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Private Clients and Private Foundations

At WTS Austria, our private clients experts support individuals, family businesses, family offices and private foundations in dealing with all specialist questions. These include successor issues, the implementation and support of charitable engagements and the return to tax honesty. In addition, we assist with refund requests for too much retained withholding tax on capital assets and with the tax optimisation of investments in Austria and abroad.

Furthermore, at WTS Austria we have extensive specialist knowledge in the field of corporate transfers and assist with the tax-optimised transfer of business. Our experts develop corporate and asset succession concepts and draft appropriate proposals for any contractual arrangements and adjustments. Naturally, we take the individual wishes of our clients and their families into consideration.

Although there is no inheritance and gift tax in Austria, tax law can not be completely disregarded. In addition to any reporting obligations for donations (donation declaration), there may be income tax, VAT and land transfer tax consequences. It is also the case that not every donation has to be tax-neutral (one could consider mixed donations, for example). In the case of inheritance and donations with a foreign connection (be it due to residence, citizenship or the location of the property), tax consequences may arise abroad.

At WTS we advise on structures for asset protection (private foundations, foreign foundations, GmbH) and assess domestic and cross-border real estate and capital investments from a tax perspective. Furthermore, some of our WTS tax partners are board members of private foundations and have many years of experience in this field. They therefore understand all issues, obligations and procedures.

We offer a full tax service for Austrian private foundations. This includes:

  • Advice on establishing a foundation and recommendations for a foundation declaration,
  • Explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of a private foundation,
  • Submission of the foundation tax return,
  • Routine tax advice for the private foundation, foundation board, the founders and beneficiaries,
  • Managing the foundation accounting,
  • Preparation of annual accounts and annual tax returns.

 

Our objective is to provide long-term tax assistance for our clients' assets through the generations and help them to maintain their value. In doing so, we always keep their particular personal and family situation in mind. The individual support of our clients with these private matters is very important to us, which is why we always provide a personal contact person for any questions.

Our WTS private clients team clarifies complex tax issues in a cross-border context with partners from our WTS Global network and makes specific recommendations for action. We prepare the ongoing tax returns for individuals (declaration of foreign capital assets) and companies. In addition, we help with disclosures/self-reports at home and abroad. This applies in particular with respect to the international exchange of bank data information.

The reasons for moving within the country or abroad can be manifold: in professional life, people take on a job abroad or their residence is relocated to a desired destination on the occasion of retirement. In addition to the legal implications (right to report, aliens' rights, residence permits), the tax aspects of such moves should not be disregarded. It must also be considered that natural persons may have several residences in Austria and abroad. From an international tax law perspective, when there are several residences in Austria and abroad, focus is on the person's permanent centre of interests.

Austria, and in particular Vienna and its surrounding area, is an attractive location for wealthy private individuals due to the high quality of life and standards. This is reinforced by the tax situation: there is currently no wealth tax in Austria (with the exception of a small property tax on real estate), and there is no inheritance and donations tax. If a certain amount has been exceeded, donations must be reported to the financial administration (donation declaration).

In terms of taxation, the influx of persons with a specific professional profile is encouraged. Incoming scientists, researchers, artists and athletes can, under certain conditions, apply for a special immigration allowance in the form of the elimination of additional tax burdens. Furthermore, scientists and researchers have the possibility of being granted a 30% immigrant allowance for five years (Sec. 103 of the Income Tax Act (EStG)).

When moving away from Austria, it should be noted that exit taxation applies both commercially and privately. Depending on the destination (EU/EEA countries or third country), exit taxation has different structures.

Before moving, it is important that all legal (and not just fiscal) aspects are clarified. We cooperate with renowned law firms in this field and can refer our clients to competent contact persons from our international WTS Global network. WTS Austria is therefore well positioned to provide a comprehensive and customised moving package that takes all legal aspects into account.

WTS Austria has already completed moving projects with Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Belgium, France, Russia, America, Dubai and Switzerland.

One of our key areas of expertise is advising national and international well-known artists and athletes. Both (international) tax law and social security law have some special rules.

For example, athletes with unlimited tax liability can declare a fixed sum of income that includes promotional activity (athlete's fixed sum payment). Artists and writers also have the possibility of a profit carry-back for the first tax assessment for one calendar year. By spreading income over three years, a progressive reduction can be achieved; incoming artists and athletes are also entitled to certain benefits when moving.

Artists and athletes who extend their business activities across borders are under the jurisdiction of several states, which can lead to double taxation problems. In order to avoid double taxation, double taxation treaties (DTTs) apply between individual states. Austria has signed nearly 100 DTTs, which usually have their own provisions for artists and athletes (a well-known exception is the DTT with Hungary). The DTT assigns the taxation right to the state in which the work is being carried out, which results in some special features in the taxation of artists and athletes with limited taxable liability in Austria (who have neither domicile nor habitual residence in Austria) (keyword: withholding tax on performances).

New professions are appearing in the light of digitisation. WTS Austria has developed expertise in advising people who are active in the field of new media. Photos, videos, comments and tips are shared on platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Influencers and bloggers can earn money on these channels by posting articles. For example, they often receive product samples from companies to advertise on their accounts. Due to the novelty of such professions, there is still no case law and few statements on the tax implications. Depending on the individual case, there are different tax optimisation options for this professional group.

Our young team of experts from WTS Austria already has extensive experience in this field and advises influencers and bloggers.

Main Contact
MMag. Dr. Jürgen Reinold
Senior Manager
Certified Tax Consultant
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Main Contact
Mag. Gottfried Schellmann
Managing Director
Certified Tax Consultant
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