Parliament approved a package of tax changes on Friday, the last day of the summer session, that introduces a levy on funding to promote immigration, exempts some retail bank transfers from the financial transactions duty and raises late payment penalties, among other tax and related changes.
The package was passed with a vote of 131 in favour, 33 against and 23 abstentions.
The law introduces a 25 percent levy on “material support for the operation of NGOs whose activities support immigration“.
It would subject NGOs to the levy that provide assistance to the immigration of non-EU nationals or foreigners without residency permits either “directly or indirectly”. Such “programmes, operations [or] activities” that “are designed to promote immigration” may be in the framework of “conducting or participating in media campaigns and media seminars”, “organising education”, “establishing or operating networks” or “propaganda that paints immigration in a positive light”.
All proceeds from the levy would go towards protecting the border.
The law exempts retail bank transfers up to HUF 20,000 (EUR 606) from the financial transactions duty.
The change aims to “strengthen electronic payments and reduce the use of cash at the same time”, the law’s authors said. At present, the financial transactions duty makes it more costly for households to pay their bills with a bank transfer than to queue up at the post office and pay by postal cheque.
The law raises the benchmark for late tax payment penalties from double the central bank base rate, or 1.80 percent at present, to five percentage points over the base rate, or 5.90 percent.
The law eliminates an exemption from the public health tax for fruit distillates, such as pálinka, the national eau de vie, and for herbal liqueur.
The change seeks to “end a legal dispute with the European Commission”, “avoiding a situation of legal uncertainty, bad for both taxpayers and the tax authority, that could drag on for years”, the law’s authors said.
As we wrote today, parliament also approved the government’s 2019 budget bill. The bill was approved with 128 votes in favour and 56 votes against, read more HERE.