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BMF statement on cum-ex transactions

In connection with fraudulent “cum-ex transactions” (capital gains tax refunds after dividend payouts), the Ministry of Finance noted that, to-date, no losses to the Austrian federal treasury have come to light. Long before these fraud schemes came to light, the responsible officials at the Bruck Eisenstadt Oberwart tax office reacted quickly; their foresightful action enabled them to avert losses of several million Euros.  Moreover, a separate team for refund cases was set up at the Bruck Eisenstadt Oberwart tax office in order to avert potential losses in future, as well. Since that time, the office has begun to reopen cases and audit them and claim back refunds that had been wrongly paid out.

The loss for 2012, which the Court of Auditors has estimated at € 1.78 million (on the basis of plausibility calculations) is only a provisional figure, because it includes the refund cases which the tax office has reopened. In related cases in which the Austrian Central Public Prosecutors’ Office for White Collar Crime and Corruption [WKStA] has been notified, the amount of €22.63 million has been disallowed, as the Court of Auditors also noted, and in four other cases, a further € 15.72 million have not been paid out.

Thus, on the basis of the facts, the alleged loss to the Austrian treasury has by no means been demonstrated, as the payments were stopped when suspicions of attempted fraud arose, and applications for refunds which were deemed questionable were closely examined and payments of unwarranted refunds in the total amount of EUR 38.35 million were prevented.