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Austria introduces the Register of Beneficiaries


The Austrian Parliament passed a law providing for the introduction of the Beneficial Ownership Register. The law is published in the Bulletin of Federal Laws and will come into force on January 15, 2018.

The innovation is designed to identify and prevent money laundering, especially with regard to complex corporate structures, holding companies, private foundations, as well as trusts, cooperatives, associations and other quasi-corporate structures with a management place - Austria. A total of about 350,000 legal entities.

There are three different approaches for determining the beneficiary:

- an individual holding more than 25% of the shares in an Austrian company;

- more than 25% of shares in the Austrian company belong to another legal entity that is directly or indirectly controlled by an individual;

- an individual directly or indirectly owns more than 25% of the voting rights of an Austrian company;

- if the beneficiary can not be determined in the above manner, individuals at the highest management level are considered to be beneficiaries.

The register will not be publicly open. At the same time, the information will be available to tax authorities, financial crime authorities, criminal investigation bodies and other authorized persons.

If the required Notice to the Register is not provided by the company before June 1, 2018, the legal entity will automatically be included in the reminder list and may be fined up to 5000 EUR. In case of violation with "gross negligence" - a fine of up to 100 000 EUR, and in case of willful failure to notify - a fine of up to 200 000 EUR.

A source:

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