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Austria: Special Commission to Trace Tax Evaders

Published: May 23, 2013; 11:36 · (Vindobona)

Finance Minister Maria Fekter announced the establishing of a special commission which is supposed to use data distributed by the US tax authority.

Austria: Special Commission to Trace Tax Evaders / Picture: © ÖVP Bundespartei / Jacob Glaser

Austria has now expressed interest in the collected data of tax evaders who hide their assets in foreign tax havens. Finance Minister Fekter has founded the “Special Commission Offshore-Leaks”, as confirmed by a spokesperson of the Ministry in a preliminary report of Austrian magazine “News”. The aim was to receive and evaluate data in cooperation with international tax authorities and ultimately trace tax evaders, according to the Ministry on inquiry of the Austrian Press Agency.

According to a spokesperson, the US tax authority IRS has started to pass on data which correspond to those of the project “Offshore-Leaks” of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The UK is responsible for Europe while the transmission of data in Asia will be carried out via Australia. Austria has received an invitation too.

The core team of the “Special Commission Offshore-Leaks”, according to reports by “News”, consists of six IT and offshore experts of the tax investigation and from the office responsible for the auditing of large-scale enterprises. “News” has recently been member of the Austrian media partner of ICIJ.

Only recently, Fekter claimed “I prefer billions of Euros instead of billions of data”, she declared while pointing out that the automatic exchange of date would not consequentially guarantee the income of taxes. The Finance Minister had been emphasizing on several occations that Austria was, according to her, a high tax country and not a tax haven.

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