timely" delivery.

The team's wide reach is highlighted by a market commentator: "They have offices all over Central and Eastern Europe, and they are known to have a distinct focus on a wide range of tax law issues."

Work highlights Assisted Eurazeo with the tax aspects of its acquisition of a EUR504 million real estate portfolio from AccorHotels.

Advised Qatar Investment Authority on the transaction structure and on setting up Austria as the holding location for its joint venture with BRF to acquire a 79.5% stake in Banvit.

Notable practitioners

Niklas Schmidt is a market-leading tax practitioner and is widely recognised for his work for private individuals and on the tax aspects of M&A transactions. Clients describe him as being "very responsive and precise, a very knowledgeable tax lawyer who specialises in private client mandates but knows all areas of tax law." Schmidt also has a strong focus on tax law arbitration and disclosure mandates.

About the Team (content provided by Wolf Theiss)

Wolf Theiss has always been ahead of the curve, becoming one of the first law firms in Austria to provide advice on national and international tax law. From a quick glance at our clients, it's easy to see why we're still setting standards for tax advice in Austria and CEE/SEE. The Wolf TheissTax practice group does not shy from complex cases and is used to covering them from various tax and legal angles.

What distinguishes Wolf Theiss from other firms is that our lawyers specialize within their practice area and each lawyer has his or her specific fields of tax advice. Currently we offer the following kinds of tax services:

  • Corporate tax advice: M&A-related work, corporate restructurings including domestic and cross-border mergers and demergers, holding company structures, double tax treaties;
  • Tax planning for private clients: coming to Austria and leaving Austria, setting up of trusts and foundations, estate planning and asset protection;
  • Advice to financial institutions regarding financial products: debt and equity instruments, funds;
  • Tax litigation; and
  • Fiscal criminal law including voluntary self-disclosures.

Our partners have dual qualifications as certified public tax advisors and attorneys-at-law. They not only have years of experience, but also regularly hold lectures and publish on recent developments in this permanently changing field. This combination of practical experience, academic research and continuous training guarantees that
we anticipate trends.



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BINDER GRÖSSWANG Rechtsanwälte GmbH - Tax Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Expert team providing a wide range of tax advice on corporate transactions, reorganisations, refinancing and joint ventures as well as tax litigation and audits. Also covers compliance and corporate income tax inquiries. Frequently advises financial institutions and large-scale organisations on international tax queries. Assists private clients.

Strengths Clients appreciate that the lawyers "provided quick and comprehensive advice and communicated easily with non-legal people."

Work highlights Advised Bilfinger on the tax aspects of a number of M&A transactions.

Acted for Ventrex on general tax matters relating to mergers and real estate transfers following the conclusion of its restructuring.

Notable practitioners

Christian Wimpissinger has an outstanding reputation for his tax expertise, especially in international tax and the tax aspects of corporate financing and transactional matters, and has advised on a number of restructuring matters. A client says: "He is able to summarise and concisely present complicated Austrian tax problems and provide clear instructions to clients with a full evaluation of the risks involved with them."

Andreas Hable is a respected practitioner who handles the tax aspects of M&A transactions and corporate law questions. He is particularly active on cross-border tax matters. A client describes him as "a very experienced tax lawyer with an international background." Clients also underline his reliability.

About the Team (content provided by BINDER GRÖSSWANG Rechtsanwälte GmbH)

Binder Grösswang gives advice on all issues of Austrian and international tax law. The experts of the Binder Grösswang tax team have many years of experience, both with national and cross-border tax matters, and act as an interface with other practice groups, such as Corporate/M&A, Banking and Finance and Dispute Resolution. We are regularly retained to examine difficult tax questions, in many cases also for providing a second opinion. In transaction matters, we offer our clients tax advice ranging from the due diligence review, the structuring of the transaction to the implementation of the transaction. We maintain excellent relations with tax authorities and stay in close contact with other service providers that render accounting or auditing services to our clients.  

