Austria: Restructuring and modernisation of the Austrian Tax Administration and additional requirements for DTT tax reclaims from financial institutions
Clearstream Banking1 would like to inform customers about the restructuring and modernisation of the Austrian Tax Administration (ATA) and the additional documentation requested from financial institutions for DTT tax reclaims.
Restructuring and modernisation of the ATA
As of 1 January 2021, the ATA department "Abzugsteuererstattung" responsible for DTT tax reclaims is not part of the new Austrian Tax Office, but is part of the Tax Office for Large Enterprises (Finanzamt für Großbetriebe).
The Tax Office for Large Enterprises will remain at the current location: Finanzamt für Großbetriebe, Team: Abzugsteuererstattung, Neusiedler Str. 46, A-7000 Eisenstadt.
With the restructuring, incoming mail will be managed centrally and therefore new applications must be sent to the following address:
Finanzamt für Großbetriebe
All other correspondence, for example, hold responses, complaints or request for additional information must be sent to the following address:
Finanzamt für Großbetriebe (FAG)
Neusiedler Str. 46
The ATA informed Clearstream Banking that there are potential problems with this restructuring and modernisation because of automated scanning. The ATA department "Abzugsteuererstattung" only receives scanned applications including linked enclosures, but not withholding responses, appeals or other letters. To avoid problems, customers should note the following:
Part 1 Applications: Each application must be fully prepared. It is not possible that documents relevant for more than one application will be put only to the first or one application form. The application, cover letter and supporting documents must be in strict order. The application must be in the first place of the package. The automatic scanning process starts with the application and ends with the next application. All letters in between are scanned to the first application and therefore, if the strict order is not followed, it can happen that the ATA may have some applications without documents, with the consequence that the processing is delayed due to possible withholding procedures.
The order in one package sent to the ATA is as follows:
- Application 1;
- Cover letter to application 1;
- Documents to application 1;
- Application 2;
- Cover letter to application 2;
- Documents to application 2 etc.
Note: Since 1 January 2019, the ATA established a new procedure for reclaiming withholding tax on dividends. Clearstream Banking has published the new procedure with Announcement C19002. The ATA also accepts double-sided documents and reclaim forms stapled or clipped. All documents must be on A4 format without resizing before printing to avoid any problems with the QR code. If reclaim forms must be corrected by hand after the document have been filled electronically and printed out, all these documents must be sent as previously described to the Finanzamt für Großbetriebe, Postfach 251, A-1000 Wien.
Part 2 hold responses, complaints or other correspondence: Customers/applicants must include in all written correspondence the team „Abzugsteuererstattung“, and, if available, a reference to the withholding tax number (ABZ-Number), and the reclaim number (and name of person in charge, if available).
If it is not possible to clearly identify that a letter falls under the responsibility of the ATA team „Abzugsteuererstattung”, it may happen that, if the applicant has an Austrian tax number for some reason, the documents are scanned for the tax number and not forwarded by the ATA to the ATA team „Abzugsteuererstattung”. As a result, the ATA team „Abzugsteuererstattung“ may not receive such letters and thus the appeal may not be timely or applications may be rejected because the ATA team „Abzugsteuererstattung” did not receive the documents.
Note: The ATA is granting a transition period and will not reject applications forwarded to the wrong address during the first half of 2021.
Additional documentation requirements for DTT tax reclaims from financial institutions
Clearstream Banking has been notified by the ATA that, as of summer 2020, the ATA requires the following additional documents from financial institutions, for example, credit institutions and investment firms, but also from all entities that practicing their activity in the financial services sector seeking tax treaty refund on Austrian dividend payments for their proprietary positions:
- A formal statement issued and signed by the applicant’s board of directors, certifying that the securities on which a tax refund is claimed:
- are related to proprietary assets.
- were accounted as such no later than the last day before the ex-date of the dividend distribution, that is, no later than the cum-date.
- a similar formal statement issued and signed by the custodian bank of the applicant, certifying that the securities on which a tax refund is claimed:
- were duly accounted on the above-mentioned dates, in a securities account maintained by the applicant at the custodian bank and qualified as segregated own account within the meaning of the regulatory requirements on segregation of assets.
Clearstream Banking is not in the position to evaluate and identify proprietary assets in the multi-level depository chain. Thus, customers are required to provide these two additional documents along with the other refund documentation if the applicant will be a financial institution.
For further information, customers may contact the Clearstream Banking Tax Help Desk, Clearstream Banking Client Services or their Relationship Officer.
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.