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Vienna, 01.04.2019 Löger and Fuchs initiate implementation of national digital tax Expert panel assembled – National alliance of top brains, with substantive conclusions expected in the next few weeks

Vienna (OTS) - At today's press conference, Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Löger and State Secretary of Finance Hubert Fuchs launched implementation of a national digital tax.

During the entire period of the Austria's EU Council Presidency, Austria was a fervent advocate of a European digital tax. Indeed, vital progress was achieved, but a number of countries blocked the way until the end. As a result, it was not possible to come to an agreement even on a minimal compromise.

According to Finance Minister Löger, "Brussels has failed on digital tax. In Austria, we will implement it, since we will not allow ourselves to be held back any longer by the doubters. Through Austria's national digital tax, we are providing the answer to the lack of fairness in taxation between the traditional and the digital economy."

Mr Fuchs, State Secretary of Finance, explained why a digital tax is so urgently needed: "In Austria, companies pay corporation tax depending on their profits. Now, however, it is the case that major digital corporations in Austria report only very minimal profits. These are reduced as a result of global profit shifting. Profit-based taxation of major digital corporations is therefore ineffective. To compensate for this, therefore, in future, digital corporations will have to pay a digital tax."

In terms of implementation, three objectives are at the forefront: a level playing field across the competition, fair taxation, and the removal of any additional burden on Austrian or European SMEs.

In order to ensure that these objectives are ultimately reflected in policy, Finance Minister Löger and State Secretary Fuchs have already convened an expert panel, scheduled to meet next Tuesday. Their task will be to integrate the opinions of as many key players as possible and to create a national alliance of the best brains.Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) and the Austrian Federal Chancellery (BKA), as well as high-ranking representatives from the Austrian Newspaper Association (VÖZ), the Association of Private-Sector Broadcasters (VÖP), the ORF, the Austrian Internet Offensive (IOÖ) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau Austria (IAB).

In addition, expert talks are already ongoing on the two further measures of the Digital Tax Package adopted by the Austrian cabinet, the Council of Ministers. These are focusing on companies within the "sharing economy" and package deliveries to private consumers from third countries by online mail order. Substantive conclusions are anticipated within just a few weeks.

In his conclusion, Finance Minister Löger made clear that, despite Austria's national solution, efforts at an international level would not be curtailed. The focus was now on achieving a global solution within the framework of the OECD. To this end, Löger is engaged in intensive discussions with both his French and German counterparts.