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His­tory of the In­sti­tute for Aus­trian and In­ter­na­tional Tax Law of WU

1968: The former tax in­spector An­ton La­ger be­comes the first pro­fessor of Fin­an­cial Law at the WU. The In­sti­tute for Fin­an­cial Law, later the In­sti­tute for Aus­trian and In­ter­na­tional Tax Law, is foun­ded un­der his lead­er­ship. An­ton La­ger be­comes Pro­fessor Emer­itus at the WU in1979.

1981: Wolfgang Gassner suc­ceeds An­ton La­ger as pro­fessor of Fin­an­cial Law and as the Head of In­sti­tute. He act­ively en­gages in In­sti­tute´s pro­jects until his death in 2004. His main em­phasis in re­search and teach­ing is on Cor­por­ate and In­ter­na­tional Tax Law.

1990: Eduard Lech­ner joins the In­sti­tute as Pro­fessor of Fin­an­cial Law with fo­cus on In­ter­na­tional Tax Law. He re­mains in this pos­i­tion until 1993 when he leaves for an­other of­fer from the Uni­versity of Vi­enna.

1991: For the first time the In­sti­tute ini­ti­ates the "Wirtschaft­streuhänder­-Kon­gress" (Busi­ness Trustee Con­gress) which is fol­lowed by the an­nual "Wiener Bil­an­zrecht­stage" (Ac­count­ing Law Con­fer­ence) as an aca­demic spe­cial event hos­ted by the Tax Law In­sti­tute and also WU´s other re­lated eco­nomic In­sti­tutes. In 2011 the Vi­enna Sym­posium on Cor­por­ate Tax Law takes place as an­other an­nual spe­cial event in the field of Cor­por­ate Tax Law.

1994: Mi­chael Lang suc­ceeds Eduard Lech­ner in his of­fice as Pro­fessor of Fin­an­cial Law, fo­cus­ing on In­ter­na­tional Tax Law. In 1998 he ac­cepts the pos­i­tion as the Head of In­sti­tute offered to him by Wolfgang Gassner.

1994: For the first time the In­sti­tute hosts the "Wiener Sym­posium zum in­ter­na­tionalen Steurerecht" (Vi­enna Sym­posium on In­ter­na­tional Tax Law) which since then is held an­nu­ally. In the fol­low­ing years other scien­ti­fic events are held in Eng­lish and in­ter­na­tional con­gresses fol­low on an an­nual basis e.g. Re­cent and Pend­ing Cases at the ECJ , the Case Stud­ies Con­fer­ences and Aca­demic Con­fer­ences in Rust or the Tax Treaty Case Law around the Globe Con­fer­ence first held in 2011.

1994: After be­ing elec­ted Pres­id­ent of the Aus­trian In­ter­na­tional Fis­cal As­so­ci­ation (IFA), Wolfang Gassner launches an in­tens­ive col­lab­or­a­tion between the As­so­ci­ation and the In­sti­tute. Un­der his man­age­ment the IFA or­gan­izes the IFA World Con­gress at the "Wiener Hof­burg" in 2004. Former Vice Pres­id­ent Mi­chael Lang suc­ceeds Wolfgang Gassner as Pres­id­ent of the IFA. Josef Schuch and Claus Staringer be­come mem­bers of the Board of Dir­ect­ors. For the next ten years Mi­chael Lang is also a mem­ber of the Per­man­ent Scien­ti­fic Com­mit­tee of the IFA. He is then suc­ceeded by Claus Staringer.

1997: The first sym­posium con­cern­ing con­sti­tu­tional court pro­ceed­ings in tax mat­ters was held in col­lab­or­a­tion with the In­sti­tute for Aus­trian and European Pub­lic Law (Mi­chael Ho­l­oubek) at the WU. Since that time the event is be­ing held on an an­nual basis, deal­ing with top­ics on the fron­tier between Tax and Con­sti­tu­tional Law or other fields of Pub­lic Law and thus the co­oper­a­tion of the in­sti­tutes' aca­dem­ics with rep­res­ent­at­ives of Con­sti­tu­tional and Ad­min­is­trat­ive Law in­creases.

1998: The first study trip or­gan­ized by the In­sti­tute leads to Lux­em­bourg. Thanks to our spon­sors we are able to or­gan­ize study trips for our re­search as­so­ci­ates and our best stu­dents to other European cit­ies at the end of each sum­mer term ever since. Up to 50 of the best can­did­ates take part in an in­tens­ive pro­gram on Tax Law each year.

