Greenpeace: 77 million euros in tax damage due to private jets

2023-11-24 05:06:44

According to the latest Greenpeace analysis, the Austrian state loses around 77 million euros in tax revenue every year due to business trips in private jets. In addition, they would damage the climate more than any other means of transport. According to the environmental organization, private jets cause 50 times more climate-damaging emissions than a train journey. That’s why Greenpeace is calling for a ban.

Together with the actor Cornelius Obonya and Marlene Engelhorn, millionaire heiress and activist of the “Tax Me Now” initiative, the environmental protection organization is calling for such flights to be stopped. “Companies that use extremely climate-damaging private jets for their business trips receive tax treats as a reward. In the midst of the escalating climate crisis, this is a scandal,” said Jasmin Duregger, climate and energy expert at Greenpeace in Austria.

Transport Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) is called upon to “stick with” an EU-wide private jet ban. But also to enforce a national ban. “After all, Austrian private jets fly between Vienna and Salzburg alone around 200 times a year,” says Duregger.

According to Greenpeace estimates, in 2022 there were 40,700 private jet flights with a consumption of almost 57 million liters of kerosene due to business trips by Austrian companies. In comparison, there were a total of 549,000 air trips for business trips in this country in 2022. The travel costs for the private jet flights in the previous year amounted to around 276 million euros. The cost of private jets per hour of flight varies between 2,500 and 9,500 euros, depending on the size of the jet, comfort and route length. This can be declared as travel expenses. Around a third of the private jet routes flown are within Austria or to a neighboring country.

According to Greenpeace’s calculations, two tax advantages in particular can be identified for private jets. The lack of kerosene tax leads to annual tax losses of up to 14 million euros in the private jet sector alone. For corporations, travel expenses on business trips are also deductible from corporation tax. The amount of business trip costs that can be deducted from tax is currently not capped.

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It is therefore possible for corporations to drastically reduce the assessment basis for corporate tax by renting private jets for business trips and the resulting enormous travel costs. According to Greenpeace, this practice caused the Austrian state to lose a further 63 million euros in tax money in 2022.

“As an actor, I travel throughout the German-speaking region and have been traveling exclusively by train for a few years now. It’s absurd that routes like from Vienna to Salzburg, for example to the Salzburg Festival, are flown by private jet,” he said Obonya. He appeals to his colleagues in the film industry to make their contribution to a livable planet and to also get on track. “I would welcome a law that puts a clear end to climate-damaging private jets.”

“We don’t have a private jet ban yet because wealthy people invest their influence and money in the inviolability of their luxury emissions. But the destruction of everyone’s livelihoods is not a luxury – it is a scandal,” said Engelhorn. The “Tax Me Now” initiative advocates for tax justice and also calls for a ban on private jets.

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