New rules determining the amount of an excise tax bank guarantee paid by alcohol wholesalers should be introduced from 1st of March this year instead of the original deadline of January 1, 2016, a government official said. Gergely Gulyás, the (FIDESZ) head of parliament’s legislative committee, noted that the excise tax bank guarantee paid by wholesalers on beer, wine, sparkling wine and intermediate alcoholic beverages would rise from 22 million forints (EUR 69,000) to 150 million (EUR 470,000) following passage of the tax law approved last November.
In order to remedy the disadvantage to smaller wholesalers, a proposal for amending the law was tabled on Monday to bring forward the deadline for enforcing a rule which bases the amount of the bank guarantee paid to net revenue bands, Gulyás noted. If the law is approved prior to the implementation of the bands on March 1, the companies affected will not have to pay the raised excise tax bank guarantee, he said.
The Prime Minister’s Office, however, said in a statement that it did not agree with any of the proposed changes on the excise tax guarantee and instead would submit an amendment proposal to restore the amount of the guarantee to its January 1, 2014 level of 22 million forints regardless of revenue. Gulyás said he would welcome the reversal of the changes if they created a better situation for alcohol vendors.
The opposition Socialists (MSZP) said “corruption-related infighting” for control over the market of alcohol wholesalers “is going on within FIDESZ”. Bertalan Tóth, the party’s deputy group leader, said there was no guarantee that Fidesz lawmakers would approve Gulyás’ proposal and wholesalers would have to pay the 150 million forint deposit by 1st of February.
Left wing opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said that the proposed law was a “nightmare” which would put everyone except for the 5-6 market-leaders out of business. Spokesman Zsolt Gréczy added that the government had yet again proved that it has a grudge against multinational companies only if they “are outside the circle of Fidesz’s cronies”. The amendment conflicts with EU competition rules and jeopardises the livelihood of thousands of families, he said, calling on the government to withdraw it.
via hungarymatters.hu photo: kecskemetihir.hu