1998: The In­sti­tute be­comes a mem­ber of the EU­CO­TAX (European Uni­versit­ies Co­oper­at­ing on Taxes). EU­CO­TAX is a group of Tax Law In­sti­tutes from 12 European coun­tries and the USA. Along with re­search co­oper­a­tions it of­fers an in­tens­ive study pro­gram for stu­dents in­ter­ested in re­search on Tax Law as well as in­ter­na­tional work­shops held every year.

1999: The first full time and part time stu­dents en­roll in the LL.M- pro­gram at the WU. The pro­gram is ini­ti­ated by the In­sti­tute for Aus­trian and In­ter­na­tional Tax Law in co­oper­a­tion with the Academy for pub­lic ac­count­ants (Akademie der Wirtschaft­streuhänder). In order to in­ter­na­tion­al­ize the pro­gram the courses are soon held in Eng­lish only. The pro­gram´s 500 alumni of the last 13 years pro­ceed their ca­reers all over the globe. The fac­ulty con­sists of schol­ars of all con­tin­ents who come to WU reg­u­larly and who en­cour­age co­oper­a­tions in cross bor­der re­search.

2002: The In­sti­tute be­comes a train­ing center of the Mar­ie- Curie Fel­low­ship. Fin­anced by the European Com­mis­sion it provides young in­ter­na­tional re­search­ers the chance to spend up to 12 month at the WU. Here­after, in­vit­a­tions for Re­search Fel­low­ship Tenders are is­sued in co­oper­a­tion with com­pan­ies (e.g. OMV, Raif­feisen In­ter­na­tional, Mondi, Siemens, TPA) to pro­mote scien­ti­fic re­search at the WU it­self. This ini­ti­at­ive is espe­cially tar­geted at mem­bers of CEE coun­tries. A Vis­it­ing Schol­ars Pro­gram is in­tro­duced soon after to al­low re­search stays of in­com­ing vis­it­ing schol­ars, e.g. from Ch­ina or South Amer­ica. Five to ten schol­ars can pur­sue their re­search at the same time for the dur­a­tion of a few months.

2003: Claus Staringer and Josef Schuch are ap­poin­ted Pro­fess­ors at the In­sti­tute. They ex­pand the cur­riculum and the re­search activ­it­ies in the field of In­ter­na­tional Tax Law and Cor­por­ate Tax Law.

2003: Upon re­com­mend­a­tion of in­ter­na­tional con­sult­ants the Spe­cial Re­search Field (SFB) on In­ter­na­tional Tax Co­ordin­a­tion is es­tab­lished at WU. For the first time a pro­gram jointly or­gan­ized by legal and eco­nomic ex­perts was elec­ted by the Aus­trian Science Fund (FWF) .Within the frame­work of the SFB the re­search­ers of our In­sti­tute co­oper­ate with re­searches from other fields thus pro­mot­ing cross dis­cip­lin­ary re­search. Dur­ing the evalu­ation pro­cess in 2007 and 2010, the high qual­ity of in­ter­dis­cip­lin­ary Tax Law re­search at the WU is widely re­cog­nized by in­ter­na­tional con­sult­ants.

2005: Pasquale Pis­tone joins the team of Pro­fess­ors: as a res­ult of a joint ap­plic­a­tion made to­gether with the In­sti­tute he star­ted work­ing as holder of the European Young In­vestig­ator (EURYI) Award and later on in frame of the ad per­so­nam Jean Mon­net Chair.

2005: The WU ad­opts the three- cycle sys­tem pro­moted by the Bologna pro­cess. Un­der­gradu­ate and gradu­ate de­gree pro­grams in Busi­ness Law are offered for the first time. Gradu­ates of the Mas­ter´s Pro­gram in Busi­ness Law are qual­i­fied to en­ter pro­fes­sions in the core area of laws. The field of Tax Law is very im­port­ant in these pro­grams. Tax Law courses are also held in the eco­nomic and busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion gradu­ate de­grees offered by the WU (as man­dat­ory or op­tional sub­jects).Since 2011 a new mas­ter de­gree in Tax­a­tion and Ac­count­ing puts em­phasis on the Tax Law. Since 2005, build­ing on the Mas­ter Pro­gram in Busi­ness Law and on other mas­ter or dip­loma de­grees in Law offered at other uni­versit­ies, the doc­toral pro­gram in Busi­ness Law provides the possib­il­ity for re­search as­so­ci­ates and other PhD stu­dents to write their doc­toral thesis on tax­a­tion.

