For the first time, the Supreme Court ruled on the merits concerning the refund of VAT on bad debts – and the decision was in favour of taxpayers. The judgments serve as a guideline in a number of similar cases, and may even help taxpayers with refunds claimed under the rules that came into force in 2020.
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.
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.
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 challenge to mitigate climate change is now present in every industry, and not surprisingly in the construction sector as well. Yet the building regulations adopted for this purpose often give rise to controversy and, in many cases, pose a serious challenge to participants in the domestic real estate market.
It has been clear for some time that Hungary is in breach of EU law by not allowing the refunding of VAT on bad debts. The fact that cases of Hungarian taxpayers have now been brought before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has forced Hungarian lawmakers to move on the issue. While the package of tax amendments submitted last week provides an opportunity to reclaim such VAT, in certain cases – due to the planned administrative restrictions – it will still only be possible to enjoy this right with reference to EU law.
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.