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Austria Announces Substantial Income Tax Reforms

Austria has announced proposals to provide personal income tax cuts worth EUR5bn (USD5.3bn) to lower income earners.

The new tax package, which aims to boost economic growth by reducing the lowest income tax rate from 36.5 to 25 percent, will mean that lower income taxpayers will pay, on average, EUR1,000 less a year.

The Government plans to finance the reform by tackling non-compliance, closing tax loopholes, and raising the top income tax rate to 55 percent. The 10 percent reduced rate of value-added tax, which is applied broadly, would also be raised to 13 percent.

Austria also intends to raise property tax, and an increase in tax on dividends income is being considered.

The reforms may be adapted before they are passed, as the Government will require support from opposition parties to achieve a two-thirds majority needed to pass required constitutional reforms. The reforms, if enacted, would come into force in 2016.


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