Ad tax to cost RTL €15 mln

Banking

The recently approved tax law on advertising revenue is forcing main Hungarian commercial TV RTL Klub to pay €15 mln and is putting the channel into a “structurally loss-making position”, the German parent company RTL Group announced in a public statement today.

The German group noted that its Hungarian subsidiary is the only company in the country to fall into the top 40% rate of the progressive tax.

Co-CEOs Anke Schaferkordt and Guillaume de Posch urged the Hungarian government to change the “counter-productive tax policy seemingly specifically aiming at RTL.” They added that the new regulations “undermines its operations and raises major concerns about the freedom of journalism in Hungary”.

RTL Klub, Hungary's largest broadcaster, has complained that the new tax, which hits their company harder than anyone, is intended to target the broadcaster because they are politically independent and they have criticized the government.

The parliamentary group of the ruling Fidesz party said earlier that RTL has used “accounting tricks” to avoid paying corporate tax in recent years, thus National Economy Minister Mihály Varga instructed the Hungarian Tax Authority to investigate the issue.

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