FOCUS

Tax advice in connection with M&A transactions, reorganisations, financing and capital market transactions and fund structures, tax analysis and structuring of capital market products and investment funds, tax advice for expatriates, structuring and implementation of employee participation programmes and stock option schemes, advice on private trusts and wealth succession, representation before tax authorities and courts, advice on tax criminal law

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bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH - Tax Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Highly experienced tax advisers to domestic and international blue-chip companies in the energy, real estate and finance sectors. Assists with corporate tax matters relating to transactions, restructurings and reorganisations in both domestic and cross-border capacities. Also advises high net worth individuals and is renowned for tax litigation. Has recently hired the highly regarded Walter Loukota.

Strengths The lawyers are appreciated by clients for their customer service, with one adding: "They pay attention to achieve satisfaction for their clients." Others say that they are "proactive" and "very friendly and service-oriented."

Clients also appreciate the team for its broad level of knowledge, with one client in particular noting that "its strength is that it is able to combine its in-depth expertise in several fields of law that are relevant in managing a complex project, assuring me that nothing gets overlooked."

Work highlights Advised Raiffeisen Zentralbank on all tax matters relating to the merger with Raiffeisen Bank International.

Assisted Ring International Holding with all tax matters arising from the sale of Helios Coatings Group.

Notable practitioners

Gerald Schachner moves up in the rankings due to very strong client feedback. He is dual-qualified as a lawyer and a tax adviser, and is particularly knowledgeable of M&A and corporate taxation matters. Multiple clients appreciate him for being hard-working, with one in particular adding that "he does a lot of research, so I can trust that I will get a good answer from him and his answers are well thought out." Schachner also advises on VAT matters and assists high net worth individuals with relocations to Austria.

Having joined the firm in 2017, Walter Loukota enters this years rankings on the back of good client and peer recognition. He is dual-qualified as an attorney-at-law and tax adviser. Market commentators say: "He does corporate taxation, and is a really clever guy who has gained a lot of experience." Loukota also focuses on tax litigation.

About the Team (content provided by bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH)

Department profile not yet provided by bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH. Please see their firm profile.

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CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati - Tax Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Strong tax division integrated into the firm's wider legal advisory practice of transactional deals, restructurings and financing. Client roster includes major financial institutions, noteworthy investment funds and big-name retailers, with a number of clients from Brazil. Also covers tax litigation, complementing advice on both domestic and international corporate reorganisations. Assists clients with tax planning, withholding tax, audits and compliance mandates. Strengthened the tax department with the arrival of Benjamin Twardosz in early 2018.

Strengths One client is pleased with the overall package offered by the team, saying: "The lawyers are responsive and nice guys to work with."

Work highlights Advised Fibria Celulose and its Austrian subsidiaries on the tax aspects of the payment and classification of a dividend.

Assisted TOM TAILOR with tax planning and tax compliance issues relating to merging its Austrian subsidiary into the German parent company.

Notable practitioners

Benjamin Twardosz joined the team in January 2018. He is highly regarded for his pre-eminent tax litigation work. Market commentators describe him as being a "real tax litigation expert; he is very focused on this specialisation." Another source highlights his practicality. He is also known for assisting clients with corporate tax issues as well as advising on issues arising from M&A transactions.

Head of department Johannes Prinz often deals with matters relating to taxation of M&A transactions, restructurings and tax planning. A client says he "gives to-the-point tax advice," and also highlights Prinz's "up-to-date knowledge."

About the Team (content provided by CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati)

Department profile not yet provided by CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati. Please see their firm profile.

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DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach - Tax Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well-respected team with a full-service tax offering benefiting from the firm's global reach and tapping into its international know-how. Particular activity in tax criminal law, as well as matters relating to corporate acquisitions, joint ventures, tax structuring and planning. Also represents clients in tax law disputes.

Strengths A client is impressed by the team's network, noting that it "has a great presence across Europe."

Clients also report "it is a well-known name and the team gets straight to the point."

Work highlights Assisted Sony DADC with the implementation of a new tax-optimised structure, which included the transfer of some assets to the UK and USA via share deals and cross-border mergers.

Advised UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions on all tax aspects relating to the sale of eMoney Processing to SIA Group.

Notable practitioners

Christoph Schimmer is a key contact for the practice.

About the Team (content provided by DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach)

Department profile not yet provided by DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach. Please see their firm profile.

