The new Civil Procedure Code), enacted almost 3 years ago, placed the conduct of proceedings on stricter foundations. As a visible result of this, the number of lawsuits has dropped dramatically in recent years: more than 20% fewer disputes have been filed with the district courts and around 50% fewer at the regional courts than before. Perhaps this is also the reason why, under a bill recently passed, the harsh rules that had seemed carved in stone are likely to be softened.
VAT can cause a lot of complications when it comes to interpreting our regular contracts. Does the purchase price include VAT if the parties have not explicitly stated so? Should a guarantee withholding be made from an amount that includes VAT? Does the stamp duty need to be paid on the gross or the net price of the property? These questions are particularly timely in light of the recent reduction in the VAT rate on newbuild homes: who stands to benefit from this – the builder or the apartment buyer?
Apart from all its other nasty effects, the coronavirus has shown how unprepared lawyers are. Not long after the outbreak of the virus, it became all too obvious that the “force majeure” clauses traditionally worded along Anglo-Saxon lines were not worth the paper they were written on: they simply weren’t suitable for addressing the kind of problems that were arising in the new situation. Based on what we’ve learnt over the past few months, however, it’s now a lot clearer how a “Covid-proof” contract should be drawn up.
Who hasn’t queued at the in-store customer service desk to have their warranty stamped? Who hasn’t spent hours figuring out which brand service centre to take a faulty product to? And there are many more, similar nuisances we could add. However, changes in the warranty regulations are set to put an end to these from next year. But what’s good for consumers represents a major additional burden for vendors.
"I have a Slovak address card, so I don’t have to pay taxes in Hungary…" "I just have to make sure not to spend more than 183 days at home". "I’m a digital nomad, I don’t pay taxes anywhere." Many similar misconceptions circulate in Hungary regarding the rules of tax residence. However, tax regulations are “much smarter” than that and those who follow false illusions may even be exposed to criminal liability.
Recently, a Hungarian court accepted the right of a taxpayer to recover VAT on a bad debt where the VAT claim has already elapsed. The court made it clear that the statute of limitations does not count from the day of the original invoice but from the date when the debt became definitively irrecoverable. This decision may give hope to taxpayers in many pending cases.
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.