Amended preconditions for unilateral relief from double taxation


§ 48 BAO

Amended preconditions for unilateral relief from double taxation

1. Unilateral measures to avoid double taxation

In cases of double taxation prior to 31 August 2019, it was possible to simultaneously apply for a mutual agreement procedure pursuant to the applicable DTC and to apply to the Ministry of Finance for unilateral relief from double taxation. Hence, the taxpayer was able to benefit from instant relief from double taxation irrespective of the time required for the mutual agreement procedure. In general, unilateral relief was granted only for a limited period but could be repeatedly extended.

However, as of 1 September 2019, such dual procedures are no longer available. Unilateral relief from double taxation can no longer be requested for realized facts if a procedure is in place pursuant to the EU tax dispute resolution mechanism or a DTC mutual agreement procedure.

2. Impacts

Consequently, it is only possible to benefit from unilateral relief from double taxation if such procedures are not available. This may be the case, for example, if no double tax treaty is in place. Nevertheless, the Austrian authorities have made it possible to request deferral of tax payments instead, in order to avoid cash tax disadvantages during the time required for the mutual agreement procedure.

3. Transition period

The new regulation was implemented without establishing specific transition rules for unilateral relief measures granted in the past. According to a recent court case, requests for unilateral relief filed before 1 September 2019 must be decided on the basis of the old wording and, hence, temporary relief from double taxation may be granted. However, please bear in mind that it will not be possible to renew any such existing relief measures phased out after 31 August 2019. An immediate switch to tax deferral also needs to be prepared well in advance due to specific procedural preconditions. In cases such as these, or if you phase double taxation, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Author: Lisa Hoflehner

We encourage feedback on the newsletter and the content. Equally, we welcome any of your thoughts on topics that you would like to see addressed in future issues.

Copyright and Publisher: PwC Österreich GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Donau-City-Straße 7, 1220 Vienna, Austria

Editor: Eva Ebner,

The above information is intended to provide general guidance only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional advice or as the basis for decisions or actions without prior consultation with your advisors. While every care has been taken in the preparation of the publication, no liability is accepted for any statement, option, error or omission.

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details.

Folgen Sie uns