On 30 January 2017, the Austrian coalition parties agreed on the government's policy agenda for 2017/2018 and announced therein that the scope of the advertisement tax will be extended to online advertising.
After intensive negotiations, the Austrian federal government reached a consensus regarding their new policy agenda for 2017/2018. In particular, foreign multinationals and online businesses are to be subject to more "efficient" taxation in Austria. To achieve these objectives, the coalition parties want to extend the currently existing advertisement tax (Werbeabgabe) to include online ads. Advertisement tax was introduced in 2000, and only took account of the then prevailing media such as print media, television, radio and billboards. Consequently, online advertisements are currently not subject to taxation. It is intended to reduce the tax rate (of at present 5%) and to simultaneously broaden the tax base, so that the overall tax revenue from the advertisement tax will remain the same. The policy agenda states that the extended advertisement tax shall become effective as of 1 January 2018. A draft of the bill has not yet been published.
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