Binder Grösswang provides regular information on important legal changes. Here you will find Binder Grösswang's last Newsletter. If you wish to subscribe to our Newsletter, please register in the field "Newsletter E-Mail" (bottom left).
Today, the 5th Money Laundering Directive (Directive (EU) 2018/843, the “Directive”) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Directive provides for amendments to the existing 4th Money Laundering Directive, which will also affect virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.
Already in 2014, the European Banking Authority (EBA) classified the risk that virtual currency could be misused for money laundering and terrorist financing as very high (EBA/Op/2014/08). Also in 2014, the OECD-based Financial Action Task Force (on Money Laundering) (FATF) voiced its concerns that the following circumstances relating to virtual currencies result in a potential AML/CFT risk (FATF Report on Virtual Currencies – Key Definitions and Potential AML/CFT Risks)... [read more]
On April 9, the Austrian Ministry of Finance has published the draft bill for the Annual Tax Act 2018 (Jahressteuergesetz 2018) which includes substantial changes to Austria’s international tax law rules. In particular and most prominently, the draft includes a new CFC-regime as a first step in implementing Articles 7 and 8 of the EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (“ATAD”) (EU) 2016/1164 in order to meet the deadline of 1 January 2019 as set by the Directive. [read more]
The EU plans to implement a new tax regime covering what is often referred to as a digital permanent establishment when a significant digital presence exists, in tax lingo the digital PE. Different to the meaning of this term a digital PE might include many things, but it is far from being an “establishment”; rather it is an established fiction. In short a number of criteria such as turn over made in a country, the number of users reached, or the number of contracts concluded online, lead to a taxable nexus in a jurisdiction and to the allocation of certain profits to it and that taxes would be imposed thereon. Besides that, the EU intends, in the near-term, to introduce a new tax on revenues gained from digital activities characterized by a high involvement of users until the planned implementation of the proposed digital PE is concluded. Such services are e.g., specifically targeted advertising or the provision of platforms and marketplaces. The EU in this regard explicitly points among others at Facebook, Google, AirBnB or Uber. [more]
Effective 1 February 2018, the leasehold category amounts in accordance with section 15a of the Austrian Tenancy Act (“MRG”), and thus also the amounts for minimum rent in accordance with section 45 of the MRG, will be increased. This mainly relates to new lease agreements for apartments classified in the worst equipment category (category D) as well as lease agreements which have been concluded prior to 1 March 1994. [more]
The stamp duty for leasing residential premises has been abolished as of 11 November 2017.
Until now the stamp duty for residential premises (i.e. premises which are mainly used for residential purposes) amounted to 1% of the gross rent for the total contractual period, limited with 1% of the 36-fold monthly rent. This stamp duty has been abolished for lease agreements concluded from 11 November 2017. Written lease agreements for residential premises concluded prior to 11 November 2017 as well as other lease agreements remain subject to this stamp dut. [more]
The Beneficial Owner Register Act (Wirtschaftliche Eigentümer Registergesetz, WiEReG) will come into effect on 15 January 2018. It obliges entities (Rechtsträger) to notify their beneficial owners to a newly created register. The registered data are accessible for a broad group of authorities and persons. Notifications shall be effected until 1 June 2018. This newsletter presents the cornerstones of the WiEReG. In this Newsletter we will give a summary about the key points of WiEReG:
The new law on gender balance of men and women on supervisory boards (Gleichstellungsgesetz von Frauen und Männern im Aufsichtsrat, GFMA-G), Federal Law Gazette I No. 104/2017) brings changes to the Austrian legislation on stock corporations, limited liability companies, societates Europaeae, cooperatives and labour. These changes all involve binding minimum quotas of women or men on supervisory boards and boards of directors, which are mandatory under certain conditions.
The changes to the legislation on stock corporations, limited liability companies, societates Europaeae and cooperatives apply to all elections and delegations of persons to supervisory boards and boards of directors that take place after 31 December 2017. Existing supervisory boards and boards of directors remain unaffected. However, in the event that a substitute member elected or delegated before 1 January 2018 is to assume a position on such a board, the minimum quota has to be observed [more]
The Austrian Parliament has enacted an amendment of the Austrian Cartel Act. Apart from the transposition of the EU Damages Directive, one main feature of the amendment is the introduction of a new merger control threshold into Austrian law.
