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Vienna, 08.03.2019 Löger: "United in our efforts against international tax fraud" Anti-tax fraud package represent declaration of war against organized crime

Vienna (OTS) – On a visit to the anti-fraud units within the Austrian Finance Ministry, Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Löger once again stressed the necessity of bundling all available resources in the fight against international tax fraud: "If even a minority of people are defrauding and harming the general public on a large scale, I cannot and will not sit back and do nothing. Through our comprehensive anti-tax fraud package, we will make Austria a more secure place."

"Our colleagues from the Financial Police, the Tax Investigation Agency and the fiscal offence prosecution authorities are already doing outstanding work, and this is impressively underpinned by current statistics. In future, they will collectively ensure greater justice in Austria," added Löger.

With effect from 1 January, the three units are to be combined into one agency, the Anti-Fraud Office. "We are delighted at this initiative. Through stronger networking, synergies can be optimally used and criminal activities can be combated even more efficiently," stressed Franz Kurz, regional head of the Financial Police in Vienna. With approximately 800 employees from these three units, in future, the aim will be to eliminate all opportunities for using fraud as a business model.

In 2018, the Financial Police succeeded in collecting over EUR 12 million in tax arrears, while the Tax Investigation Agency achieved additional tax revenue of over EUR 54 million. "Through combining our resources into one office, we will be able to succeed better in banishing from the country both tax fraud on a large scale and so-called tax avoidance schemes," declared Christian Ackerler, director of the Austrian Tax Investigation Agency.

The Anti-Fraud Office will be supported by the Predictive Analytics Competence Center which, through modern technologies, will in future be able to uncover fraud at the planning stage. "In order to achieve this, we are embarking on new technological paths made possible by the high level of digitalisation existing at the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance. Not only do we want to impose penalties on fraudsters, but we also wish to generate a deterrent effect aimed at curbing crime before it occurs," underlined Christian Weinzinger, head of the Predictive Analytics Competence Center.

"I wish to thank all my colleagues for their daily commitment, and will do everything within my power to provide them with optimum framework conditions for their work. In addition to this, we will also intensify our cooperation with other countries, with the aim of putting an end to the work of organized criminals once and for all," concluded Löger.