New tax law sparks protests in Budapest

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Hungarians protest for a second day against the government’s new decision to raise taxes for small businesses

Thousands of Hungarian workers are protesting against legislation that would increase the tax rate for small businesses, passed earlier this week by the ruling Fidesz party. Around half a million individuals used the popular simplified tax regime, KATA. According to new rules, workers paying KATA will have to look for other solutions from September 1 since the legislation tightens the eligibility for the simplified tax regime.

Protesters have blocked traffic in the heart of Budapest, on the Erzsebet Bridge that connects the Buda and Pest on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

The country’s government says many companies have abused this tax scheme by having full-time workers as contractors rather than employing them.

Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s popularity has weakened over the past month due to the record weakening of currency and the highest inflation in the past two decades. The right-wing opposition party Jobbik has called on the Prime Minister to withdraw the controversial legislation.

US terminates 1979 treaty with Hungary over resistance to global minimum tax

The US Treasury announced the termination of a 1979 tax treaty with Hungary in light of the country’s decision to block the EU’s implementation of a 15% global minimum tax – Reuters reports.

A spokesperson for the Treasury said that since Hungary lowered its corporate tax rate to 9% the tax treaty unilaterally benefits Hungary.

"The benefits are no longer reciprocal - with a significant loss of potential revenues to the United States and little in return for U.S. business and investment in Hungary," the spokesperson explained.

"Europe's economy is now operating in a long-term inflationary environment due to the war in Ukraine. If the tax burden on production companies were to be further increased under these circumstances, the impact would be dramatic," Hungarian Foreign Minister said on his Facebook page.“The company tax of Hungarian production companies would practically double which would threaten tens of thousands of Hungarian jobs. Due to this – no matter how much pressure is on us – we will not support the introduction of the global minimum tax in Europe”, he added.

The Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, Gergely Gulyas called the termination a 'petty move of a major power' on Kossuth Radió’s Sunday morning program. He added that the agreement [that replaced the 1979 treaty ] was signed by Finance Minister Péter Oszkó and his US counterpart in 2010, is yet to be approved by the US legislature.

Hungarian government terminates a 31-year investment agreement with Norway

The Hungarian government will terminate a 31-year agreement with Norway on the promotion and mutual protection of investments – as published in the Hungarian Gazette. The decision was signed by PM Viktor Orban.

The decision authorizes Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto (or the person designated by him) to finalize the text of the resolution. The law was drafted on the termination of the agreements, and the Prime Minister ordered two things in this regard. First, to establish the final text, and once it is finalized, it must be submitted to the Parliament.

Relations between the Hungarian government and Norway deteriorated earlier because of the Norwegian fund.

Cinematographer Marcell Rév is nominated for an Emmy for the second time

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has announced this year’s nominees for the Emmys, and the list includes Hungarian cinematographer Marcell Rév. Rév was nominated for an episode of the popular HBO series, Euphoria: The Theater And Its Double in the “Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series (One Hour)” category.

This is the cinematographer’s second Emmy nomination. Last year he was nominated for another episode of Euphoria, Trouble Don’t Last Always. This year’s Emmy Awards will be held in September.