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New Year?s VAT surprise

The VAT revenues of the central budget outstripped expectations by Ft 30 billion, Finance Minister Tibor Draskovics said this morning speaking on commercial television channel tv2. The minister attibuted the surplus to the stringent checks of VAT returns, in which one in ten was found flawed. Draskovics did not mention how the unexpectedly high tax revenue will affect the budget deficit in January, previously estimated at Ft 210 billion without the budget of local governments, which is more than 20% of the annual target. Since last fall, VAT taxpayers have put in claims for more than Ft 100 billion in overdue refunds at the ministry, which said the delay was due to the stricter checks justified by a shortfall from the projected figures last year.