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Austria's SPÖ Defends Wealth Tax Motion

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

09 October 2012

Ahead of their upcoming party conference, Austria’s Social Democrats (SPÖ) have unveiled details of their wealth tax plans, aimed at redistributing wealth in Austria.

The SPÖ underscored in its statement that the Austrian National Bank’s (OeNB) latest study on wealth distribution in Austria serves to underpin the party’s wealth tax motion, by highlighting the existing pronounced inequality.

The OeNB’s study shows that 40% of households in Austria have net wealth of up to EUR50,000 (USD64,600), while just 11% have wealth in excess of EUR500,000.

Determined to address the issue and to ensure greater equality of wealth distribution, the SPÖ has put forward its plans to reform the current system. The party plans to shift the tax burden from labour to capital, to introduce a new inheritance and gift tax in Austria for total inheritances in excess of EUR1m, and to introduce a tax for wealth over EUR1m.

Other proposals set out by the party in its motion include plans to simplify the tax system, to introduce elements intended to promote growth and to benefit the environment, to modernize the country’s corporate tax law by, for example, further reforming group taxation, and to introduce a financial transactions tax either at European level or as an alternative at national level.

Finally, the party aims to limit the tax deduction applicable to managerial salaries in excess of EUR500,000 a year, and to ease banking secrecy in cases of suspected tax crimes.

TAGS: inheritance tax | compliance | Wealth | tax | tax compliance | tax avoidance | law | banking | corporation tax | tax thresholds | group taxation | offshore | banking secrecy | gift tax | Austria | tax reform

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