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In our newsroom, you can find a selection of recent major news and updates related to Hungarian legal developments.

Changes related to the local business tax in Hungary

According to the changes of the act of the local business tax adopted on 26 November 2020, taxpayers have to submit their tax return to the tax authority, which means that what was an option until the end of the 2020 year, has become an obligation. As of 1 January 2021, the tax authority supervises and verifies the tax returns and also indicates immediately the calculation errors to the taxpayers, which can be corrected by correction or self-audit. It is also worth mentioning the temporary reduction of the local business tax rate as a part of the recovery measures introduced as a result of the economic difficulties caused by COVID pandemic. In the tax year ending in 2021, the entrepreneur – as defined in the act of the local business tax – with a net turnover or balance sheet total not exceeding HUF 4 billion (micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises) has to pay no more than 1% local business tax (instead of the maximum of 2%). The entrepreneur covered by the rules should pay 50% tax advance due on the given advance payment dates. A special declaration must be submitted to the local government to take advantage of this tax reduction until 25 February 2021.

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European Union bans the plastic waste export to non-OECD countries

With Regulation 2020/2174 the European Commission adopted new rules on the export, import and intra-EU shipment of plastic waste, which has banned all non-recyclable plastic waste being shipped to developing nations from 1 of January 2021. In the last decade, uncontrolled trade in plastic waste has increased, damaging both the environment and public health. The new Regulation’s main objective is to end the export to developing countries, which do not have the adequate capacity to process and dispose the plastic waste. As a result, the export of unsorted plastic waste to non-OECD countries will be completely banned. Exporting hard to recycle plastic waste and hazardous plastic waste from the EU to OECD countries will be subject to the “prior notification and consent procedure”. Under this procedure, both the importing and exporting countries must authorise the shipment. The procedure will be the same for those importing plastic waste into the EU. The Regulation’s main objective is also in line with the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan, which will both increase the reuse of plastics in the industrial sector. Europe’s war on plastic is a rational scenario, since every year, Europeans generate 25 million ton of plastic waste, but less than a third (30%) is being recycled. Therefore, to reverse that direction, under the new plastic strategy, all plastic packaging in the EU will be recyclable by 2030, the consumption of single-use plastics will be reduced,

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Trade negotiations between China and the EU have been concluded

Seven years of trade negotiations between the European Union and the People’s Republic of China ended with a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) on 30 December 2020. “It will provide unprecedented access to the Chinese market for European investors, enabling our businesses to grow and create jobs. It will also commit China to ambitious principles on sustainability, transparency and non-discrimination” - said Ursula von der Leyen President of the European Commission. Under the CAI, China is expected to provide easier access – especially on manufacturing – to its market for European investors while providing less strict rules for European companies in relation to the transfer of subsidies or forced transfer of technologies. Another part of the deal is that China committed itself to reduce forced labour and even has to adopt some of the rules of the International Labour Organisation’s fundamental Convention. The agreement also requires China to effectively adopt the rules of the Paris Climate Agreement, which is a great step, as China is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide. The conclusion is the first step, as the adoption of the CAI and further finalisation work still have to be done. As part of the deal, the two parties have committed themselves to try to reach an agreement on dispute resolution and investment protection in two years’ time to even strengthen the effect of the CAI.

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