Most have heard of the difference between Anglo-Saxon case law and the continental courts – and perhaps that Hungary has so far firmly belonged to the latter camp. However, an amendment to the law that has recently been adopted represents a major step in the opposite direction – one that could result in thousands of Supreme Court rulings becoming precedents overnight.
The National Tax and Customs Administration (“Authority”) has presented its vision for the future at a taxation conference held at the end of November 2019. The Authority has outlined that the emphasis will continuously be on the tax inspection of companies alongside with seizing the benefits of digitalisation and development. The principal objective of the Authority is to promote and enforce compliance with legal obligations. This objective will be supported by a new obligation (applicable as of July 2020) that requires taxpayers to provide complete data on their invoices.
A new amendment package was approved in the middle of December 2019. The package includes many novelties affecting the validity and issuance of driver’s licenses, the documents of newborns, document modifications due to marriage, procedures related to death and identity checks conducted by the police.
Affiliated enterprises have to report their related undertakings in a Country-by-Country (furthermore “CbC”) report until 31 December 2019 for the financial year of 2018. The information therein is used for high level transfer pricing examination and risk assessment. If a company fails to comply with the deadline mentioned above, it may expect a default penalty up to HUF 20 million (~ EUR 60,420) from the Hungarian Tax Authority.
While a typical small or medium-sized family business consists of a single company, large enterprises tend to work in the form of a company group, made up of numerous companies. How do company groups form and what justifies their formation? When is it worth establishing a company group? These are the questions we seek to answer.
On 12 November 2019 Gergely Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office proposed an omnibus law in order to further streamline and expedite the operation of the metropolitan and county governmental offices. These offices serve, in many cases, as an authority of second instance where, at first instance, the city notary was the competent authority, so the Hungarian administrative system has shared competences in this respect.
A new amendment to the Hungarian Anti-Money Laundering Act seeks to extend its scope to custodian wallet providers and virtual currency exchange platforms, in order to reduce the risks associated to cryptocurrencies. The proposal is currently before the Hungarian Parliament, and aims at fulfilling Hungary’s obligations deriving from the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“Directive”).
On 23 October 2019 the European Commission published a report on the third annual review on the functioning of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The report states that the U.S. continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred under the Privacy Shield from the EU to participating companies in the U.S. Today approx. 5,000 companies are participating in this EU-U.S. data protection framework.
The organic development of the Hungarian insolvency laws was interrupted by the era of the socialist planned economy, which ended in 1990. The novel Insolvency Act of 1991 (IA) may have satisfactorily served the economy in the first years of the transition period, but due to the profound changes in the socio-economic environment in subsequent years, the statute has become obsolete. Successive governments over the past three decades have made multiple efforts to keep the IA up-to-date and to follow the numerous demands made by the various players of the market and interested legal professionals, but the more than one hundred (!) amendments have rendered the system opaque and relatively difficult to use.