Reference : Tax Incentives and Public Finance in Response to Natural Disasters: a Comparative Ass...
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Tax Incentives and Public Finance in Response to Natural Disasters: a Comparative Assessment of Austria and Germany
Haslehner, Werner mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Law Research Unit >]
Tax Implications of Natural Disasters and Pollution
Basilavecchia, Massimo
Del Federico, Lorenzo
Mastellone, Pietro
Kluwer Law International
EUCOTAX Series on European Taxation
[en] tax incentives ; tax relief ; disaster relief ; financial aid
[en] Austria and Germany have introduced a number of legal measures to cope with natural disaster events. Considering the similarity of the risks both countries face, coupled with their close socio-economic, cultural, and legal ties, it is hardly surprising that both countries have also taken comparable approaches to address these risks. Once the veil of the existing similarities has been pierced, however, a number of differences in detail become visible, which provide a basis for an in-depth discussion on the options available to States in dealing with the financial and economic hardship caused by natural disasters to both individuals and businesses. It is the purpose of this contribution to present and analyse the multitude of measures taken by both countries, to draw a comparison between the approaches and to pinpoint various differences, in the hope that this exercise allows the reader to draw conclusions on the available options for aid policy and their respective merits. To this end, the contribution is divided into three main sections. The first part analyses the legal framework for direct financial transfers to disaster victims and tries to contrast both countries approaches with possible alternatives. The second part addresses the various tax relief mechanisms available in both countries and critically considers the interaction of these measures with the provision of direct financial aid. The third part provides a brief overview over the EU Commission’s assessment of both types of measures against the backdrop of EU State Aid rules. A short summary of results concludes the contribution.
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