The new threshold applies if [more]
This newsletter gives you an overview of the past quarter’s practice-relevant case law relating to employment law matters. The newsletter deals with the following issues:
Through the Directive on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes (ADR Directive), the EU is pursuing the objective of facilitating the simple and inexpensive out-of-court resolution of disputes between consumers and traders. In this connection, since the beginning of this year, all entrepreneurs engaging in transactions with consumers have to fulfil reporting requirements and decide whether they will commit to using an ADR procedure to resolve disputes with consumers. [more]
Last month the Austrian Competition Authority (Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde, BWB) announced that the online-sector would remain in the spotlight of its investigations. In mid-2014, the Austrian Cartel Court imposed fines in a total amount of 2.1 million on several electronics manufacturers and retailers for vertical price-fixing practices in the online retail market. Besides vertical pricing issues the BWB further revealed that ongoing investigations concern best price clauses of online travel agencies as well as online resale restrictions allegedly imposed by a bike manufacturer...[more]
On Sunday 1 March 2015, 16:50, the Financial Market Authority (“FMA”), issued an administrative decision ordering resolution measures for HETA ASSET RESOLUTION AG (“HETA”) according to the Austrian Federal Act on the Recovery and Resolution of Banks (Bundesgesetz über die Sanierung und Abwicklung von Banken – “BaSAG”). With this decree (the “Decree”), which was published on the FMA's website, the FMA postponed the maturity date of certain debt instruments issued by HETA and interest thereon until 31 May 2016. Derivative transactions are not affected by the moratorium. [more]
By enactment of the Budget Accompanying Act 2014 (BudBG 2014), currently a legislative proposal, a new tax base with respect to the transfer of real estate shall be implemented. The new regulation became necessary since the Austrian Constitutional Court (VfGH) had abolished the current regime as unconstitutional, thereby necessitating its amendment by 31 May 2014. Without adjustment of the law, the fair value (gemeiner Wert) of a property would become the applicable tax base in the case of any gratuitous transfer as of 1 June 2014. [more]
The modernisation of EU state aid law is steadily advancing: After the “Almunia Package” for services of general economic interest (SGEI) in 2012, a new regime for state aid in small amounts (de minimis aid) was introduced in December 2013. The Regulation governing this regime, No. 1407/2013, applies to state aid as of 1 January 2014 until 31 December 2020. Transition provisions allow a continuation of de minimis state aid under the preceding Regulation No. (EC) 1998/2006. The following overview does not include the special rules for state aid to road freight enterprises. [more]
On 1 July 2013 the “GmbH light” comes to life. It is the result of an amendment to the Austrian Act on Limited Liability Companies that was discussed among politicians and various interest groups for many years. The most important amendment is the reduction of the minimum nominal capital of a GmbH to € 10,000. However, the amendment also brings along other remarkable changes. In this briefing selected key issues of the amendment will be highlighted... [more]
Pursuant to Section 6 of the Austrian Capital Market Act (Kapitalmarktgesetz, KMG), if any significant new factor, error or inaccuracy comes to light that could affect the assessment of the securities offered in an already approved capital market prospectus, a supplement to the prospectus must be published without delay. In the individual case, it is often questionable whether a circumstance is to be deemed significant under the law and therefore requires such publication. At EU level, a degree of clarity regarding the obligation to publish a supplement is now to be provided, with the involvement of ESMA (European Securities und Markets Authority). ... [more]
On 30 October 2012, the Austrian Federal Government adopted the Federal Public Corporate Governance Code (Bundes Public Corporate Governance Kodex, B-PCGK). The objective of the B-PCGK is to make the management and supervision of state-owned and state-affiliated enterprises more transparent and verifiable and to more clearly define the roles of the federal state and federal enterprises as shareholders. ... [more]
The Second Stability Act 2012 (2. Stabilitätsgesetz 2012, Federal Law Gazette I No. 35/2012), adopted within the framework of the federal consolidation package, includes changes in company law as well as in accounting law. The changes will enter into effect as of 1 July 2012. [more]