Since recently, all Austrian financial institutions have been obliged to submit certain financial account data to the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF). The basis for the is the Common Reporting Standard Act (GMSG), which incorporates an EU directive, the origins of which stem from the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) developed by the OECD, into national Austrian law.
The GMSG stipulates that national tax authorities transmit the data electronically to the competent authorities of the participating CRS states. It is an international reporting system aimed at helping combat cross-border tax evasion and avoidance. Over 100 countries (including all EU Member States, Switzerland and Liechtenstein) around the world participate in it.
Who is reported?
All customers, both natural persons and legal entities / companies who do not have their tax domicile exclusively in Austria but (also) in one of the participating CRS states are affected.
When does reporting occur?
- If customers (natural persons as well as legal entities / companies) are identified as tax-resident in a state participating in the CRS, except Austria, the financial institution is obliged to report their data (as well as the data of the controlling persons) to the responsible tax office every year. The reported data are then forwarded by the Austrian financial authorities to the competent authorities of the respective partner countries.
- The same applies if the customer is tax-resident in Austria but also has other foreign tax residencies as well.
Self-assessment in respect of tax residence
As from 1 October 2016, each new account/deposit holder has been obliged to disclose their tax residence(s) and, where applicable (in the case of companies with passive income), of their controlling persons to the financial authorities. In certain circumstances, tax residence(s) must be clarified for accounts / deposits existing as at 30 September 2016.
Tax residence generally depends on the regulations of the state in question. Points of reference are characteristics such as place of residence, habitual residence or the centre of life interests or, for companies, the registered office of the company or the place of management.
Which data are reported?
The financial institution is, in principle, obliged to report all bank accounts (savings, deposits and giro transactions) and deposits held by customers resident for tax purposes in one or more of the participating countries.
The following customer and account details are reported:
- Name and address of the account holder(s);
- Country / countries of residence;
- Tax identification number(s) (TIN);
- Date and place of birth;
- Account and deposit number(s);
- Account balances and deposit values at the end of the calendar year concerned or the date of the account’s reversal;
- Current gross income and disposal proceeds;
- There are additional reporting requirements for legal entities (corporations, foundations, etc.).
When are reports sent?
The automatic exchange of information is valid from 2017 onwards for the previous calendar year, replacing the EU withholding tax for EU citizens with limited tax liability in Austria.
Notifications according to GMSG are to be submitted electronically to the tax office of the financial institution (responsible for corporation tax) annually by 30 June, and include the relevant data determined from the previous calendar year. The first notification under GMSG was to be issued by the financial institutions by 30 June 2017 at the latest, for:
- New accounts and deposits opened for the first time from 1 October 2016 until 30 June 2017.
- Accounts and deposits existing before 1 October 2016, depending on whether they are managed by natural persons or legal entities, as well as on the amount of the account balances / deposit values, either until 30 June 2018 or 30 June 2019.