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DORDA - Tax Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Notable practice with a substantial cross-border tax offering. Active in a wide range of industries including private clients, energy and financial services, with the capacity to develop and implement complex tax structures. Strong experience in the taxation components of corporate and M&A transactions and joint ventures, as well as tax restructurings.

Strengths Clients report that the team is "very good for its availability." Clients go on to add that the team provides "solutions, not problems."

Work highlights Advised GP Investments and Rhône Capital on domiciling issues concerning whether the new entity formed from the merger of the clients' subsidiary, Magnesita, and RHI, was based in Austria or the Netherlands.

Assisted SAZKA Group with tax questions such as the taxation of future profit distributions and taxation of future management following the acquisition of a 35% stake in Casinos Austria.

Notable practitioners

Head of department Paul Doralt is well known for representing private clients and for his knowledge of transactional tax and estate planning. A client describes him as a "firm guy, which is very helpful in negotiations." He assisted Teekay and Odebrecht Oil & Gas with the corporate and tax structuring of Libra FPSO.

About the Team (content provided by DORDA)

DORDA's tax team ensures that tax benefits are optimised when structuring transactions in coordination with other practice groups, such as M&A, banking or real estate. Our tax department comprises a team of experienced individuals, several of whom are certified tax advisors.

Our services include:

  • Domestic and international tax planning
  • M&A taxation
  • Tax aspects of (structured) finance transactions
  • Structuring of capital market transactions and related tax planning
  • Tax neutral corporate restructuring
  • Tax driven trust and estate tax planning
  • Tax litigation, also before the public law supreme courts

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Aigner Buzanich Rechtsanwälte OG - Tax Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Dynamic tax boutique assisting with Austrian and international tax matters. Advises on corporate tax planning, tax structures and income stream optimisation. Also assists with a wide variety of tax issues involving M&A and finance transactions as well as VAT, tax restructuring, litigation and due diligence. Represents real estate companies alongside regional and international financial institutions. Also acts for private individuals.

Strengths Market commentators describe the team as a "tax law boutique" that is "a very good small tax practice."

Work highlights Assisted Macquarie with the tax aspects of its acquisition of a 49% stake in Gas Connect Austria.

Advised IK Investment Partners on a number of tax matters such as Austrian tax due diligence and acquisition structuring in relation to its acquisition of Messerschmitt Systems.

Notable practitioners

Hans-Jörgen Aigner is respected for his work relating to investment fund taxation and corporate tax matters, including the taxation of bond issuances. Aigner also assists clients with the tax classification of new products and represents them in tax litigation.

Herbert Buzanich advises clients on transactional tax matters, as well as representing them in tax audits and tax investigations. Market commentators describe him as a "highly qualified and well-organised lawyer."

About the Team (content provided by Aigner Buzanich Rechtsanwälte OG)

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Arnold Rechtsanwälte GmbH - Tax Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well-respected team noted for its strong presence in private client representation, including trusts-related instructions and tax planning mandates. Also active on tax litigation, stamp duty law and corporate tax matters. Particularly knowledgeable in the tax aspects of real estate transactions.

Strengths Market commentators appreciate the team for having a niche in the market, saying: "They concentrate on litigation and private foundations, but they are very good at what they do." Another also highlights the firm's focus by adding: "They have vast experience in stamp duty law and tax litigation."

Notable practitioners

Nikolaus Arnold is highlighted by market commentators for his expertise in stamp duty law, whilst another interviewee adds that he is "well established at advising private individuals." He is also known to advise on trust and private foundation law, and often represents clients in tax litigation.

About the Team (content provided by Arnold Rechtsanwälte GmbH)

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Baker McKenzie - Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG - Tax Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Notable adviser to high-profile international retailers and banking institutions on Austrian tax law and cross-border mandates. Capacity is strengthened by the firm's global know-how and its worldwide network. Experienced in niche tax areas such as VAT and customs law compliance. Also acts for clients on tax planning, restructuring and transfer pricing.

Work highlights Advised Porsche Immobilien on a number of tax-related issues in regards to real estate transactions.

Represented METRO Cash & Carry before the Austrian Constitutional Court in a dispute concerning group taxation for foreign subsidiaries.

