Tardiness and Disinterest Hurts Civil Organizations and Churches
Ábrahám Vass 2019.09.19.
According to the National Tax Authority (NAV), in 2019, 1.69 million people opted to offer 1+1% of their Personal Income Tax (PIT) to non-profit organizations and churches. This means that only a third of the taxpayers offered their PIT to charity this year.
In Hungary, tax-payers can request that 1% of their previous year’s paid PIT be given to support the activities of a non-profit organization while a second 1% can be given to a religious organization or the National Talent Program. These donation offers cause no loss at all to those who donate; what is more, they can decide whether to remain anonymous or not.
The 2019 offers are down from 1.8 million in 2018 and from 2.2 million in 2015, the last year when declarations were only made offline.
As a result, many suspect that with the implementation of the new, more simple and comfortable electronic system even more people tend to just ignore or not want to take time to donate those few thousand forints. Indeed, NAV’s new system automatically prepares declarations, tax-payers just need a final check on the data. Even without that, their declaration gets automatically posted at the time of the deadline.
By the way, all these aforementioned numbers are well under 5.1 million, the total number of Hungarians due to pay a PIT, even contrary to the uncountable information campaigns ahead of the deadline, and a much easier and quicker system.
But the lessening number of donating taxpayers and the decreasing amount of donations badly hurts the civil and religious societies. “Little streams make great rivers,” they say, and without the “little streams,” the underfunded civil organizations and smaller churches don’t have enough resources to spend on the aims. It is hardly understandable that out of the hundreds of public purposes, people cannot find any that they find worthy to support – and in this case, the support does not cost them a dime because the state takes that tax money from them anyway.
Anyhow, in the first category, Heim Pál Children’s Hospital Development Foundation got the most donations (HUF 165 million = EUR 0.5 million), preceding Bátor Tábor Foundation, and the Foundation of the National Ambulance in Hungary (OMSZ).
While on the “religious side,” long-time winner Hungarian Catholic Church emerged first (HUF 3.2 billion = EUR 10 million), followed by the above-named Talents Program and the Reformed Church in Hungary.