A company that may have played an important role in the opposition’s failed election campaign is under investigation by the tax authority.
The National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) is investigating the accounting documents of DatAdat Professional Kft., after investigators managed to seize a significant part of them from the undeclared office of its accountant, NAV told MTI on Thursday.
DatAdat is a communications and data analysis company linked to Former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s confidants and Former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai. It is part of a group of companies that worked in the opposition’s campaign.
NAV wrote that DatAdat Professional Kft. was suspected of “illegally reducing its tax liability in 2020, the company made false statements in its tax returns, thus causing financial losses to the budget.” “DatAdat was not operating from its registered office, in breach of the law. The company’s managers refused to give the actual place of business of the company over the phone. The documents could not even be inspected at DatAdat’s accountants, because there was no accountant’s office at the address given,” they wrote.
NAV stressed that it is essential for the proper functioning of a company that it is accessible at its registered office and that the documents are kept at the place declared to the tax authority. They also wrote that the investigation is still ongoing and that the examination of the seized accounting material of DatAdat is underway. According to the NAV, the balance of the investigation so far is “violations of the law, obstruction of the investigation, false declarations, and suspected concealed revenues.”
According to an article by 24.hu, the opposition’s former prime ministerial candidate, Péter Márki-Zay, said that the company did most of the background work for the opposition campaign. In fact, some of the politicians and activists interviewed by the portal said: “We turned to them when we needed a video or a Facebook campaign, and they made it, produced it, and delivered it. DatAdat also worked for some candidates, but there were also examples where they paid for the lunch of the prime ministerial candidate.”
In March, Márki Zay’s Everybody’s Hungary Movement (MMM) signed a contract with Vienna-based Datadat GmbH, which is minority-owned by a company connected to former, influential Hungarian liberal politicians, while the majority stake is held by Higher Ground Labs Fund III LP, which is linked to the US Democratic Party. Betsy Hoover, the founder of Higher Ground Labs worked as the National Digital Organizing Director on the Obama Campaign.
According to 24.hu, the Datadat group was a key player in the opposition campaign, because Márki-Zay himself said that MMM, like the six opposition parties, had handed over its database to Datadat. “The parties had access to a database of nearly one million (voters) and used it in the campaign by a joint decision of the six parties,” he said. When asked by 24.hu, Datadat did not deny that they had received the parties’ databases. However, they stressed that the company never owned the data, which was only stored and processed.
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