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Austria: the tax returns

Alessandro PasutThe Austrian Ministry of Finance has admitted that in certain cases, such as the short-term posting of workers in Austria, it is difficult to manage the bureaucratic burden since it is necessary to give out fiscal codes and receive the tax returns whenever the 2,000 euro limit is exceeded.
If therefore it is with almost absolute certainty recognizable that the filing of a tax return with reference to the consequences of the tax avoidance agreement has no significant relevance for tax purposes, the Ministry of Finance will not demand the filing of the tax return. According to the Ministry, this certainty is reached when the following three conditions are met:
the obligation of tax exemption in Austria is without any doubt established in the double tax avoidance agreement; this consequence is applied in a corresponding way in both countries party to the agreement and, if necessary, this can be proved by a document showing the taxation in the foreign country.


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Croatia: Electronic Submission of tax returns

As of 1 January 2012, the following taxpayers are obliged to file their tax returns and other reports electronically: medium and large sized entrepreneurs (according to the definition provided by the Accounting Law) and VAT taxpayers whose annual taxable deliveries of goods and services exceed of HRK 800,000 (domestic taxable deliveries and exports).

Employers or payers of salaries and pensions that have more than 100 employees, retirees and other persons to whom receipts are paid in accordance with the Personal Income Tax Law, are only obliged to electronically file monthly income declaration forms if not otherwise specified. Taxpayers not otherwise required to submit tax returns and other reports electronically may voluntarily register and use the electronic taxation service „ePorezna“, which brings a number of benefits.

Currently, electronic submission of the following tax returns and other reports are allowed: monthly and annual VAT returns; monthly reports on salaries and other income; annual corporate income tax return; annual calculation of the monument fee; annual calculation of the tourist fee; and insight into the Croatian Tax Administration’s records of the taxpayer.

The following tax returns and reports must be physically submitted on electronic media: annual information on salaries or pensions; annual report on allowances disbursed and the advance payments of withholding tax on other income, income from property rights, income from capital and income from insurance and annual information on personal income tax deductible insurance premiums and voluntary health insurance premiums.

As of 1 January 2012 the submission of the Annual Financial Statements to the Financial Agency (FINA) is no longer free of charge.  However, if Annual Financial Statements are submitted electronically, the service continues to be free of charge.

In order to use ePorezna services a digital certificate with information proving the identity of the legal entity, including an electronic signature must be obtained.  The authorized issuer of digital certificates is FINA and the certificate is issued on a FINA e-card that also allows users access to certain other services.

The General Tax Law prescribes penalties for both legal entities and individuals who do not electronically submit tax returns and other reports ranging from HRK 5,000 to HRK 500,000 and for the responsible person ranging from HRK 2,000 to HRK 100,000.


Czech Republic: Tax returns of non-residents

The Ministry of Finance has recently published an announcement on their web site regarding the application of the provisions of an amendment to the Income Tax which enables tax non-residents to file a tax return in the Czech Republic reflecting expenses related to selected income.
The most significant items of this announcement are the following: tax returns can newly be filed for tax periods starting in 2009. The new treatment applies to selected individuals and legal entities, that is to say Czech non-residents for tax purposes. Such individuals/entities must be tax residents of other EU states or states of the European Economic Area (Island, Norway, Liechtenstein).
The provisions are applicable to income from the provision of services, income from a trade or profession (other than employment income), and income from personal activities carried out in the Czech Republic, regardless of whether only one of the aforementioned types of income or a combination of types of income is earned.
The taxpayer can deduct either the actual amount of expenses or a percentage of the relevant income, unless such treatment is ruled out by the amendment. The generally applicable rule is that prove has to be given that expenditures and/or expenses had to be incurred in order to generate, ensure and maintain the income. According to the amendment, rather than keeping records an individual can choose to claim a percentage of the expenses.
Tax returns have be filed no later than within three months from the end of the tax period, or within six months if the tax return is prepared and filed by a tax advisor. In that case, however, a power of attorney issued for the tax advisor must be submitted to the relevant tax office within the initial three-month deadline.
Tax returns have to be submitted to the relevant tax office using the form issued by the Ministry of Finance. Although the Ministry of Finance’s web sites provide an English translation of the form, only the Czech version of the filed tax return is considered valid. The tax return can also be filed electronically. If the tax payer does not file the tax return within the tax assessment period, the withheld and paid tax is subsequently treated as having been assessed and settled.