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Support for Retailers

D&T
May 28, 2020

Many retailers have been adversely affected by the special retail tax re-introduced by the Hungarian government from May this year and the opening restrictions on a significant number of shops from mid-March to mid-May. However, there are state subsidies, tax and financial incentives that can also be applied in this sector. Several of these will remain available even after the emergency.

“Over the past three months, the retail sector has shown a very mixed picture in terms of revenue. For example, retailers selling food, cleaning and disinfectants, drugstores, as well as DIY stores, technical stores, and webshops could be satisfied. (Of course, their joy was partly overshadowed by the special retail tax introduced in May.) At the same time, there was a drastic decline in the retail trade of cars, furniture, clothing, books, toys and sporting goods, for example,” Dr. Sándor Laczka, the head of Deloitte's Hungarian Retail Food Advisory Group pointed out.

State aid may therefore be justified for many market players, and the sector is also important for the relaunch of the economy.

Wage subsidy programs
At the time of the epidemic, one of the earliest government measures, the payroll contribution rebate and the investment support was not yet available to traders.
On the other hand, a job protection wage subsidy is available, which can be used for reduced working hours. The point is that the state, instead of the employer in difficulty, undertakes to pay 70% (with certain limits) of the lost wage to the employee for 3 months if the employer continues to employ the employee on a part-time basis instead of dismissal.
The aim of the job-creating wage subsidy program is to re-create jobs that have been lost due to the epidemic and partly to create completely new jobs.

Deferral of tax payments
At the request of companies, the Tax Authority can allow deferred payment in most types of taxes, payment in installments. In addition, the possibility of reducing tax advances is open to actors in the sector. These can make a significant contribution to maintaining solvency for traders whose incomes have declined recently.

Soft loans with state support
These are only available to micro, small, and medium-sized businesses, but there are hundreds of thousands of such businesses among retailers. The low interest rate level is due to the state interest rate subsidy.

Postponement of cash register review
It is a relief for actors in the commercial sector that they postpone the compulsory annual review of cash registers. If the review deadline expires during the emergency, it is sufficient to complete it within 120 days of the end of the emergency.

The tax authority will act fairly in the event of default
The tax authority tries to act especially fairly in the event of omissions and delays in the epidemic situation, by granting an extension of the deadline, reducing the fine and possibly waiving it. This is true for both tax filing and tax audits.

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