Blümel: “The tenacity of the Financial Police is paying off. We will not back down even if a global minimum tax rate is implemented.” Third on-the-spot check-up on online giants by the Financial Police: checks made on 60 employees; few faults found – A company’s responsibilities do not end at the loading ramp

Vienna (OTS) - In an operation led by the Financial Police working together with the police and the SOLBE task force, the employees of goods/service suppliers to a large online retailer were spot-checked at a distribution centre in Lower Austria for the third time on 15 June.

“The tenacity of the Financial Police in their fight to ensure fair competition and combat wage and social dumping is paying off. After numerous violations were found at previous checks, the delivery services for this online retailer appear to have learnt their lessons and are now operating correctly. Businesses’ responsibility does not end at the loading ramp. The location can count it as a success if everyone, from the mega-client down to its tiny suppliers, operates according to that principle. We will, of course, be carrying out similar operations in the future; and the authorities will continue to be an annoyance to some, so as to help the businesses which abide by the rules. It is essential that every business in Austria operates in fair market conditions,” commented Finance Minister Gernot Blümel.

“Our rules and laws apply to every little corner shop - and they must of course apply to the international digital giants as well. This is why Austria is taking a leading role in bringing about the global minimum tax rate; and is also a driver of the taxation initiative on digital business models in Europe. This most recent check has demonstrated that perseverance and consistency pay off. Even the biggest corporations in the world can be pushed to rethink the way they operate. In the same way as the Financial Police have been successful, we will achieve greater fairness in this move to tax the online giants more equitably,” asserted Blümel. In this context the Finance Minister has again called for greater fairness where Austrian companies are concerned, and for fair taxation of multinational online corporations: “Foreign online retailers enjoy huge sales in Austria, but have to date paid no - or as good as no - taxes on their profits. This situation leads our domestic retailers being at a serious competitive disadvantage.”

The companies checked included parcels delivery services delivering parcels in and around Vienna on behalf of the online retailer. 32 Financial Police staff were deployed on the project alongside ten police employees, in order to carry out the operation. In total, 58 employees from six companies were checked. It was clear that the companies involved are following the correct procedures in the main. In just one case an order of attachment was served, due to tax arrears of just under 80,000 euros. By way of comparison: a check carried out in February 2020 resulted in 987 claims: the Financial Police sued for fines totalling 767,440 euros, orders of attachment worth 325,192 euros and seizures worth 88,421 euros.

You can view photos of the check here: