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Mar 2012 Journal

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Recipients of an Austrian pension

Last month we published a notice about a letter sent to some AJR members who receive an Austrian state pension. The letter required the recipient to complete a ‘confirmation of residency’ form in accordance with the Double Tax Convention between Great Britain and Austria and stated that an interim tax would be deducted from the January 2012 pension payment.

Following the intervention of the AJR and others, the Austrian pension authority (PVA) intends as a matter of priority to refund this tax to Holocaust survivors and refugees. The rebate should be included in the February or March pension payment. It is also now not necessary to complete the ‘confirmation of residency’ form.

One of our members reports having received a confirmation – with regrets – from Barbara Prammer, Speaker of the Austrian National Assembly, who confirms that the original letter was a mistake, which has now been corrected. Other members have also received letters of apology from the PVA and we do not expect any further letters to be sent to anyone else.

It appears that the letter was sent to certain pensioners in countries, such as the UK, with which Austria has double taxation agreements. In practice, the pension is exempt from income tax in the UK.

As the Austrian Embassy in London writes in this issue of the Journal (see page 6), all competent tax authorities are fully aware of the problem and are continuing to work for a clear solution. Ambassador Brix has let us know that he sincerely regrets the confusion caused.

Anyone who received the residency letter or would like further information should contact the AJR. Members who did not receive the letter can ignore this notice.

Michael Newman

previous article:‘Homecoming to a foreign country’ (review)
next article:Letter from Israel