EC opens infringement procedure against Hungary over telecoms tax

Brussels, March 14 (MTI) – The European Commission announced on Tuesday that it had opened infringement proceedings against Hungary over a new “special tax” imposed on the telecoms sector last October. The prime minister’s spokesman, however, said that the special tax complied with the EU laws.

Hungary imposed an up to 6.5 percent tax on telecom operators in order to boost tax revenues.

“On the basis of information received from the Hungarian authorities, the Commission is concerned that the special tax on telecom operators is levied to cover costs other than administrative and regulatory costs related to the telecoms sector and is therefore incompatible with EU telecom rules,” the statement said.

The Hungarian government has two months to reply and if the Commission’s concerns are not allayed, then a formal request will be issued for Hungary to ensure that it complies with EU law on taxation, the statement added.

Peter Szijjarto, the Prime Minister’s spokesman, said that the special tax was in compliance with EU laws in every respect. The shared distribution of burdens is a European value and the special tax has been introduced in keeping with this principle, he added.

Szijjarto said Hungary had not yet received the official letter requesting information but as soon as it arrives, the government would immediate prepare an answer and send it within the deadline.