2005: The first row of sem­inars on In­ter­na­tional and European Tax Law is held in co­oper­a­tion with PwC. We of­fer 16 lec­tures by (mostly) in­ter­na­tional lec­tur­ers each aca­demic year. The co­oper­a­tion with con­sult­ant com­pan­ies leads to other pro­jects like the KP­MG- WU work­shop on Com­pany Tax Law, the PwC Vis­it­ing Chairs for prom­in­ent in­ter­na­tional scient­ists, the semi- an­nual semester open­ing and clos­ing parties to li­aise with stu­dents, the two panel dis­cus­sions a year on ca­reer per­spect­ives in Tax Ad­vis­ory Com­pan­ies and Law Firms, the BDO Best Present­a­tion Award and the PwC Best Bach­elor thesis in Tax Law Award, the Ernst & Young Tax Chal­lenge ( spe­cial pro­gram for bach­elor thesis su­per­vi­sion) and the ap­point­ment of De­loitte, KPMG and PwC re­search assist­ants at the In­sti­tute for Aus­trian and In­ter­na­tional Tax Law.

2006: The WU par­ti­cip­ates for the first time in the European Tax Moot Court in Leuven (Bel­gium). In the fol­low­ing years our stu­dents re­peatedly win or at least rank high on the com­pet­i­tion and are awar­ded for their per­form­ance.

2008: Maria Sitkovich re­ceives a newly cre­ated pos­i­tion of Ad­min­is­trat­ive Dir­ector. Her main task is to co­ordin­ate the rising num­ber of ad­min­is­trat­ive staff, the con­fer­ence or­gan­iz­a­tion and other activ­it­ies of the In­sti­tute.

2009: Al­fred Storck joins the In­sti­tute after be­ing a lead­ing man­ager of Tax De­part­ment and a Vice CFO of a global player.

2009: In the con­text of an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence the In­sti­tute fo­cuses on dir­ect and in­dir­ect tax­a­tion and puts em­phasis on the global devel­op­ment of the value ad­ded tax. More con­fer­ences on this topic fol­low in 2010 and 2012.

2011: The Doc­toral Pro­gram in In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness Tax­a­tion (DIBT) for which re­searches of re­lated aca­demic dis­cip­lines are re­spons­ible is es­tab­lished by the Aus­trian Science Fund (FWF). The DIBT takes over the cross dis­cip­lin­ary scien­ti­fic re­search con­duc­ted by SFB (Spe­cial Re­search Field). Un­der its su­per­vi­sion the first stu­dents from Brazil, Mex­ico, Is­rael, Italy, Ger­many and Rus­sia start their stud­ies at the WU. These stu­dents with legal back­ground work as re­search assist­ants at the In­sti­tute. Eng­lish be­comes the com­mon work­ing lan­guage also among the staff.

2012: Jef­frey Owens as­sumes the man­age­ment of the In­sti­tute´s newly es­tab­lished WU Global Tax Policy Center and al­lows the In­sti­tute´s activ­it­ies in the field of In­ter­na­tional Fis­cal Policy to ex­pand.

2013: WU - and along with it the In­sti­tute for Aus­trian and In­ter­na­tional Tax Law - moved to the brand new Cam­pus in the Vi­enna Prater area, which had been designed by world fam­ous ar­chi­tects. All staff mem­bers whose of­fices had pre­vi­ously been in vari­ous sep­ar­ate build­ings, are now re-united in one build­ing. Among the first events held on the new cam­pus was the open­ing ce­re­mony of the "Dop­pler Lab­or­at­ory: Sav­ings Tax­a­tion in a Glob­al­ized World" which had  been es­tab­lished by the Chris­tian Dop­pler So­ci­ety with friendly sup­port of De­loitte.

2014: An ad­di­tional chair is offered at the In­sti­tute for Aus­trian and In­ter­na­tional Tax Law. Al­ex­an­der Rust, who was a full pro­fessor at the Uni­versité du Lux­em­bourg be­fore com­ing to Vi­enna, was ap­poin­ted to this pos­i­tion. His ap­point­ment en­hances the ex­pert­ise of the In­sti­tute in the areas of In­ter­na­tional Tax Law and Tax Policy.