The Hungarian parliament has adopted legislation to bring the tax authority under the Ministry of National Economy, reports Hungarian news site vg.hu. The legislative proposal was submitted by the ministry on Monday, debated Tuesday morning and adopted after lunch.
The Ministry of National Economy thinks its newly-passed law will make the tax authority more effective and less bureaucratic.
Vg.hu writes that one of the most important changes to the tax authority is that Fidesz MP András Tállai will be the ministry’s undersecretary responsible for taxation affairs.
When introducing the bill to parliament, Tállai said that until now the tax authority (NAV) had operated independently of the government, but that it would now be run as a “central agency”.
Less tiers, less bureaucracy!
He said the most important change will be that the agency’s regional directorates will be closed. He went on to point out that the tax authority had been a three-tiered agency previously, and will now only be two-tiered.
The new and improved tax authority will have a top tier (its administrative arm) and a bottom tier (the day-to-day operational arm), which will be run by the agency’s offices in every county.
Tállai also said the next step in the restructuring of NAV will be a complete screening set to start sometime in the middle of 2016.
KDNP’s János Hargitai made public his support for the government’s restructuring of NAV and called it necessary because “if an organization is far from the government, it won’t necessarily work well”.
While the ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition called the restructuring of NAV a big step forward because it makes it more taxpayer friendly, the opposition parties criticized the move because it puts the tax authority under political direction.
Opposition party MPs criticized both the decision to put the tax authority under the Ministry of National Economy and the decision to put Tállai, who is a Fidesz member of parliament, in charge. They also expressed concerns that – by moving NAV under the control of the government – the agency’s bureaucracy will grow and its operation will become even less transparent.