General tax information - types of securities, deadlines, other market specifics - Austria

14.08.2019

Types of securities

The eligible securities issued in Austria are as follows:

  • Government bonds;
  • Treasury bills;
  • Corporate bonds (including domestic and foreign bonds);
  • Commercial paper (OeKB-eligible only);
  • Bearer equities.

Types of beneficial owner

Residents of Double Taxation Treaty (DTT) countries, which includes foreign governments and international organisations, are the only beneficial owners recognised for tax purposes in Austria.

Residents of Austria cannot reclaim withholding tax on income from Austrian securities.

Resident status is assumed of someone who has a lodging and all circumstances lead to the conclusion that the person may use that lodging at any time. The habitual place of abode is a place where someone stays under circumstances that lead to the conclusion that the person will stay not only temporarily. If the taxpayer stays in Austria for more than six months, that person will always be subject to unlimited tax liability.

Statutory deadline for reclaiming withholding tax

The statutory deadline for reclaiming withholding tax is five years following the year in which the relevant dividend payment, for which tax reclaim is to be made, occurred. This statutory deadline overrides the regulations mentioned in all existing Double Taxation Treaties (DTTs).

Clearstream deadline for standard refund applications

The deadline by which Clearstream Banking must receive the documentation for a standard refund application is at least two months before the statutory deadline. All standard refund applications received after this deadline will be processed by Clearstream Banking on a "best effort" basis. However, in such a case, Clearstream Banking will apply an extra charge and accepts no responsibility for forms that have not reached the Austrian Tax Authorities by the date considered as being the statute of limitations deadline.

Note: Missing documents must be forwarded immediately after the notification by the Austrian Tax Authorities; otherwise, the claim may be rejected.

Notes on tax reclaims

Customers warrant the completeness and accuracy of the information they supply to Clearstream Banking.

It is the customer's responsibility to determine any entitlement to a refund of tax withheld, to complete the forms required correctly and to calculate the amount due. Clearstream Banking is under no obligation to carry out any investigation in respect of such information.

Customers must state, either on their application, whether the application is:

  • Initiated 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
  • Submitted in accordance with a Double Taxation Treaty (DTT) between its country of residence and Austria.

With respect to tax reclaims in general, customers are reminded that Clearstream Banking accepts no responsibility for their acceptance or non-acceptance by the tax authorities of the respective country.

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.
  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).
  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”.

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.

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.

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, but are currently only available in German, but currently only available in German.

When are refunds received?

The estimated time for receiving a refund is four months from the date of receipt by the Austrian Tax Authorities, although this can vary depending on when the application is filed and the complexity of the information supplied in the reclaim form.

Clearstream Banking has collected information from sources considered reliable but does not guarantee the accuracy of the timings presented.