tag: EU

Bitcoin: not black, not white

Ákos Baráti | 22 February 2018

While more and more people all around the world are being bitten by the bitcoin bug, tax authorities are subjecting transactions executed with the cryptocurrency to ever closer scrutiny. Meanwhile, it is increasingly obvious that the world of bitcoin is starting to give shape to a new form of tax haven.

VAT on public-purpose investments: property developers can breathe a sigh of relief

Tamás Fehér | 2 October 2017

In 2009 the Supreme Court made it clear that the VAT on public-purpose investments related to property developments is deductible if it would not be possible to implement the development without such investment. Recently, however, some alarm was unexpectedly caused by the preliminary opinion of the advocate general of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in a similar, Bulgarian case, which recommended prohibiting the tax deduction right. Although the ECJ’s judgement published in the middle of last week did not follow the advocate general’s opinion, it did make exercising the deduction right subject to some strict conditions.

End to an unjust fine?

Ádám Fischer | 3 March 2017

Under current practice the Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) fines taxpayers that are caught with a VAT shortfall even if the budget has sustained no losses. An opinion recently published by the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice could spell the end for this extremely unfair and much criticised procedure.

Tags:
EU, tax penalty, VAT

Financial investors in jeopardy

1 December 2016

A cartel case of key importance is currently awaiting a decision from the General Court of the European Union (GC). If the GC approves the decision of the European Commission, this will open the door for declaring financial investors liable, under cartel law, for the illegal practices of businesses in their portfolio companies, regardless of whether or not the investor was aware of the cartel activities.

Last nail in the coffin for the tax authority

Ádám Fischer | 29 November 2016

In its latest decision, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the Hungarian tax authority (NAV) unlawfully refused to allow VAT deduction to taxpayers who could not have known that the invoice’s issuer was implied in tax fraud. A special twist in the so-called Signum case is that it was the court of first instance who referred the case to the ECJ, as opposed to the guidelines of Hungary’s supreme court. The decision will have a significant bearing on ongoing tax audits and tax-authority findings, especially in the agricultural and trade sectors.

Tags:
EU, tax audit, VAT

A lease may not always be a lease for VAT

Tamás Fehér | 16 March 2015

Lease services often lead to uncertainty from a VAT perspective. Some services which seem like lease at first glance do not meet the criteria for “lease” for VAT purposes. The improper classification can lead to surprises: on the one hand the lessor’s deduction right can be challenged, on the other hand a seemingly VAT-exempt transaction could trigger VAT liability. A recent ECJ decision will set standards for these situations.

The 'letterbox' neither suffices for VAT

Tamás Fehér | 3 November 2014

International tax structures fail more and more often due to the lack of real economic presence. These days both foreign and Hungarian tax authorities analyse in detail whether a legal entity has real economic nexus to the country where it was established. While tax investigations in the past primarily focused on corporate income tax reassessments, a recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) pointed out that the lack of real economic presence may also entail significant VAT consequences.

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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 blog@jalsovszky.com.

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