25 March 2020 – need2know
As already discussed in the COVID-19 Tax Update of 20.03.2020 based on information of the Austrian Ministry of Finance, various tax deadlines were extended by the 2nd COVID-19 Act published in the Federal Law Gazette on 21 March 2020 and a stamp duty exemption for documents and official acts in connection with the corona support measures has been established.
Interruption of deadlines
In the area of (ordinary) legal protection both in tax and financial criminal proceedings, the 2nd COVID-19 Act interrupts the course of important time limits (sec 323c para 1 Austrian Federal Fiscal Code (“AFFC”) and sec 265a para 1 Austrian Fiscal Criminal Act (“AFCA”)) such as the deadlines for filing an appeal (sec 245 para. 1 AFFC) and a submission request (sec 264 para. 1 AFFC) pursuant to the AFFC as well as the appeal deadlines (sec 145 para. 1 AFCA, sec 150 para. 2 AFCA and sec 150 para. 4 AFCA) pursuant to the AFCA.
The above-mentioned deadlines are interrupted if they have not already been expired on 16 March 2020 or if the period for filing an appeal began between 16 March and 30 April. These periods are to begin to run again on 1 May 2020.
However, the tax authority may in certain cases (such as averting a danger to life and limb, security and freedom or to prevent substantial and irretrievable damage to a party, etc.) declare in the respective proceedings that a deadline will not be interrupted. At the same time, it must set a new reasonable deadline (see sec 323c para 2 in connection with para 3 AFFC and sec 265a para 2 in connection with para 3 AFCA).
In addition, the Federal Minister of Finance is also authorised to extend the ordered general interruptions of time limits or to provide for further general exceptions to the interruption to the extent that this is necessary to prevent and combat the dissemination of COVID-19.
Exemption from stamp duty
The purpose of the amendment to the Austrian Stamp Duty Act is to create exemption from duties and federal administrative charges for all documents and official acts performed directly or indirectly as a result of the necessary measures in connection with the management of the COVID-19 crisis situation.
Authors: Gerald Schachner, Kornelia Wittmann
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