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Press watch: Hungary threatens foreign companies over EC tax battle

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The Financial Times reports (19 July 2015) that, some months after the EC announced a state aid investigation into ‘health contribution’ levies that it alleged are ‘discriminatory’ and gave Hungarian companies with low revenues an unfair advantage over foreign retailers and tobacco groups, the Hungarian government has said it will penalise businesses that oppose the taxes.

‘We can say to Spar and to Philip Morris that if you won’t pay this tax, then you’ll pay another, but one way or another, you’ll pay,’ Janos Lazar, a senior minister, told FT reporters in Budapest. ‘You can go complain to the EU, but then you’ll just pay more. And it’s going to be this way for every group that presses charges against a country where it wants to earn money.’

Hungary had already backed down in June over a previous state aid investigation into its discriminatory 50% tax on advertising revenue paid by a broadcaster owned by German media corporation Bertelsmann, which was higher than the rate paid by other media outlets.

Issue: 1273
Categories: News