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The provisions of the corporate taxpayer group is applicable from 1 January 2019, and despite the short preparatory period, more than 200 company groups have so far taken advantage of this opportunity in 2019. This possibility will be open again from 1 November to 20 November 2019.

Every single business that trades with the UK, both in goods and services, will be affected by a “no-deal Brexit” scenario, i.e. the withdrawal of the UK from the EU without an agreement. On 4 September 2019 the Commission published a “Brexit preparedness checklist”, to provide information and to help enterprises conducting business in the EU and/or in the UK to double-check their state of preparedness.

On 10 September 2019 the newest edition of Incoterms rules, Incoterms 2020 was released by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The Incoterms rules serve as significant commercial provisions for the international sale of goods, including commonly accepted definitions and rules relating to the delivery of goods between trading partners. Since the first publication of Incoterms rules in 1936, ICC has revised regularly these rules to follow the changes in the worldwide trade system.

From 1 January 2020 a new European Union Directive (nicknamed „Quick Fixes”) will enter into force. Among several changes, rules that regulate the customer VAT numbers has been reformed. Under the new reform, obtaining a valid VAT number that the customer provides to the supplier will be regarded as a material requirement for applying the 0% VAT rate. If the supplier fails to include the customer’s VAT number on the invoice, it should not be possible to apply the 0% VAT rate. In addition, filing of a cumulative declaration is also required to invoke the 0% VAT rate. The Directive puts higher administrative burden on undertakings, since it expects a constant inspection mechanism for the validity of the customer’s VAT number at the time of sale.

As a result of an amendment to the Hungarian Condominium Act, a new register for condominium officers will be set up as of 1 January 2020. The aim of the registry is to keep the data of the officers (common representatives and chairman of the administrative committee) in a national, public and electronic registry, to ensure the transparency of the operation of the condominium and the efficiency of the legal supervision of the city notary over the condominiums, and to facilitate the appropriate communication in the course of authority proceedings affecting the rights and obligations of the condominium and the community.

On 14 September 2019 new requirements for authenticating online payments will be introduced in Europe as part of the Directive EU 2015/2366 on payment services in the internal market (Payment Services Directive, “PSD2”).

In February 2019, 55 Members of the Hungarian Parliament filed a constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court, requesting the Court to examine the laws regarding the Administrative Court System whether it is in compliance with the Fundamental Law of Hungary.

The Hungarian legislation introduced the asset management foundation as a new type of asset management in March 2019, which is very similar to the well-known trust. According to the bill on amending certain tax laws submitted by the Hungarian Government in June 2019, the foundation performing asset management will be considered as a taxable person for corporate income tax purposes. The foundation must fulfil its tax liability in the same way as the assets managed by a trust. However, if the foundation established by a natural person in favour of a natural person beneficiary has income only from financial instruments or from the exercise its rights of disposition of such instruments, the income from such activities are not taxable for corporate income tax purposes.

On 29 May 2019 the EU Commission published a guidance on the interaction between the Regulation on the free flow of non-personal data (FFD Regulation) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In particular, private businesses, notably small and medium-sized enterprises and other entities which process data in the course of their professional activities, will benefit from the guidance.

The personal income tax exemption for mothers with four or more children will come into effect as of January 2020. In connection with the seven-step family protection action plan starting on 1 July 2019, this is another significant benefit for mothers. The tax exemption does not affect the family tax advantage, which can still be claimed by both parents.

The Member States of the European Union shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the EU Directive 2017/828 which establishes requirements in relation to the exercise of certain shareholder rights attached to voting shares in general meetings of companies by 10 June 2019. The most sensitive part of the directive is that it makes the remunerations of the directors public.

According to a recent amendment to the Hungarian Act on Sport in March 2019, an international sport association – recognized by the International Olympic Committee – will be classified and regulated as a subtype of sport associations in Hungary.

The Hungarian Public Procurement Act was modified as of 18 April 2019, in order to comply with the provisions of the Directive 2014/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of on electronic invoicing in public procurement.

On 1 April 2019 the Hungarian Parliament adopted a new act on the amendments necessary for the implementation of the European Union’s data protection reform (“Data Protection Reform Act”). The new act has a comprehensive nature, as it aims to finalise the implantation of the data protection reform in the affected (more than 80) sectoral laws.

In March 2019 the Hungarian Parliament voted to introduce a new form of asset management foundation, which will serve as a real alternative to the fiduciary asset management (trust) system (“bizalmi vagyonkezelés” in Hungarian).

„Hungary opposes the introduction of the common corporate income tax base, or a new type of VAT in the European Union, and insists on keeping its competitive tax system” said Hungarian Minister of Finance Mihály Varga in Bucharest at an informal meeting of the European Union’s Financial Ministers on 5 April 2019.

More than a thousand companies have decided to perform the corporate income tax as a member of a so-called corporate taxpayer group, which may result in a total savings of HUF 15 billion for the companies. One of the greatest advantages of the corporate taxpayer groups is the offsetting of positive and negative tax bases, better use of tax incentives, and the non-applicability of transfer pricing rules.

KCG Partners at a Glance

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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