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Heftz bills for victims of officialdom

Pressure Group To Tackle Victims Of Austrian Officialdom

A group of businessmen fed up at the way companies are being squeezed not only by red tape but also by ever newer taxes have taken to the Internet to try and build up pressure for change.

Chief among the complaints of the group are the investigations by the Austrian health service that often result in massive charges in the case of any irregularities that are driving some firms out of business. They are also unhappy about the many taxes that businesses are being hit with.

In Austria the health service is paid for by the so-called Krankenkassen. People in employment pay contributions that go to the krankenkassen which in turn provide health insurance for their members. Which Krankenkasse a person is a member of is dependent on the geographical location and what job they do.

The organisation freemarkets.at that used to be close to the BZÖ political party but which now operates as an independent association is hoping to develop itself as a platform for the victims of officialdom.

The association says that they have had many companies turn to them complaining that they have been unfairly treated by the Krankenkassen. In many cases it is smaller companies that feel they have been badly treated. Fact is that the Krankenkassen have stepped up significantly investigations of smaller companies looking for what they say are irregularities in payments from these companies. The result in most cases has been significant back payments that need to be made which in some cases are driving firms out of business.

In Lower Austria for example a building firm was forced to close after he got a bill for €210,000. Since then the manager of the firm has been no longer involved in construction projects, instead he has been involved in fighting with lawyers against officialdom.

Freemarkets.at director Christian Ebner is now offering a helping hand from the Internet at least. His site offers advice on how to avoid the weak points that are leaving them open to damage from the krankenkasse and the taxman. It also offers advice on dealings with the krankenkasse and taxmen.

It is not however done with a free download file, instead they are looking in every province for legal firms that are interested in taking on cases like the one in Lower Austria. These legal firms will end up with their names and contact details on the homepage and firms that were affected can get a quick connection to a legal team experienced with the problem who can quickly offer help and advice.

From experience they say that people should have the courage to challenge the first instance decision from the krankenkasse the tax would and not simply to let it lie.

Ebner said: "Very often the second instant decision is a much more favourable decision." He also has been campaigning by the Chamber of Commerce election for officialdom to be taken in hand.

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