Most have heard of the difference between Anglo-Saxon case law and the continental courts – and perhaps that Hungary has so far firmly belonged to the latter camp. However, an amendment to the law that has recently been adopted represents a major step in the opposite direction – one that could result in thousands of Supreme Court rulings becoming precedents overnight.
While a typical small or medium-sized family business consists of a single company, large enterprises tend to work in the form of a company group, made up of numerous companies. How do company groups form and what justifies their formation? When is it worth establishing a company group? These are the questions we seek to answer.
When it comes to instances of compensation, this is not always the case. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has recently reiterated that compensation for damages or contractual penalties may also qualify as consideration for a service for the purposes of VAT. This is important because consideration (i.e. the price of a service) is subject to VAT, whereas compensation is not. This could affect so-called loyalty periods or other fixed-term services in particular.
One does not simply walk into the courtroom and hope for the best. To win a civil case you will need to navigate through the strict formalitites that were introduced by the new Hungarian civil procedure code. It closed many well-known paths of litigation tactics and antics but also opened up new possibilities.
It has long been a problem that the tax authority refuses to refund to a supplier the VAT that has already paid by him, even if the customer has not paid the gross purchase price at all. However, in a recent ruling, the European Court of Justice has clearly ruled that if the claim has become definitively unrecoverable, the Hungarian tax authority NAV is also required to refund the VAT on that claim to the seller. This decision now also allows other affected taxpayers to request a refund of the VAT on their unrecoverable receivables within a maximum of six months.
The law is constantly in flux. While many people may find this intimidating, for us it’s precisely what makes it so exciting. We’d like to share this attitude with businesspeople and managers, and with those who just have an interest in business law, in the form of a regularly updated blog that discusses the latest tax law and commercial law issues in an accessible style. Feel free to send your questions and suggestions for topics you’d like us to cover to firstname.lastname@example.org.