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The Central Bank of Hungary (MNB) has announced a new program, for the purpose of providing capital requirement benefits to those credit institutions based in Hungary that offer so called green loans for energy efficient housing goals (purchase, building or refurbishment) between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2023. During this time period, these credit institutions will receive capital requirement benefits (5 to 7% depending on the energy efficiency of the related property) after the provided green loans, and the customers taking out these loans are eligible for lower, discounted rates.

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.

The provisions of the Hungarian Labour Code on the employees’ leave entitlement will be modified as of 1 January 2020. The new provisions are aimed at extending the employees’ entitlement to take leave for the purpose of providing care for their child.

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.

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.

Under a non-compete agreement, the employer may restrict the ex-employee’s business activity for a period of maximum 2 years following the termination of employment and in exchange, the employer shall pay adequate compensation to the employee - the amount of which may not be less than 1/3 of the base wage due for the same period. The Hungarian Supreme Court (Curia) published in September 2019 a report on the judicial practice relating to non-compete agreements, which highlights the following findings:

On 24 September 2019 the commencement of the electronical land registry (E-Land registry) project was announced aiming at the development of real estate and land issues. As a result of the E-Land registry, a safer, more transparent and faster system will be established, which would also enable automatic decision-making processes. This step follows the electronization of the administrative processes resulting in the decrease of the lead time and costs of the land registry procedures and the increase of the legal certainty.

In September 2019, the Hungarian Supreme Court (Curia) stated in its decision that even in case of a warning strike, the employer must be notified on the strike at a time that allows the exercise of its right to prevent damages caused by the stop of operations, and also to perform its obligation to protect life and property and to perform any organisational work related to these rights and obligations.

Company information was available without any restriction in the database of the Hungarian Ministry of Justice. As of 1 October 2019, there was a change in the recognition of company information, since the electronic company register was replaced by a so called online real-time company information.

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KCG Partners is a Hungarian business law firm providing a comprehensive range of legal services to international and local clients seeking local knowledge and global perspective. The firm comprises business-minded lawyers with sector-specific expertise, creating value for clients by applying a problem-solving approach and delivering innovative solutions.

The firm has a wealth of knowledge in corporate law, M&A, projects and construction, energy, real estate, tax, employment, litigation, privacy and forensics, securitization, estate planning and capital markets.

To address clients’ regional and international concerns, the firm maintains active working relationships with other outstanding independent law firms in Central and Eastern Europe, whilst senior counsel Mr. Blaise Pásztory brings over 40 years’ of US capital market and fund management experience.

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