Thursday, 05. March 2015
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.
Semmering Offers 50% Discount To Selected Heroes
The Magic Mountain Semmering will hold two Weeks of Heroes from 1st to 14th March as Panhans Holding Group says thank you to safety and well-being volunteers and professionals.
Skier Survived Almost Two Hours Buried Alive
A skier had a miracle escape after being buried under two metres of snow for nearly two hours during an avalanche in Austria, it was revealed last night.
Puppies Found Stuffed Inside Suitcase In Back Of Van
A litter of puppies destined for a dog farm was rescued after being found stuffed inside suitcases in the back of a van.
Kangaroo That Hopped It Spotted In Garden
Austrian police investigating reports of an escaped kangaroo have been given concrete proof after a local woman managed to photograph the animal in her back garden.
First Images Of Eurovision Stage
These are the first images of the design for the Eurovision Song Contest stage unveiled in the Austrian capital Vienna which is the home of last year's winner Conchita Wurst.
Russian Mafia Boss Nabbed At Vienna Railway Station
A Russian mobster wanted for a string of brutal murders was arrested in the gentile Austrian capital Vienna when commandos swooped as he went to buy a train ticket.
Teen Girls Arrested After Offering Themselves To IS Fighters
Austrian officials who recently cracked down on terrorism by arresting several people believed to be recruiting and fundraising for ISIS have revealed two more teenage girls tried to leave the country to marry terrorist fighters.
Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.
Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!
Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Semmering Offers 50% Discount To Selected Heroes|
|Tiger Cub Leaps To Its Death During Firework Show|
|Mayor Lifts Up Teenage Girls Skirt On Stage|
|Sun Worshipping Adrenaline Junkie Gets High-Rise Kick|
|Chickens Keep Their Heads After Chinese New Year Festival|
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.