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Parliament approves amendments to 2010 tax laws

Parliament approved amendments to Hungary's tax laws, the daily newspaper Népszabadság reported.

The amendments adopted on Monday stipulate a 0.25% tax bracket on property up to a value of HUF 30 million, 0.35% from a value of HUF 30 million to HUF 50 million and 0.5% from a value of more than HUF 50 million. Property under a value of HUF 30 million would be tax-exempt. The government's original proposals stipulated a 0.35% tax on property up to a value of HUF 30 million, the newspaper noted.

The amendments also specified a lower threshold of HUF 5 million for the 17% personal income-tax bracket in 2010 and a HUF 15 million lower threshold in 2011.

As opposed to the 32% original proposal of the government, the amendments stipulated a 25% tax on extra-wage benefits, including hot-meal vouchers up to a value of HUF 18,000, and 54% tax on cold-meal vouchers up to that same value. Hot-meal vouchers were previously tax-exempt up to a value of HUF 12,000, while cold-meal vouchers were previously tax-exempt up to a value of HUF 6,000.

The amendments specify that companies will be able to write off all research-and-development expenses from their local business tax, while leasing companies will be exempted from paying stamp duty on residential and vehicle transactions. Both of these amendments will reduce the tax revenue of local councils.

The amendments stipulate that the VAT rate on sales of new residences will be only 20% if the sale is reported to the property office before July 1, while the VAT rate on tourism services will be 18%.

Hungary's general VAT rate will rise to 25% from 20% on July 1. (MTI – Econews)