Austria: Responsibility of tax offices

In the future the tax office covering the area where the taxpayer is residing will be responsible for levying income tax, value added tax and all charges linked to wages and salaries.

Starting from 1 July the tax office of the place where the taxpayer is residing will be territorially responsible also in the event that one or more business establishments of the taxpayer’s company are situated in the area covered by other tax offices. Previously the responsibility was with the tax office of the place where the business establishment was situated.

For good cause the entrepreneur can, however, file a request in order to maintain the responsibility of the current tax office. A good cause is, for example, a great distance between the place of residence and the business establishment.

As of 1 July a proper tax office for companies exists only for corporations (and particularly for limited liability companies) and for partnerships. For the purpose of responsibility in these cases the place where the central management is residing is relevant. The new responsibilities of tax offices apply, however, only to natural persons.

In the case of filing a corrected return following fiscal evasion or errors committed in the original tax return it is of particular importance to know which tax office is responsible. When the corrected return is filed to the wrong office, this office informs the responsible office of the corrected return so that the underlying fact is considered “revealed” and is no more exempt from punishment.

VAT. In a decision regarding incorrect invoices the European Court of Justice states that deduction of input VAT may not be withheld by the authorities if before the issuance of the tax assessment note a corrected invoice has been presented. In the opinion of the Court in these cases input tax has to be deducted not only up to the moment of the issuance of the corrected invoice but with retroactive effect.

This circumstance is contemplated also at the margin of the Austrian VAT directives but is not considered in proceedings before the independent tax tribunals and the Administrative Court. It is therefore necessary to draw the attention of the respective authorities to the retroactive effect confirmed by European legislation.


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