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14.7. Appeal Procedures

There is a multi-level appeal system in Austria for the resolution of tax disputes. The first level of appeal is an administrative appeal. If a taxpayer disagrees with an assessment, they may lodge an administrative appeal with the tax authority within 1 month of the assessment.  An administrative appeal may be allowed to be lodged by the tax authorities beyond the expiry of 1 month for 'good reason’. The tax authorities generally require up to 1 year for rendering a decision.

The second level of appeal is a judicial appeal that may be lodged with the Federal Tax Court if the taxpayer disagrees with the decision of the tax authority in an administrative appeal. An appeal with the Federal Tax Court must be lodged within 1 month from the delivery of the decision of the tax authority. In some cases, the tax authority may directly refer the first appeal lodged by a taxpayer to the Federal Tax Court. The Federal Tax Authority is the last level of authority that investigates the facts and circumstances of a case.

The third and final level of appeal is also a judicial appeal that may be lodged with the Supreme Administrative Court if the taxpayer is not satisfied with the decision of the Federal Tax Court. An appeal with the Supreme Administrative Court must be lodged within 6 weeks from the delivery of the decision of the Federal Tax Court, but only on a matter of law. The Supreme Administrative Court does not decide on the facts and circumstances of a case. For admission of an appeal, it is to be addressed to the Federal Tax Court which decides whether the procedural requirements are met.

If a decision of an Austrian court infringes constitutional rights, the taxpayer can lodge an appeal with the Constitutional Court. Additionally, the Supreme Administrative Court is obliged to refer a case to the Constitutional Court if it considers a legal provision to be incompatible with the Austrian Constitution or to the Court of Justice of the European Union if a question arises that needs to be interpreted under EU law or in the case of doubts with regard to the compatibility of a domestic tax provision with EU law.

COVID-19 Emergency Measures

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Austrian government has suspended the administrative deadlines for tax offenses and offenses relating to the payment of fees and duties, including the suspension of the deadlines until 1 May 2020 for appeals, objections, submission applications and complaints relating to coercive measures that were running as at 16 March 2020 or in respect of which the relevant period begins to run between 16 March and 30 April 2020.