Special Responsibilities Unit at the Tax Authority Austria

Since 1 January 2021, the Special Responsibilities Unit will bundle, among other things, tasks relating to land valuation, preferential treatment of donations, and the collection of stamp duties and legal fees, capital transfer taxes, real estate transfer tax, insurance tax, fire insurance tax, casino tax, concession levy, gambling levies and air transport levy.

Structure or set-up of the Special Responsibilities Unit

Each team is led by a team leader and comprises about 7–12 employees. The teams share responsibility for the results and for efficient procedures in the workflow.

There are various functions within the teams, which also require different prerequisites and are remunerated differently. All employees in a team can do the work that occurs frequently. Some, because of their deeper knowledge, handle more difficult cases and/or are part of a knowledge network.

Fields of work

Competence Centre for Official Experts in Gambling

The Competence Centre for Official Experts in Gambling (CC ASV), which is unique in Austria, is also located in the Special Responsibilities Unit.

The responsibilities of the employees include the preparation of expert opinions in gambling matters, the technical support and advice of internal organisational units and external authorities in these matters, the preparation and processing of appeals to the Supreme Administrative Court, the participation in the legislative process and the preparation of guidelines in the gambling sector, the preparation of expert opinions for internal organisational units of the Tax Administration and external authorities, and the project cooperation in the implementation of development measures in the gambling sector.

The employees of the CC ASV are academically trained and have a high level of specialised knowledge in gambling law and technical issues.

Legal Unit

The Special Responsibilities Unit has a nationwide legal unit, namely employees with academic training and/or a high level of specialist knowledge in the individual types of tax. The employees in the unit use their expert knowledge e.g. for the training of the colleagues in the teams and for quality assurance measures to ensure uniform application of the laws. In this context, knowledge management plays a central role, among other things through participation in working groups, in the establishment of and in networks, in internal practical and theoretical training, in internal further training, on the knowledge platform and in the newsletter.

They also answer particularly difficult tax law questions and support the teams by being available to provide expert information. They are also responsible for providing information to external customers on difficult issues in the respective field. In addition, they are also responsible for the preferential treatment of donations.

The legal unit also has the task of processing and settling of more difficult appeals, drafting of official appeals and counter-appeals to the Supreme Administrative Court, and representation before the Federal Tax Court.

Fee, Transfer Tax and Gambling Teams (GVG Teams)

The Special Responsibilities Unit has 11 GVG teams, which are distributed over the locations in Vienna, Feldkirch, Graz, Innsbruck, Linz, Salzburg and Klagenfurt.

The assessment and auditing of fees, transfer taxes and gambling is an independent organisational unit and comprises all measures for determining and establishing the basis for the assessment of fees, transfer taxes and the gambling levy. The assessment is carried out – in fulfilment of lawful public authority action – also in compliance with the principles of economic efficiency, economy and expediency.

The GVG auditors are also part of the GVG teams. In the course of external audits, all factual and legal circumstances of significance for the collection of duties will be examined for those tax debtors who are obliged to keep books or records or to make payments against clearing with the tax authority.

Federal Licensee Audit

The Federal Licensee Audit Team is responsible for the supervision of licensed gambling and has to fulfil tasks under tax law and also certain regulatory tasks delegated by the Federal Ministry of Finance by decree with regard to the federal licensees under the Gaming Act (casino licensees and lottery licensees). In addition to on-site inspections in the casinos and video lottery terminal outlets, the accounting processes and gaming procedures are also checked on the basis of video recordings, table reports and receipts. The team is responsible for the imposition, collection and verification of the levies to be paid by the federal licensees.