Notable practitioners

Head of department Christoph Urtz is qualified as both a tax adviser and a lawyer and has a good technical knowledge of the field. Market commentators describe him as a "good tax practitioner whose work is great." Urtz has a broad tax practice, advising on transactional tax matters and tax litigation. He acted for Nokia on the tax aspects of its post-M&A integration of Alcatel.

About the Team (content provided by Baker McKenzie - Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG)

Department profile not yet provided by Baker McKenzie - Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG. Please see their firm profile.

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Schindler Attorneys - Tax Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Enters this year's ranking on the back of strong client recognition. Advises on a range of tax matters including international tax structuring, transfer tax, private equity, transactional work and tax litigation. Represents both domestic and international corporate clients.

Strengths Clients appreciate the team's understanding of the market, saying: "The lawyers have the necessary knowledge to provide a fine service," whilst another client adds that they give "advice that is not only technically good, but practical too."

The team also garners praise for its ability to represent international clients, with interviewees saying it can "handle big projects and international clients." Another client reports that it is "certainly recommended for matters concerning Brazil."

Notable practitioners

Head of department Clemens Philipp Schindler advises on transfer pricing, tax litigation and tax matters relating to cross-border transactions. One client describes him as a "very outgoing and social character, a strong negotiator." He represents both multinational companies and high net worth individuals.

Counsel Lars Gläser enters this year's rankings due to good peer and client recognition. He is experienced in advising on a broad range of tax issues including tax litigation and international tax matters. A client says he has a "broad knowledge of different topics, which he is able to link together well." Clients also appreciate that he "has a very strong tax knowledge, listens to the client and comes back with answers."

About the Team (content provided by Schindler Attorneys)

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Overview

AUSTRIA: An Introduction to Tax Contributed by bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH

Austria’s economy still profits from its strong commercial links to, and its focus on, the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region, specifically in the banking and insurance sectors as well as on its strong exports and domestic demand. Austria’s economy grew by roughly 3% in 2017, the highest rate in six years, and is expected to keep growing at a similar rate in 2019. Therefore Austria’s business sector is fairly optimistic for the years to come and tax revenues are expected to be high.

In the second half of 2017 Austria elected a new government. This new government already proposed a variety of changes regarding the tax legislation and intends to completely rewrite the Austrian Income Tax Act by 2020 including new tax brackets, which should then be adjusted for inflation from time to time. The old government also brought in some measures on the way before the election. So already in 2017 various changes took place in the area of tax law in Austria.

An investment incentive was resolved in January 2017. For investments made between 1 March and 31 December 2017, small and medium sized companies, which do not employ more than 250 people, receive an investment premium of up to 15%. Furthermore, an advanced depreciation scheme may be applied for small and medium-sized companies regarding investments in physical assets besides buildings and cars. Also benefits for start-ups were resolved as they can claim a tax-free risk capital premium of up to EUR50,000 for capital provided by the Austrian Business Service Agency as of 1 January 2018.

Austria relies on its relatively low corporate income tax rate and R&D subsidies to attract foreign investment. The main R&D subsidy was increased from 12% to 14% as of 1 January 2018. The Austrian corporate tax rate was continually lowered from 55% in the 1980s to around 30% in the 1990s to currently 25%. To further increase Austria’s attractiveness to direct investments the new Austrian government plans a general tax cut of the current 25% flat corporate income tax rate (in general or regarding non-distributed profits only), thereby encouraging sustainable growth. Also, the minimum corporate income tax, which is levied even when no balance sheet profit is achieved, is planned to be abolished.

It is planned that corporate and individual income tax as well as VAT might become subject to automatic assessment in the future, so that tax payments can be made by the taxpayer directly upon filing, without the necessity of an assessment decree. Small businesses will receive the possibility to file their tax return via a new online tool or app.

In general, the tax balance sheet’s differences from the balance sheet according to the Austrian Commercial Code (Austrian GAPP) are intended to be minimised. There are also plans to harmonise taxation of businesses to make it more independent of their legal form.

Non-wage labour costs will also be decreased. Only one employer contribution will be levied in contrast to the several different contributions existing as of now.

Depreciation and amortisation will become more flexible for tax purposes in the future, which should allow shorter periods of amortisation for tax purposes than is the case now.

The taxation of digital permanent establishments will be promoted by Austria at the level of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and of the European Union.

The Austrian VAT tax rate for the hotel industry is planned to be lowered from 13% to 10%.

In general, a reverse charge system for VAT will be promoted by the Austrian government at EU level, as this requires an amendment of the VAT directives.

There are plans to increase tax incentives for business transfers within the family, e.g. increasing the tax-free amount for real estate transfer tax.

According to the plans of the government, tax payers will get the possibility to obtain a binding advance ruling, not only regarding transfer prices, restructurings and group taxation which is already in place, but also in the areas of international taxation and VAT.

As all other European Union member states, Austria has implemented a register of the ultimate beneficial owners of corporate and other legal entities incorporated within its territory pursuant to the Directive (EU) 2015/849. As of 15 January 2018 ultimate beneficial owners, intermediaries as well as the members of different organs of the legal entity have to be disclosed in the register. Information which is already included in the companies register does not have to be disclosed again. Furthermore various different exceptions apply for certain legal entities. The first time that the legal entity’s representatives have to disclose information is before 1st of June 2018. The actuality of the disclosed information has to be reviewed annually.

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Band 1

Wolf Theiss

From the Chambers Europe guide

Niklas Schmidt is a market-leading tax practitioner and is widely recognised for his work for private individuals and on the tax aspects of M&A transactions. Clients describe him as being "very responsive and precise, a very knowledgeable tax lawyer who specialises in private client mandates but knows all areas of tax law." Schmidt also has a strong focus on tax law arbitration and disclosure mandates.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Michael Sedlaczek

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

From the Chambers Europe guide

Department head Michael Sedlaczek offers a high level of advice relating to a broad range of tax matters, including litigation and instructions from private clients. Clients recognise him as a leading individual in the field, saying: "He is clearly the go-to guy in tax" and highlight his ability to handle "novel" problems and the "hardest questions." He is particularly active for clients from the gaming sector. Sedlaczek also assists with transfer pricing matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

From the Chambers Europe guide

Claus Staringer is a highly regarded tax practitioner, and is especially known for his extensive knowledge of tax law and corporate-related matters. Clients appreciate that he has "the ability to bring matters to a point," and believe that there is "hardly anyone in Europe that knows tax law as well as he does." Staringer frequently represents clients in tax law disputes, with a notable focus on transfer pricing issues.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Christian Wimpissinger

BINDER GRÖSSWANG Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Christian Wimpissinger has an outstanding reputation for his tax expertise, especially in international tax and the tax aspects of corporate financing and transactional matters, and has advised on a number of restructuring matters. A client says: "He is able to summarise and concisely present complicated Austrian tax problems and provide clear instructions to clients with a full evaluation of the risks involved with them."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

DORDA

From the Chambers Europe guide

Head of department Paul Doralt is well known for representing private clients and for his knowledge of transactional tax and estate planning. A client describes him as a "firm guy, which is very helpful in negotiations." He assisted Teekay and Odebrecht Oil & Gas with the corporate and tax structuring of Libra FPSO.

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Band 2

Benjamin Twardosz

CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati

From the Chambers Europe guide

Benjamin Twardosz joined the team in January 2018. He is highly regarded for his pre-eminent tax litigation work. Market commentators describe him as being a "real tax litigation expert; he is very focused on this specialisation." Another source highlights his practicality. He is also known for assisting clients with corporate tax issues as well as advising on issues arising from M&A transactions.

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Band 3

Hans-Jörgen Aigner

Aigner Buzanich Rechtsanwälte OG

From the Chambers Europe guide

Hans-Jörgen Aigner is respected for his work relating to investment fund taxation and corporate tax matters, including the taxation of bond issuances. Aigner also assists clients with the tax classification of new products and represents them in tax litigation.

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Band 3

ALTHUBER SPORNBERGER & PARTNER Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Franz Althuber of ALTHUBER SPORNBERGER & PARTNER Rechtsanwälte GmbH handles transactional tax issues and tax litigation. Commentators describe him as "a smart guy," whilst another adds: "He is a successful tax lawyer."

