Opposition Parties Want Review of Taxation of Workers Commuting Abroad

By , 15 Jul 2019, 14:54 PM Business
The Tax Collector, 1542, by Marinus van Reymerswale The Tax Collector, 1542, by Marinus van Reymerswale Wikimedia

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STA, 12 July 2019 - The opposition Democrats (SDS) and New Slovenia (NSi) have joined the initiative of Slovenian workers who commute to Austria for a constitutional review of what they see as discriminatory income tax legislation.

While the union of Slovenian migrant workers asked the top court to review the income tax act in November 2018, Franc Breznik of the SDS told the press on Friday that the two parties urged the court to give the matter absolute priority treatment.

"This is a very burning issue in particularly in the east on the country, an issue that is perhaps not felt so much in Ljubljana," he said.

Slovenians working abroad but residing in Slovenia pay part of the taxes in Austria and additional income tax in Slovenia, which the NSi's Jožef Horvat said leaves them with less disposable income compared to workers with similar income in Slovenia.

"If both make EUR 18,700 gross a year, the worker in Slovenia has EUR 1,750 more disposable income than the one working in Austria," he said.

Horvat, who highlighted a different tax treatment of food and transport allowances as a key source of the discrepancy, said the situation was at odds with a Constitutional Court reasoning from 2013 that put commuting migrant workers on "essentially equal" footing with their compatriots in Slovenia as regards income tax, "which means our legal order should treat them equally".

He added the current arrangement was also at odds with the principle of the welfare sate, since the segment of commuting migrant workers with high income is subjected to a more favourable treatment when it comes to the mentioned allowance costs.

Responding to the original initiative for a constitutional review a while ago, the Finance Ministry said that exempting Slovenian workers commuting abroad from income tax would be systemically unacceptable and violate the constitutional principle of equal tax treatment.

All of our stories on tax in Slovenia are here

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