What is this topic all about?
1. Accounts Register and Accounts Inspection Act (Kontenregister- und Konteneinschaugesetz)
A central register under the responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) was established by way of the Austrian Accounts Register and Accounts Inspection Act (KontRegG) on 1 March 2015. This legal regulation requires all Austrian financial institutions to submit data to the central register on an ongoing basis. This pertains to the following products (§1 KontRegG):
- Accounts in the deposit-taking segment;
- Current accounts;
- Accounts in the building association savings segment;
- Accounts in the lending segment;
- Payment accounts for the provision of payment services;
- Securities accounts in the custody services segment;
- Safe deposit boxes offered by credit institutions and commercial safe deposit box providers (since 1 January 2021).
Information from the central accounts register is disclosed to the following authorities (§4 KontRegG):
- the public prosecutors and criminal courts for criminal matters;
- the financial crime authorities and the Federal Finance Court for matters related to financial crimes;
- the federal tax authorities and the Federal Finance Court for matters related to tax law if it is suitable and appropriate in the interests of collecting taxes;
- the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Federal Agency for State Protection and Counterterrorism for the purposes of preventing and combatting money laundering and the associated predicate offences as well as terrorist financing;
- the Financial Market Authority for the purposes of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing;
- the Criminal Intelligence Service Austria, the Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption, and the Federal Agency for State Protection and Counterterrorism for the purposes of preventing, detecting, investigating, and prosecuting criminal offences;
- the Oesterreichische Nationalbank and the Federal Minister of the Interior for matters related to sanctions law.
It must be noted that there is a difference between inspecting the accounts register and directly inspecting an account. Under certain circumstances, the tax authorities are given access to the additional information about assets (accounts, securities accounts, and safe deposit boxes) that is not already available in the accounts register.
2. Capital Outflow Reporting Act (Kapitalabfluss-Meldegesetz)
According to this federal act, all credit institutions are obligated to report significant capital outflows to the Federal Minister of Finance for the purposes of investigating compliance with the tax regulations (§2 Kapitalabfluss-MeldeG). Capital outflows of EUR 50,000 or more from accounts or deposits of natural persons must be reported. This reporting duty does not apply to capital outflows from business accounts (business owners) or trust accounts (attorneys, notaries, or accountants). The reclassification of an existing account to a business account and the transfer of funds from a private account to a business account represent capital outflows (§3 Kapitalabfluss-MeldeG).
What data are reported on an ongoing basis?
Accounts Register and Accounts Inspection Act
The reporting includes the following data (§2 KontRegG):
- account, securities account, or safe deposit box number;
- for natural persons, the sector-specific personal identifier for tax purposes; if the sector-specific personal identifier for tax purposes cannot be determined via the source PIN register, the first name, surname, date of birth, address, and country of residence are to be recorded;
- for legal entities, the source PIN of the company or an identifying attribute that can be used to determine this source PIN; if the source PIN or an identifying attribute cannot be determined via the company register, the name, address, and country of domicile are to be recorded;
- any persons authorised to act as representatives vis-à-vis the credit institution with regard to the account or securities account (e.g. authorised signatories), trustors, and beneficial owners of legal entities and, if the party renting the safe deposit box is a legal entity, all beneficial owners and persons authorised to act as representatives vis-à-vis the bank with regard to the safe deposit box;
- date of the opening and closing of the account, securities account, or safe deposit box.
Account balances and activities are not included in the reporting.
Capital Outflow Reporting Act
The reporting includes the following data (§3 Kapitalabfluss-MeldeG):
- account or securities account number;
- for natural persons, the encrypted sector-specific personal identifier for tax purposes; if this cannot be determined: first name, surname, date of birth, address, and country of residence;
- the relevant amount in euros.
What does the accounts register mean for me as a customer?
Every taxpayer can view the data stored about him/her in FinanzOnline. Taxpayers will also be notified via FinanzOnline if the tax authority inspects their data in the accounts register.