Areas of expertise

Tax disputes and tax audits

Whether an appeal against a tax assessment notice is to be filed or issues in connection with a tax audit need to be resolved with the authorities, our clients can count on our support. Comprehensive advisory and representation services in connection with tax disputes and audits by the fiscal authorities are part of our core areas of expertise. We are considered to be one of the leading law firms in the field of tax litigation and over the past few years we have successfully handled numerous tax disputes on behalf of small, medium-sized and large companies as well as private individuals.

Our services include:

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    comprehensive advisory and representation services in connection with tax disputes before revenue and customs offices, as well as tax audits and related appeal proceedings

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    counselling and representation in appeal proceedings before the Federal Tax Court, proceedings on the reversal of official notifications and retrial proceedings

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    advisory and representation services in connection with tax-related appeal proceedings before the supreme courts (Administrative Court, Constitutional Court) and preliminary ruling procedures before the European Court of Justice (ECJ)

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    advising and representing foreign entities in connection with investment withholding tax refund claims

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    advising and representing foreign scientists, researchers, artists and athletes in proceedings regarding preferential treatment under sec 103 of the Austrian Income Tax Act

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    advisory and representation services in connection with international judicial assistance and mutual legal assistance

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    providing legal opinions on all issues involving tax procedural law

Tax criminal law

Tax evasion is by no means a trifling offence. In the light of LuxLeaks, Panama Papers or the introduction of the mandatory cash register rule in Austria, offences under fiscal law are increasingly likely to also trigger consequences under criminal law. We advise and support our clients in connection with the assessment of existing risks under tax criminal law as a preventive strategy, the filing of voluntary disclosures, and in criminal tax proceedings before administrative authorities and courts.

Our services include:

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    counselling and representation in criminal tax proceedings before administrative authorities and courts

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    advisory and representation services in connection with subsequent tax declarations, voluntary disclosures and other measures to remedy criminal tax offences

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    counselling and representation in audits under tax criminal law and in connection with enforcement measures imposed by the authorities (house searches, access to bank accounts)

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    conducting risk assessments under tax criminal law and assessment of potential personal liabilities

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    providing legal opinions and statements relating to issues under tax criminal law

Tax risk management

Taxes are a substantial expense and lessen a company’s profit. As risks under tax law may adversely affect the financial and profit situation, it is vital to identify and minimize these risks. A wrong fiscal decision may have serious financial repercussions, affecting both the company and its directors and officers – not just from additional tax claims or negative publicity, but in many cases also criminal tax proceedings or personal liability. Even though risks under tax law cannot be ruled out entirely when running a business, there are internal measures that can be implemented in order to reduce such risks. We help our clients to identify existing tax risks, resolve related questions with the competent authorities and to prevent liability.

Our services include:

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    development of guidelines and concepts for companies aimed at preventing the risk of a liability under tax law and tax criminal law (tax compliance assessment)

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    review and revision of existing risk management systems, assessment of risks under tax law and tax criminal law, preparation of relevant legal opinions and statements

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    support and advisory services in preparation of tax audits, in particular regarding the identification of potential risks and the compilation of the required documentations

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    advisory and representation services in connection with obtaining binding advance rulings as well as information on income tax on wages and other tax law issues from the competent tax authorities (tax rulings)

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    resolving tax law issues in connection with international matters with the Federal Ministry of Finance (EAS inquiries), advisory and representation services in connection with unilateral and multilateral advance pricing agreements (APAs)

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    advisory services in connection with internal restructuring and reorganisation procedures in order to minimize tax liability risks

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    advisory services in connection with international corporate tax matters and Austrian group taxation

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    organising and hosting of in-house training sessions in order to optimize tax risk management systems

Directors’ and officers’ liability

The office and the duties of a member of the management involve various legal risks. The members of the executive bodies of companies, e.g. the managing director of a limited liability company, or a member of the board of directors of a joint-stock corporation, but also members of a private foundation’s board of directors or other officers, are faced with a number of statutory duties of care, disclosure requirements and supervisory duties. Any failure to comply with these duties and requirements may result in a personal liability that might well take on existence-threatening proportions. On the basis of many years of experience in this field we are able to provide comprehensive and solution-oriented advisory and representation services to our clients, both regarding preventive measures before taking over an executive position and in connection with liability claims.

Our services include:

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    advising and representing directors and officers in liability proceedings relating to tax law, corporate law and social insurance law

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    advising and representing companies in connection with the enforcement of damage claims against directors and officers, both before the courts and out of court

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    advising insurance companies in Austria and abroad on issues in connection with D&O (monitoring counsel, liability defence, coverage verification)

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    advising and representing companies and insured persons in the course of the settlement of D&O-insurance claims (insurance notification, enforcement of coverage claims)

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    providing legal opinions on all issues in connection with liability

Risk advice for members of managing and supervisory boards

Awareness of the applicable rules and requirements under corporate and accounting laws, often in conjunction with related duties under tax law, is an essential prerequisite for sound business management. We help managing directors and members of managing and supervisory boards to avoid wrong decisions and personal liability.

Our services include:

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    advising directors and officers on any issues related to accounting law

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    strategic legal counselling on special corporate law issues

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    risk assessments under corporate law and preparation of legal opinions

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    advising directors and officers in connection with service agreements for managing directors and board members, in particular with a view to minimizing the risk of a liability

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    advising companies in connection with the drafting of internal rules for the management and the creation of business divisions and allocation of responsibilities

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    assisting directors and officers in connection with organizational measures subject to corporate law, e.g. the preparation of shareholders’ meetings

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    advising members of supervisory boards and advisory committees on corporate law issues

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    acting as members of supervisory boards and advisory committees