Mihály Varga’s love affair with NAV president Ildikó Vida may be coming to an end.
A bill submitted by Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga would transfer authority for naming the head of Hungary’s tax authority from the Prime Minister to the Minister for National Economy. Hungarian news site NOL.hu reports the provision may actually pave the way for the dismissal of tax authority president Ildikó Vida.
According to NOL.hu, Varga and Vida have been at odds since January 2014 when NAV revoked the right of a company by the name of Alt Cash to sell online cash registers. The tax authority said it revoked the permits due to the company’s inability to prove the cash registers couldn’t be tampered with. Alt Cash denied this and was issued another permit, by which time its competitors had encroached upon its market share.
NOL.hu reports that Vida also upset Varga by firing her deputy, Iván Kovacsics. Varga expressed his dissatisfaction with the firing by immediately offering Kovacsics a job at Magyar Turizmus Zrt., Hungary’s state-owned tourism company. Sources close to the matter told NOL.hu that if parliament adopts Varga’s bill then Kovacsics will likely take Vida’s place.
Unnamed sources say it certainly did not seem as though Varga had no say in NAV matters. One source said the ministry ordered the tax authority around according to Varga’s whim and even controlled what, when and how tax authority news appeared in the media. This is consistent with allegations that the Ministry for National Economy (ab)uses NAV for the sake of helping certain companies and hindering others.
If the bill passes, it will be the only one in recent memory to transfer power away from the Prime Minister’s office, which has grown over the past five years to the point where it now functions as a kind of government within the government.
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