Parliament has passed the new tax law for 2015. Even though at the end of summer the Ministry for National Economy promised continuity and predictability, another wave of changes will hit society.
The taxation of the cafeteria benefits was tampered with in an especially intensive way. First they threatened with a general tax increase from the present 35.7% to 51.2%, which would have practically meant the end of the extra benefits, which amount to several 100,000 forints on average, at least in the case of the small companies.
The Ministry for National Economy explained this approach by pointing out that employees should be rather compensated by receiving a higher salary. Finally the ministry backed down, since the domestic tourism sector would have been one of the victims of this change, so they have introduced an upper limit for taxation at HUF 450,000. However, only the services of the SZÉP Card can be used over HUF 200,000, which benefits domestic tourism.
RTL Klub will pay even more
The advertising tax originally imposed on media companies was raised from 40% to 50%, which has to be paid only by specific media companies, namely RTL Klub, resulting in this tax being commonly referred to nowadays as the RTL Klub tax. Experts are only guessing about the advertising tax, since it is not definitively explained exactly who the taxpayers are.
No one should underestimate the consequences of the recent full power of cities and communities, since they will be able to introduce so-called “municipal taxes” besides the already applicable local taxes (ranging from advertising, through communal and real estate taxes). These taxes may be imposed on the citizens (companies are excluded from the circle) who are subject to certain “tax conditions” that are not yet burdened by central or local taxes. The agricultural alliance MOSZ has already protested because they fear that a new kind of tax will be introduced on farmlands.
New special taxes
The “supervision fee for grocery chains” will be raised dramatically. Practically the special tax for retailers returns through the back door. Companies having annual turnover of less than HUF 500 million (about EUR 1.6 million) will be exempt, only those earning over this amount. When revenue tops HUF 300 billion it will amount to a juicy 6% of sales.
The investment funds will be burdened with a property tax instead of the special tax on the financial sector, and the portfolio management for private people will no longer be free of value added tax for individuals.
As already announced, there will be a one-off fee for distilling the popular spirit pálinka at public distilleries, namely HUF 835 per litre. The upper limit on the quantity of the spirit produced for private consumption will be reduced from 200 to 50 litres. When this limit is respected, each individual has to pay only a symbolic HUF 1,000 tax each year.
The so-called chips tax, or officially named public health product tax, which is the tax imposed on unhealthy groceries, will be extended to beer, wine, champagne and other alcoholic products from 1 January. Tobacco producers must also reach deeper in their pockets. Finally, the environmental tax will be extended for office paper, cosmetic products and even artificial flowers.
War declared on VAT cheats
Companies need to comply with stricter rules, according to which they have to declare each invoice with a value added tax (ÁFA) content over HUF 1 million. In addition, newly founded companies have to declare their ÁFA duty each month (previously quarterly). Further steps were taken to undermine the activity of the VAT cheaters frequently mentioned in the recent headlines.