Wednesday, 01. October 2014
18. 04. 12. - 21:00
The Austrian government is cracking down on another alleged safe haven for private equity.
Only last week, Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) Finance Minister Maria Fekter met with Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf to finalise a tax treaty between the neighbouring countries. The agreement means that Austrians’ money in Switzerland would be charged with tax rates of 15 to 38 per cent depending on when they opened accounts there.
The ÖVP and its coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ), hope to rake in one billion Euros next year this way. The government is optimistic about revenues of 50 million Euros a year as of 2014 thanks to the bilateral tax treaty with Switzerland. Now Fekter revealed that a team of Austrian experts on financial and tax affairs gathered with representatives of the Principality of Liechtenstein. The former interior minister said she wanted to close taxation loopholes Austrians were currently benefiting from by stashing their assets in Liechtenstein-based foundations.
SPÖ Finance Secretary Andreas Schieder admitted that talks with Liechtenstein financial sector officials could be "more complex" than the negotiations with the Swiss government. He underlined that the discussions about a tax agreement were mostly about foundations, not bank accounts – in contrast to the debate with Switzerland’s political leaders. He said it was often less clear who owned the money hoarded in foundations while ÖVP boss Michael Spindelegger appealed on the public to give the Austrian experts some time to try and sort out an agreement. SPÖ Chancellor Werner Faymann said the discussions with Liechtenstein could take longer than the talks with Widmer-Schlumpf’s team of negotiators.
There are still some uncertainties regarding the Austrian-Swiss tax treaty. The federal parliament of Switzerland must give the deal the go-ahead. Furthermore, a referendum regarding the issue could delay or even thwart the Austrian government’s attempts to meet its own budget criteria. SPÖ and ÖVP agreed in February to improve the public budget’s volume by 26.5 billion Euros with a wide range of tax increases and cutbacks. Additional earnings from a tax treaty with Switzerland were an important part of the package. The opposition harshly attacked the coalition for considering the extra incomes as certain while tax system experts still think that revenues of one billion Euros in 2013 is a too optimistic target.
SPÖ and ÖVP struggle in polls. Both parties are therefore expected to make aware of their ability to seal the tax deal with Switzerland as promised on next year’s campaign trail. Several regional elections are due for the coming months, with a federal ballot scheduled for autumn 2013. The government parties might try to redirect the public attention from the various corruption scandals some former members could be involved in. Prosecutors’ abuse of office, bribe and embezzlement investigations against retired politicians are expected to be a key topic of the Greens’ election campaign. However, the Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) might make aware of the various allegations against ex-government ministers as well – despite claims that high-ranking FPÖ and BZÖ officials were strongly engaged in making illicit arrangements as well.
» General News 2012-05-31
A renowned economist has warned from reintroducing the drachma in Greece.
» General News 2012-05-31
Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.
» Business 2012-05-31
A real estate expert has expressed concerns about property prices in Austria.
» Business 2012-05-30
The number of pilots and stewardesses leaving Austrian Airlines (AUA) because of the upcoming pay cuts is on the rise.
» Business 2012-05-29
Dozens of pilots have left Austrian Airlines (AUA) in the past weeks, according to the loss-making carrier’s works committee.
» General News 2012-05-24
The government is intensifying its attempts to pass a transparency package in parliament.
Rare Bald Ibis Makes Microlight Flight To Italy
The project to introduce an extinct bird back to Europe is hailing success after successfully negotiating a new route over the Alps and training 14 Northern Bald Ibises how to fly south to winter feeding grounds in southern Tuscany.
Pat On The Back From Manure Explosive
A traffic cop in Austria got more than he bargained for after a booby trap covered him head-to-toe in manure as he was trying to catch people speeding.
Viennese Jihad Girl May Have Been Killed
Austrian police say that one of the two attractive young teenage girls who fled the country to go to Syria to fight on the side of Islamic rebels may have been killed.
Perversion of a Medical Dream
The Decline and Fall of the Otto Wagner Hospital, Vienna.
Fat Can Be Used To Burn Off Weight After New Patent Unveiled
It is being hailed as a sensation after scientists at an Austrian university patented a method that transforms fat storing cells into mini factories capable of actually destroying fat by burning it off.
Three Family Members Dead In Well Tragedy
A mother has lost her husband, her pregnant daughter and her son-in-law after a tragic accident where one of them fell into a well and the other two died while trying to carry out a failed rescue.
Brit Soldier Rescued After Climbing Mountain In T Shirt
A British soldier who tackled the frozen Austrian Alps wearing just shorts and a T-shirt has been rapped by officials after he had to be rescued from the snowy peak.
Mum And Daughter Struck By Lightning In Pool
A mother and her daughter were hospitalised after they were struck by lightning – in a swimming pool.
Police Nab Porn Star Who Filmed In Local Church
A woman accused of making a porn movie in a local church has been caught after an informant tipped off police that he recognised her by her breasts after an appeal for information.
Young Hip Hop Dancer Gets 18 Years For Drug Smuggling
A blonde hip hop dancer and charity worker promised an international career after she was spotted by a talent scout has been jailed for 18 years in Indonesia after her work offer turned out to have been part of an elaborate drugs con.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Porn Scandal Over Latvian PM Press Aide|
|Evil Dad Hunted By Cops After Beating Son To Force Wife Back|
|High Speed Segway Chase Nabs Crook|
|Bystander Almost Killed When Car Explodes|
|Granny Cures Eye Problems By Licking Eyeballs|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.