György Matolcsy’s declaration of assets may raise eyebrows at Hungary’s tax authority

April 22, 2015

matolcsy

The governor of Hungary’s National Bank and one of his deputies offer an obscure explanation for why they failed to include taxable income in their declaration of assets, according to an article by Magyar Narancs.

Central bank governor Matolcsy failed to report the HUF 1.18 million (USD 4,200) he receives each month for his work at the foundations he created using National Bank funds. Magyar Narancs writes that he explained this lack of information by saying the payment he receives did not result in “spendable income”.

When asked about the discrepancy Matolcsy earlier said that his payments from the foundation are donated to the United Against National Debt (Összefogás az Államadósság Ellen Alap) and to Zsuzsa Hegedüs’ Every Child Should Be Well-Fed Foundation (Minden Gyerek Lakjon Jól! Alapítvány). Because his income was given to charities, Matolcsy reasoned, he doesn’t need to include the payments that we made to him as taxable income in his declaration of assets.

Magyar Narancs writes that law governing declarations of assets requires all taxable income be included in the declaration, regardless of what the person spends the money on. What is more, a portion of Matolcsy’s donation to the Solidarity Against National Debt fund (a government foundation that has since been shut down by the government for lack of contributors) can be written off from his personal taxes.

According to Magyar Narancs, Matolcsy isn’t the only National Bank official struggling to report income in his declaration of assets. One of his deputies, Ferenc Gerhardt, also receives income from two of the central bank’s foundations. Gerhardt has denied working for the foundations but the official records show that he does. He receives HUF 1.015 million (USD 3,600) from two of the national bank’s foundations for serving on their supervisory committees.

Last September the National Bank released a statement saying Gerhardt will donate the income from these foundations to two other foundations.

Magyar Narancs points out it is impossible for Gerhardt to donate money received from performing work for a position he doesn’t hold.

Referenced in this article:

Matolcsynak gondja akadhat az adóhivatallal, HVG.hu; 22 April 2015.

Jegybanki abszurd – Matolcsyék küzdelme a vagyonnyilatkozattal, magyarnaracs.hu; 22 April 2015.