Hungarian businesses have the “sword of Damocles” hanging over their head as the new European data protection regulation (“GDPR”) is applicable as of 25 May 2018. Due to the fact that the majority of the Hungarian companies are micro-enterprises, the administrative burdens cause an impossible obstacle to them.
Andras Daniel Laszlo, a former partner at Szecskay, has teamed up with Zoltan Titusz Fekete, who previously worked at RSM Hungary and for ten years with the Hungarian tax authority, and with Gaspar Bagamery, who worked with DLA Piper and Szecskay, to establish a new boutique in Budapest under the brand of LFB.
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is, according to the EU-hosted GDPR website, “the most important change in data privacy regulation in the past 20 years.” The Act, which was approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016 and will become fully effective on May 25, 2018, was designed “to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”
The winners of the 2017 CEE Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Awards Banquet last night in Prague. The biggest smiles in the joyous and music-filled celebration of CEE lawyering, perhaps, were on the faces of Partners from Avellum and Sayenko Kharenko, which, along with White & Case and Latham & Watkins, won the award both for Ukrainian Deal of the Year and CEE Deal of the Year for their work on the 2017 Ukraine Eurobond Issue (a story initially reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 2, 2017).
Under the Hungarian VAT Act, from 1 January 2016 instead of the general VAT tax rate of 27%, a reduced tax rate of 5% is applicable to the flats to be constructed or existing in a multi-unit residential building with a total net floor space not exceeding 150 square meters. This provision of the Hungarian VAT Act will remain in force only until 31 December 2019, accordingly, after this date the purchasers will pay for these flats a VAT of 27%.
Attila Peterfalvi, the president of the Hungarian Data Protection Authority, on 19 April 2018 made some relevant comments regarding the GDPR during an interview with a Hungarian online newspaper “Jogifórum”. He highlighted that one of the main novelties of the GDPR is the principle of accountability. The data controllers must be able to demonstrate their GDPR compliance in a documented way. This does not mean, however, that the burden of proof is on them in case of a NAIH procedure.
The Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 (General Data Protection Regulation, „GDPR”) will be directly applicable as of 25 May 2018 in all organisations controlling personal data. The Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (“NAIH” / “Hungarian Authority”) receives thousands of questions on the applicability of the GDPR. For this reason, the NAIH has published answers to some of these questions.
The European Commission has just published its comprehensive proposal for the so-called "New Deal for Consumers", which aims to strengthen EU consumer rights and enforcement. This includes the proposal for a new Directive enabling certain qualified entities to seek redress on behalf of consumers who have been harmed by an unlawful commercial practice.
17th May, 2018, Nador street 15, Budapest, Hungary
From 2019 the turnover threshold of tax exemption may continue to rise which would allow more micro and small business to issue VAT-exempt invoices in the framework of the low tax-bracket scheme. Tax-payer companies under the low tax-bracket will benefit most of the change, even though the regulation does not directly affect the legislation applicable on them.
On 12 March 2018 the Hungarian National Bank (“MNB”) published its recommendation on the criteria on how to stipulate the minimum monetary amount of the professional indemnity insurance or other comparable guarantee. The addressees of recommendation are fintech companies, i.e. payment initiation service providers (PISPs) and account information service providers (AISPs).