“The tax number of one of my companies was deleted due to some blunder, but we corrected it” – so begins a widely-known and innocent story that could happen to anyone. Then we realise in terror that due to this “blunder”, the Court of Registration refuses to register our company, or that the tax authority wants to delete the tax number of one of our existing companies. Could this have been avoided? What can be done?
For our Checking In feature, we reach out to partners and heads of practice across CEE to learn how specific practice areas are faring in their jurisdictions. This time around we asked Tax experts: What are the most important changes to the Tax laws in your country since January 2020 and what has their impact been?
2021 could greatly simplify the parcelling of jointly owned arable land. Also, the new rules will settle the status of land registered in the name of unidentifiable owners. At the same time, a clearer and more transparent title structure could not only enhance farming efficiency but also boost greenfield investments.
First reports under DAC6 were due recently from those who are parties to a cross-border transactions. Concurrently, at the last possible moment, the Hungarian Ministry of Finance published a Guide on certain issues related to the fulfilment of the reporting obligation. It is advisable, in particular, for accountants, consultants, lawyers and banks to carefully study this 38-page document, as any of them could easily fall within the scope of the reporting obligation.
The European Court of Justice has just put an end to an uncertainty that has weighed heavily on the pockets of property developers for years. Not only did it confirm that the VAT on what are known as “public purpose” investments can be deducted, but also that the obligatory transfer of ownership of such investments does not give rise to a VAT liability even if the investment is essential for the developer’s own economic activity.
Who hasn’t queued at the in-store customer service desk to have their warranty stamped? Who hasn’t spent hours figuring out which brand service centre to take a faulty product to? And there are many more, similar nuisances we could add. However, changes in the warranty regulations are set to put an end to these from next year. But what’s good for consumers represents a major additional burden for vendors.
"I have a Slovak address card, so I don’t have to pay taxes in Hungary…" "I just have to make sure not to spend more than 183 days at home". "I’m a digital nomad, I don’t pay taxes anywhere." Many similar misconceptions circulate in Hungary regarding the rules of tax residence. However, tax regulations are “much smarter” than that and those who follow false illusions may even be exposed to criminal liability.
Recently, a Hungarian court accepted the right of a taxpayer to recover VAT on a bad debt where the VAT claim has already elapsed. The court made it clear that the statute of limitations does not count from the day of the original invoice but from the date when the debt became definitively irrecoverable. This decision may give hope to taxpayers in many pending cases.
The healthcare emergency situation has accelerated the digitisation of tasks and processes in a wide range of areas. Enforcement proceedings based on notarial deeds are no exception, where an electronic procedure became mandatory a few months ago. The only question is how long the signature itself will still need to be in writing.
To this day, the domestic legal system has remained silent on how contracts concluded by email should be treated. However, legislation recently adopted in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic explicitly allows communication via email between a company and its private-individual members. Could this be the first step towards a more comprehensive legal acceptance of emails?
With in-store shopping often relegated to a secondary role, online forms of trading have come to the fore of late. Nowadays, merchants that don’t adopt web commerce solutions alongside or instead of their physical stores can find themselves at a distinct disadvantage in the market. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that besides implementing various IT developments and having to organise home deliveries, running a webshop requires some major preparatory work in the legal area as well.
Everything that used to be simple and straightforward when concluding or completing M&A transactions poses major challenges to market participants in today’s crisis circumstances. New legal and technical solutions have been designed to overcome these difficulties, some of which are expected to remain with us even after the crisis.
The impending economic crisis is expected to upset the financial position of many businesses. At these companies, the responsibilities of the company manager will also change: in a near-bankruptcy situation, the manager is obliged to take into account not only the interests of the company but those of the creditors as well. But what is simple on paper is not so straightforward in practice.