On 7 June 2017, the OECD published the reservation and notification statement for Austria to the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting ("MLI").
Most of the OECD's envisaged measures against base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) require the amendment of the over 2,000 currently existing bilateral double taxation treaties. Since modifications of international agreements are rather cumbersome, the MLI provides the basis to close those gaps by updating the bilateral double taxation treaties worldwide at one go. In general, signatories may choose which existing tax treaties should be covered by the MLI.
On 7 June 2017, a signing ceremony of the MLI took place at the OECD headquarters in Paris. On this occasion, the OECD released the MLI position in terms of the reservations and notifications from each jurisdiction. In this regard, Austria notified 38 double tax treaties to be modified using the MLI. Further, Austria reserved, inter alia, the right for certain MLI articles not to apply to its covered tax agreements, namely those on (i) transparent entities; (ii) dual resident entities; (iii) dividend transfer transactions; and (iv) capital gains from the alienation of shares of entities deriving their value principally from immovable property. Austria also notified a number of already existing provisions in listed agreements. Finally, Austria formulated a reservation with respect to the scope of cases that shall be eligible for arbitration by excluding cases involving the application of its domestic general anti-avoidance rules.