The government bill of the Annual Tax Act of 2018 (Jahressteuergesetz 2018) provides for new types of formal tax rulings.
Pursuant to sec. 118 of the Federal Fiscal Procedures Act, legally binding tax rulings (Auskunftsbescheide) can currently be obtained in Austria for the following topics: (i) reorganizations; (ii) group taxation; and (iii) transfer pricing. The government bill of the Annual Tax Act 2018 provides for an extension of the available topics in order to include the following: (i) international tax law (i.e., transfer pricing, tax treaties, but not domestic law provisions; as of 1 January 2019); (ii) value added taxation (as of 1 January 2020); and (iii) the existence of abuse of law in an envisaged structuring (as of 1 January 2019). One of the main prerequisites for receiving a tax ruling is that the facts of the anticipated transaction on which the tax ruling is based have not yet materialized. However, a tax ruling may nevertheless be issued if the facts of the case materialized at a point in time when there was no possibility to receive a tax ruling.
As planned, a tax ruling shall be issued within two months upon the underlying application. This time period may only be exceeded due to an extraordinary complexity of the request made. Also, organizational measures shall enhance the possibility for a taxpayer to post queries with the competent administrator in the event of ambiguities.