SWI 2018, 231
In a judgment of 2017, the Austrian Supreme Administrative Court (VwGH) concluded that the provision on cash accounting in Sec 17 para 1 of the Austrian VAT Code (UStG) is in conflict with European Union law, as it leads to an unjustified unequal treatment of self-employed natural persons compared to corporations conducting similar activities, particularly business consultancy. Although the court’s reasoning was rather brief, the decision reveals the increasing importance of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and its equality principle in the area of tax law. In the following, Karoline Spies and Stephanie Zolles discuss the decision’s underlying methodology and its implications for corporations carrying out business consultancy or other freelance activities. The authors also address the proposal for amending the disputed provision provided by the draft to the Annual Tax Act 2018 (Jahressteuergesetz 2018) and offer alternative solutions to make it in line with EU law.