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Customs Office announces registration tax refunds

Owners of vehicles registered between May 1, 2004 and December 31, 2005 may apply for a partial refund of their registration tax from February 15, the Customs Office announced yesterday.

Vehicle owners may apply for the refunds for 180 days. The refunds became necessary after the European Court found fault with Hungary's registration fees used from the time it joined the EU on May 1, 2004, until the end of 2005. The Court said the registration tax was illegal as it taxed used cars imported from other member states at 100% of their original value, while taxing the original value minus depreciation for used vehicles purchased in Hungary.

The Hungarian Parliament amended the tax from the start of 2006 to reflect depreciation of imported used cars as well as ones purchased in Hungary. Customs Office spokesman Jenő Sipos said more than 70,000 vehicles are eligible for the refunds, which are expected to add up to Ft 8 billion - 10 billion (€31.5 million - €39.4 million). (Bloomberg, Gazdasági Rádió - Privátbankár)