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In “The Corner Office” we ask Managing Partners at law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their backgrounds, strategies, and responsibilities. The question this time: “What did you most want to be when you were little?”

A common stereotype prevails that banking contracts are non-negotiable, and borrowers hardly have a say in the terms of their contracts. However, this is not the case: like any economic operator, banks are also willing to compromise. Banks’ flexibility varies depending on who and when is seeking preferential treatment and on the contractual terms subject to negotiations.

“The tax number of one of my companies was deleted due to some blunder, but we corrected it” – so begins a widely-known and innocent story that could happen to anyone. Then we realise in terror that due to this “blunder”, the Court of Registration refuses to register our company, or that the tax authority wants to delete the tax number of one of our existing companies. Could this have been avoided? What can be done?

For our Checking In feature, we reach out to partners and heads of practice across CEE to learn how specific practice areas are faring in their jurisdictions. This time around we asked Tax experts: What are the most important changes to the Tax laws in your country since January 2020 and what has their impact been? 

2021 could greatly simplify the parcelling of jointly owned arable land. Also, the new rules will settle the status of land registered in the name of unidentifiable owners. At the same time, a clearer and more transparent title structure could not only enhance farming efficiency but also boost greenfield investments.

First reports under DAC6 were due recently from those who are parties to a cross-border transactions. Concurrently, at the last possible moment, the Hungarian Ministry of Finance published a Guide on certain issues related to the fulfilment of the reporting obligation. It is advisable, in particular, for accountants, consultants, lawyers and banks to carefully study this 38-page document, as any of them could easily fall within the scope of the reporting obligation.

The European Court of Justice has just put an end to an uncertainty that has weighed heavily on the pockets of property developers for years. Not only did it confirm that the VAT on what are known as “public purpose” investments can be deducted, but also that the obligatory transfer of ownership of such investments does not give rise to a VAT liability even if the investment is essential for the developer’s own economic activity.

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 dont have to pay taxes in Hungary…" "I just have to make sure not to spend more than 183 days at home". "Im a digital nomad, I dont 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 healthcare emergency situation has accelerated the digitisation of tasks and processes in a wide range of areas. Enforcement proceedings based on notarial deeds are no exception, where an electronic procedure became mandatory a few months ago. The only question is how long the signature itself will still need to be in writing.

To this day, the domestic legal system has remained silent on how contracts concluded by email should be treated. However, legislation recently adopted in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic explicitly allows communication via email between a company and its private-individual members. Could this be the first step towards a more comprehensive legal acceptance of emails?

Jalsovszky

Jalsovszky is one of Budapest’s fastest-growing and most innovative law firms. The key to our success is a business-focused approach paired with logical thinking. Clients appreciate that we are never afraid to voice our opinion even in critical situations.

We regard ourselves as a boutique law firm. No matter how experienced our associates are, we cannot be fully conversant in every area of the law, even in the field of commercial law. But when it comes to what we specialise in, we consider ourselves to be among the best.

Whether with regard to our clients or our staff, it is a human-oriented thinking that defines us. It is important for us to build personal relationships with our clients. We believe a personal relationship does not get in the way of providing a high-quality professional service – on the contrary, it makes the co-operation even more effective. We aim, further, to provide our colleagues with a friendly and supportive environment in which they can find fulfilment and motivation.

Our firm’s market-leading role and the exceptional quality of our legal team is acknowledged year in, year out by numerous international rating agencies (including the publications Legal500, Chambers and Partners, IFLR and International Tax Review).

For further information, please visit jalsovszky.com