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The Hungarian government introduced a new tax one year ago. It is evident from the beginning that the so-called immigration surtax was never intended to increase the national budget. Instead, it was introduced for political reasons only and nothing more.

Hvg writes that the immigration tax (BEVKA) was introduced on 25 August 2018. The immigration surtax (25%) has its official form with a deadline, just like any other tax forms in Hungary. However, there has been no conclusive information on who the subject of this tax is.

Nobody knows who should be paying this tax and for what, therefore, no one does. It has been a year since this tax was introduced, and it brought exactly 0,0 Forints to the Hungarian national budget.

According to the official website:

The subject of the immigration surtax is the organisation which performs the financial support of the activity assisting the immigration, or the operation of an organisation carrying out an activity assisting the immigration and having a seat in Hungary.

The tax was part of Fidesz’s massive hate campaign against immigration (and György Soros). Its primary purpose was to strengthen the anti-immigration approach in Hungary and to hurt civil organisations.

Even the Ministry of Finance admitted that the immigration tax aims to hold back all activity that aids immigration, rather than to increase the national budget.

The tax was part of the so-called Stop Soros package of legislations. This is the same package that The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees criticised for violating international laws on human rights due to it is discriminatory and also from the point of view of access to funding.

Soon after the tax’s introduction, many organisations, including the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International and Transparency International all claimed that they are not taxable organisations. Therefore, they are not going to pay. Their activities include helping and protecting those in need, which, of course, includes refugees. However, they are not supporting immigration; rather, they are standing up against the inhumane treatment of others.

Two organisations might fit the government’s description of the subjects of the immigration tax. These are Migration Aid and The Hungarian Association for Migrants. Both of these organisations reached out to The National Tax and Customs Administration for information but received no response. They still do not know whether they are subjects to this tax or not.


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