Magyar telcos suggest lower tax cap on voice calls, SMS

18 May 2012

MTI Econews reports that three leading Hungarian telecoms service providers – Magyar Telekom (MTel), Telenor (formerly Pannon) and Vodafone – are proposing an amendment to the government’s planned new tax on voice telephony calls and SMS messages. In a joint statement published this week, the three firms suggest that the government bill should include a cap on the planned monthly tax, limiting it to HUF400 (USD1.71) for individuals and HUF1,400 for businesses – below the state’s current monthly figures of HUF700 and HUF2,500, respectively. The operators claim that the cap would still yield the same amount of money the government is hoping to raise from the new tax, and reiterated their fears that that the new tax would not serve Hungary’s interests while it puts an ‘unfair burden’ on the telecommunications industry. The government’s new HUF2 per-minute tax on calls and SMS – to be collected by the carriers themselves – is expected to be introduced on 1 July, pending parliamentary approval.