Hungary’s gov’t suspends special tax obligation for tourism SMEs

The government of Hungary has decided to suspend the obligation of domestic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in the tourism industry to pay a 4 percent tax known as “tourism development contribution,” the Hungarian Tourism Agency (MTU) said here on Tuesday.

The suspension, in force between Oct. 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, is the “fastest and most effective” government assistance to the country’s SMEs saddled with the ongoing energy crisis, the MTU said.

The measure will enable nearly 100,000 SMEs to save around 30 billion Hungarian forints (75.5 million U.S. dollars) in the next six months, it said.

In August, the government removed the cap on energy prices, which means that now companies and institutions must pay market prices. Electricity prices have doubled and the price of gas has increased sevenfold.

On Monday, Csaba Baldauf, president of the Hungarian Hotel and Restaurant Association, said that 20-25 percent of the country’s hotels planned to temporarily close for the winter due to the rise in energy prices. (1 Hungarian forint = 0.0025 U.S. dollar)

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