Securities capital gains tax and retention period in Austria

In 2011, the retention period of one year, from which price gains on securities were tax-free, was abolished. Since then, income from securities has been subject to tax regardless of the duration of the investment. This means that ownership in Austrian companies through shares is currently taxed at 27.5% and savings deposits at 25%. If gold is held for more than one year and a profit is made, it is tax-free. The Vienna Stock Exchange has since been campaigning intensively for the re-introduction of the one year retention period to provide tax relief for long-term share ownership.

There are many good reasons for this:

  • It would be an important step towards building a broader shareholder base in Austria.
  • Long-term orientation and investment in the domestic real economy should be rewarded in contrast to short-term speculation.
  • Especially in the current low-interest environment, access to investing should be made easier.
  • People with a long-term investment perspective should be able to invest their already taxed earned income tax-free.

Strengthening the capital market for Austria's prosperity

A functioning capital market is needed to address major societal topics, such as COVID-19 management, financial inclusion, pension security, distribution of wealth and securing innovation. Without it, there is a risk of a loss of prosperity for the national economy. The current government programme already contains all the components needed to activate the capital market in Austria:

  • Consistent regulatory modernization and reduction of "gold plating"
  • Strengthening of financial literacy in Austria
  • Re-introduction of the retention period
  • Expansion of the second and third pillars of retirement provision