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Band 3

Aigner Buzanich Rechtsanwälte OG

From the Chambers Europe guide

Herbert Buzanich advises clients on transactional tax matters, as well as representing them in tax audits and tax investigations. Market commentators describe him as a "highly qualified and well-organised lawyer."

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Band 3

BINDER GRÖSSWANG Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Andreas Hable is a respected practitioner who handles the tax aspects of M&A transactions and corporate law questions. He is particularly active on cross-border tax matters. A client describes him as "a very experienced tax lawyer with an international background." Clients also underline his reliability.

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Band 3

CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati

From the Chambers Europe guide

Head of department Johannes Prinz often deals with matters relating to taxation of M&A transactions, restructurings and tax planning. A client says he "gives to-the-point tax advice," and also highlights Prinz's "up-to-date knowledge."

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Band 4

Arnold Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Nikolaus Arnold is highlighted by market commentators for his expertise in stamp duty law, whilst another interviewee adds that he is "well established at advising private individuals." He is also known to advise on trust and private foundation law, and often represents clients in tax litigation.

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Band 4

Robert Briem Rechtsanwalt-GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sole practitioner Robert Briem is described by market commentators as an "expert in private foundations." He has extensive experience in advising private clients. Briem also assists with inheritance matters and succession planning.

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Band 4

bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Gerald Schachner moves up in the rankings due to very strong client feedback. He is dual-qualified as a lawyer and a tax adviser, and is particularly knowledgeable of M&A and corporate taxation matters. Multiple clients appreciate him for being hard-working, with one in particular adding that "he does a lot of research, so I can trust that I will get a good answer from him and his answers are well thought out." Schachner also advises on VAT matters and assists high net worth individuals with relocations to Austria.

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Band 4

Clemens Philipp Schindler

Schindler Attorneys

From the Chambers Europe guide

Head of department Clemens Philipp Schindler advises on transfer pricing, tax litigation and tax matters relating to cross-border transactions. One client describes him as a "very outgoing and social character, a strong negotiator." He represents both multinational companies and high net worth individuals.

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Band 4

Baker McKenzie - Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG

From the Chambers Europe guide

Head of department Christoph Urtz is qualified as both a tax adviser and a lawyer and has a good technical knowledge of the field. Market commentators describe him as a "good tax practitioner whose work is great." Urtz has a broad tax practice, advising on transactional tax matters and tax litigation. He acted for Nokia on the tax aspects of its post-M&A integration of Alcatel.

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Band 4

Grama Schwaighofer Vondrak Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Philip Vondrak of Grama Schwaighofer Vondrak Rechtsanwälte GmbH is dual-qualified as both a lawyer and a tax adviser. He advises on both domestic and cross-border matters. A client describes him as "friendly; he understands our company's structure and has a rapid response rate."  Vondrak acts for private clients and foundations on succession planning.

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Band 4

KWR Karasek Wietrzyk Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Gerold Wietrzyk of KWR Karasek Wietrzyk Rechtsanwälte GmbH is particularly known for his involvement in transactional tax matters and tax structuring issues. He often represents clients in audits, criminal tax cases, investigations and litigation.

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Up and Coming

Schindler Attorneys

From the Chambers Europe guide

Counsel Lars Gläser enters this year's rankings due to good peer and client recognition. He is experienced in advising on a broad range of tax issues including tax litigation and international tax matters. A client says he has a "broad knowledge of different topics, which he is able to link together well." Clients also appreciate that he "has a very strong tax knowledge, listens to the client and comes back with answers."

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Up and Coming

bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Having joined the firm in 2017, Walter Loukota enters this years rankings on the back of good client and peer recognition. He is dual-qualified as an attorney-at-law and tax adviser. Market commentators say: "He does corporate taxation, and is a really clever guy who has gained a lot of experience." Loukota also focuses on tax litigation.

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Up and Coming

Michaela Petritz-Klar

Taylor Wessing

From the Chambers Europe guide

Michaela Petritz-Klar heads the tax department of Taylor Wessing and is known for advising on domestic and international matters. She has a broad tax practice, assisting with restructuring, reorganisations, estate planning and tax disclosures. Interviewees highlight her proactive approach and add that "she provides the service on short notice."

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