Austria: New procedure for reclaiming withholding tax on dividends - update

18.09.2020

Note: This announcement originally published on 16 January 2019 was updated to provide further information on the procedure for reclaiming withholding tax on dividends.

The Austrian Tax Authority (ATA) has informed Clearstream Banking1 of the following changes to the procedure for reclaiming withholding tax on dividends effective

immediately

Procedure

From 1 January 2019, according to § 240a BAO, Double Taxation Treaty (DTT) tax reclaims can only be started via an obligatory electronic notification to the ATA in advance using a Web-Form. The process is as follows:

  1. The relevant Web-Form “DIAG” must completed and transmitted electronically (Vorausmeldung) via the online portal of the ATA.
  2. The electronically transmitted Web-Form “DIAG” including the acknowledgement of transfer must be printed.  
  3. The transmission reference number must be entered on the printed Web-Form.
  4. The applicant must sign the Web-Form.
  5. The certificate of residence (COR) that is foreseen on the printed Web-Form must be confirmed by the applicant’s tax authority.
  6. After receipt of the COR, the applicant or Clearstream Banking must send the printed and signed Web-Form together with all other necessary documentation to the Finanzamt Bruck Eisenstadt Oberwart, Abzugsteuererstattung, Neusiedlerstraße 46, A-7001 Eisenstadt, Austria. Transmission by fax is not permitted.
  7. If the applicant submits a DTT tax reclaim following the new procedure for the first time, the ATA will allocate an individual Withholding Tax ID number (Identifikationsnummer -ABZ-Nummer). This ABZ Number will be transmitted by ATA directly to the applicant. When the applicant is a Funds Company the ABZ-Number will be transmit by ATA to the representative mentioned in the reclaim form manual in addition. The applicant must indicate a deliverable post address.
  8. For all future tax reclaims, this Withholding Tax ID number must then be completed by applicant in chapter 1 “Information about the person of the applicant”. The applicant must forward its ABZ-Number in the chain, because ATA will reference the payment with the ABZ-Number and the number of the reclaim form. The number of the reclaim form will be mentioned by ATA on the Bescheid (tax office letter) or with notice of payment.

Clearstream Banking recommends to save the first completed Web-Form “DIAG” as an .fsxml file to save the applicant’s data in chapter 1 “Information about the person of the applicant” to avoid a mismatch of the Withholding Tax ID number and the applicant in the next reclaim. With this approach, for each new request only the individual Withholding Tax ID number (issued by the ATA with the first reclaim via the Web-Form) and the data in chapter 6A. “General information” and chapter 7. “Calculation of the repayment claim” must be replaced.

If the applicant does not use the Clearstream Banking tax service, the applicant must forward the reclaim form with all necessary documentation directly to the ATA as described in step 6 above, enter its own account details and must not name any representative in the form. Transmission by fax is not permitted.

If the applicant uses the Clearstream Banking tax service, the applicant must follow steps 1-5 and 7-8 and after receipt of the COR, transmit the printed and signed Web-Form with all other necessary documentation to Clearstream Banking, name Clearstream Banking as the representative and enter the banking information as described below.

Clearstream Banking cannot validate the individual Withholding Tax ID number allocated by the Austrian Tax Authority. The applicant is responsible to enter the correct Withholding Tax ID number in the Web-Form “DIAG” from the second tax reclaim following the new procedure. The applicant must forward its ABZ-Number in the chain, because ATA will reference the payment with the ABZ-Number and the number of the reclaim form. The number of the reclaim form will be mentioned by ATA on the Bescheid (tax office letter) or with notice of payment.

Due to the special account structure, business and requirements for securities admission in Clearstream Banking only tax reclaims via the Web-Form “DIAG” according to §6 (for EU Pension Funds) or §21 (for foreign legal entities/corporate bodies “Körperschaften”) of the Austrian Corporate Income Tax Act (ACITA - "Körperschaftsteuergesetz") or in accordance with a DTT between its country of residence and Austria are possible in Clearstream Banking.

Details regarding the legal basis, type of reclaims and the usage of reclaim forms are available on the ATA website in German and in English.

Note: On the German page of the ATA website, applicants can choose the language of the form (German or English).

Reclaim forms

The new and mandatory reclaim forms are available on the ATA website and must be used from 1 January 2019 for all tax reclaims.

Pending reclaim forms already provided to the ATA until 31 December 2018 (the post stamp is relevant) will still be processed. Reclaims with the old forms that are submitted to the ATA after 31 December 2018 will be rejected by the ATA and the tax reclaim must be started again with the new procedure.

The Market Taxation Guide - Austria will be updated in due course to add the Web-Form. All other requirements published in the Market Taxation Guide - Austria remain unchanged especially chapter Standard refund - eligibility, documentation, deadlines - Austrian equities / Filling reclaim form.

Applicants cannot file the reclaim form before the end of the year in which the tax was withheld (for example, not before 2019 for dividends paid in 2018).

In addition, the ATA also stated that from a procedural point of view the ATA requires only one single reclaim form per year and per applicant/beneficial owner.

Note: If the customer does not enter Clearstream Banking as the representative and does not tick the mandate for postal deliveries, Clearstream Banking will not be informed about payment details and cannot monitor the settlement of the payments.

Important note: If the customer uses the Clearstream Banking tax service they must tick in form ZS-RD-DIAG / Web-Form ”DIAG” under “type of authorisation” “Financial authorisation” and “Recipient authorisation” and enter in section 2 “Information about representative, if applicable” the following address

Clearstream Operations Prague s.r.o.
Attn: PTS - Tax Services
Futurama Business Park Building B
Sokolovska 662/136b
CZ-18600 Prague 8
Czech Republic

and in section 5 “Details for the transfer of the repayment amount (banking information)” the following details:

  • IBAN (International Bank Account Number): AT502011140331637800
  • Account holder: Clearstream Banking Luxembourg
  • Financial institution: Clearstream Banking Luxembourg
  • BIC (Bank Identifier Code): CEDELULL
  • Address (financial institution): Luxembourg

The answers given by the applicant to questions in chapter 6A “General Information” in the Web-Form “DIAG” or form ZS-RD-DIAG cannot be validated by Clearstream Banking. Clearstream Banking recommends that applicants answer all questions and do not delete any sentences and/or sections. Reclaim forms will be forwarded by Clearstream Banking even if the applicant has not answered some questions in full or in part.

Further Information

For further information, customers may contact the Clearstream Banking Tax Help Desk, Clearstream Banking Client Services or their Relationship Officer.

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1. Clearstream Banking refers collectively to Clearstream Banking S.A., registered office at 42, avenue John F. Kennedy, L-1855 Luxembourg, and registered with the Luxembourg Trade and Companies Register under number B-9248, and Clearstream Banking AG, registered office at 61, Mergenthalerallee, 65760 Eschborn, Germany and registered in Register B of the Amtsgericht Frankfurt am Main, Germany under number HRB 7500.