Clock is Ticking for 1% PIT Donations
Three From Streets to Homes Association volunteers help prepare a home for rough sleepers to move in.
The deadline for making a “1 + 1 %” pledge on personal income tax is approaching. Taxpayers can pledge 1% of their PIT to a civic society organization and another 1% to a state-recognized church. In this way, the taxpayer can support an NGO and the religious organization of their choice without having to make an individual payment; the amount is deducted from the tax they pay to the state. The entire tax amount will go into the state budget if no such request is made.
The scheme is broadly well-known and supported in Hungary, regardless of political preference. In the past few years, the number of taxpayers making a donation and the total amounts donated have been growing consistently.
Donations in 2022 amounted to more than HUF 23 billion, according to the Hungarian-language website nonprofit.hu. About half of that amount, HUF 11 bln, was pledged to NGOs. Although the figure sounds reasonable, the number of people donating to NGOs dropped from 2021, while those supporting churches continued to grow.
“The From Streets to Homes Association is one of the numerous NGOs that fund its activities partly from PIT 1% donations. We work with homeless people and families in Budapest, implementing the Housing First method to the greatest extent we can: we help rough sleepers move into affordable rental housing and provide the support they need to maintain it in the long run,” Vera Horváth tells the Budapest Business Journal.
“Once a person moves into a decent home and has adequate safety and privacy, we can provide significantly more efficient social work to them than to someone accommodated in a mass shelter,” she explains.
“More broadly, we also advocate that affordable rental housing provision become the institutional, national policy level solution to homelessness in Hungary, and we also support people affected by other forms of housing poverty and exclusion,” Horváth says.
Renovating the Run-down
“We renovate run-down municipal housing in cooperation with district municipalities and run an agency subletting privately-owned affordable rental homes. In the country’s present support system, there are barely any other viable ways out of homelessness,” she adds
The association is celebrating its 10th anniversary this spring. During the decade in which it has been active, it has experienced “a hostile turn in social policy, marked especially by the criminalization of homelessness, and the occasional war on NGOs in populist political discourse,” Horváth claims.
That has meant the organization has become increasingly reliant on the donations of private individuals.
“We are very grateful for all those who choose to support our work through your PIT donation, allowing us to continue to help people in homelessness and extreme housing poverty,” Horváth says.
To donate, taxpayers must include either the name of the NGO in Hungarian, its tax number, or both in the appropriate tab on the online tax return platform. The NGO of the taxpayer’s choice will gladly supply their Hungarian name and tax number upon request. The relevant data for the From Streets to Homes Association is Utcáról Lakásba! Egyesület and 18625880-1-42. The deadline for making a 1% donation is May 22.
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