17 September 2018
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee is not involved in any activity which would fall under the scope of the new law. As a first step the new law affects donors and our supporters are the European Union and the United Nations, which are exempt from paying tax in Hungary.
In a statement on Saturday, the Hungarian Ministry of Finance drew attention to today’s deadline for reporting and paying the so-called ‘special tax on immigration’. We have received several questions whether our organization is affected and if yes, will we pay.
The tax liability does not concern the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, as our clients are not “immigrants” for the purposes of the tax law and we have no activities which the law would deem taxable. Furthermore, the primary taxable entity is the donor. A supported civil organization would only be required to pay should the donor not fulfil his or her obligations. Our activities related to asylum seekers are supported by the European Union and the United Nations and these organizations are exempt from paying tax in Hungary.
However, the new tax regulation does make our work more difficult as its vague wording could result in arbitrary application of the law. It may also discourage some of our donors not exempt from the law, from financially supporting our work concerning refugees.
Therefore the HHC is examining the legal possibilities for stepping up against this law.