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Austrian Lawmakers Wave Through Tax Hikes

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

27 February 2014


Despite protests from opposition parties, the Austrian National Council adopted with minor changes the Government's Tax Amendment Act, providing for a raft of tax rises.

The Tax Amendment Act increases the country's standard consumption tax, the motor vehicle tax, and the tobacco tax. The legislative tax package also reintroduces a tax on sparkling wine. The measures are designed to generate additional revenues for the budget of about EUR770m (USD1.06bn) in 2014, before providing EUR1.2bn annually from 2015.

The Tax Amendment Act includes provisions to limit the group tax regime, indefinitely extend the solidarity tax on top earners' income, and limit the tax break for so-called "golden handshakes." Finally, the legislation modifies the country's bank tax, and amends the gambling law.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said that Austria will continue to push for the introduction of a financial transactions tax (FTT) at European level, noting that all political parties in Austria back the levy. An EU FTT should be all-encompassing – it must not merely function as a stock market sales tax, Faymann said.

TAGS: tax | sales tax | vehicle tax | law | budget | corporation tax | tobin tax | group taxation | gambling | legislation | Austria | tax breaks | individual income tax | Europe | Tax

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