According to index.hu, Transparency International’s (TI) legal director, Miklós Ligeti turned to the parliament’s Committee on Immunity in Semjén’s hunt scandal. He asked the president of the committee to launch a process on the deputy PM’s financial statement since Semjén did not include the price of his luxurious hunts in Sweden. However, János Hargitai refused to do so. Furthermore, the National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary (NTCA) issued a statement in which they claim that Semjén does not have to pay any personal income tax (PIT) or donation tax after his hunts paid by a Hungarian entrepreneur.
Deputy PM Semjén’s hunt maze
As we already reported, Magyar Nemzet received videos, photos and documents that Semjén used to take part in luxurious hunts in Sweden for years
in total secrecy.
He hunted there in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 mostly for reindeer, moose and fool-hen. The price for the trips was horribly high, 4-5 million Swedish krona (EUR 500,000) for each. Semjén said that he just visited his relatives there and they hunted together. However, Magyar Nemzet discovered later that a Hungarian businessman, József Farkas paid his trips.
In fact, Mr Farkas owns many hotels in Hungary, and interestingly,
he won many tenders after Fidesz came to power in 2010.
Moreover, one of his hotels was inaugurated by Deputy PM Semjén. In fact, József Farkas denies that he paid for the hunts.
Furthermore, the owner of the reindeer Semjén hunted down last time claims that he did not permit him to kill his reindeer. Thus, he
sued the Deputy PM
and the case is on the table of the Swedish Prosecution Authority. In fact, they are now investigating it as a theft.
Transparency wants investigation
After Magyar Nemzet reported about Semjén’s hunt in Sweden, legal director of TI turned to the parliament’s Committee on Immunity. Miklós Ligeti asked the president of the committee to launch a process on the deputy PM’s financial statement since
Semjén did not include the price of his luxurious hunts in Sweden.
According to the Act on the National Assembly, all members of the parliament have to include gifts worth more than 1/12th of their monthly salary in their financial statement. However, Semjén did not do so, though a Hungarian entrepreneur named József Farkas paid his hunts. This is because it was a friendly gesture, not a gift given to him as an MP – said Semjén. This could have been acceptable if Mr Farkas did not pay the hunts only after Semjén became Deputy PM.
However, János Hargitai, president of the Committee on Immunity
refused to start the investigation.
In fact, he is a member of the Christian Democratic People’s Party presided by Semjén himself.
Does Semjén have to pay?
The decision was followed by multiple exchanges of letters between him and Mr Ligeti. Ligeti wrote that Semjén should have paid at least donation tax after the expensive hunts given him as gifts. However, Hargitai claimed that even though someone receives a present of great value, it does not count as income. Thus, personal income tax should not be paid for it, as well.
However, according to a university professor and international tax expert Dániel Deák, Deputy PM
Semjén should have paid an 18% donation tax after the hunts.
In this matter, it is irrelevant whether there was a document on the donation or not. The donation tax after 20 million HUF (EUR 64,000) is 3.6 million HUF (EUR 11,500). Consequently, after 25 million it is 4.5 million. And Semjén should have reported the fact of bestowal to the tax authority – according to index.hu.
They concluded that Semjén would have to pay the donation tax, its interests and some fine.
However, after index published the article the National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary (NTCA) issued a statement in which they claim that Semjén does not have to pay any personal income tax (PIT) or donation tax. They added that
index.hu totally misinterpreted the law regulating the issue.
Source: index.hu, Daily News Hungary
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