Rules of flat rate collection fee modified

On 17 March 2016, the Parliament accepted Act IX on the amendment of the rules of flat rate collection fee, which entered into force on 24 March 2016.

The act specifies the legal transactions in the case of which flat rate collection fee in a minimum amount of EUR 40 may be charged, defining the term of commercial transaction, which is a transaction concluded between businesses or between businesses and contracting authorities the subject matter of which is the supply of goods or services against payment. This means that no claims can be made against private individuals under this title.

The former regulation provided for the charging and payment of the flat rate collection fee on a compulsory basis. The act moderated this obligation to a right, meaning that the obligee may claim the flat rate debt collection fee and no prior notice is necessary for the enforcement of the claim. As we are talking about a right based on the new regulation, the obligor must make payment on a voluntary basis within one year from the stating date of the default after the expiry of which, this right lapses. If payment is not made but the obligee claims the flat rate collection fee, the obligee will also have to enforce it from the obligor in some form within the one-year deadline after which the right lapses.

It is a clear purpose of the act to moderate the administrative burdens of both the obligor and the obligee in relation to the flat rate collection fee, which also applies to the transactions concluded before the entry into force of the act as the provisions of the act also apply in the case of default already existing at the time of entry into force with the one-year deadline calculated from the date of entry into force of the act.

A transitional accounting rule applies to those who recognized liability due to the flat rate collection fee in their books in accordance with the previous regulation. Based on the transitional provisions, the flat rate collection fee recognized on the books at the time of entry into force of the act and not yet claimed by the obligee shall be de-recognized against other revenues. This way, companies will not have to go back to previous years from either an accounting or tax perspective and de-recognition will not involve any self-revision obligation either.

The act left the former provisions relating to the bail-out option unchanged and the amount of the flat rate collection fee is still independent from the outstanding cash amount and the HUF amount shall be determined using the middle exchange rate of the National Bank of Hungary for the starting date of the default. The rule that any contract excluding flat rate collection fee or setting a fee of less than 40 euros shall be void remained in place and the amount of the flat rate collection fee must be included in the indemnification amount.

    The Newsletter contains general information. Therefore, the content of the Newsletter may not be regarded as professional advice or comprehensive information for decision-making. This information – due to its nature – may not address all details, especially all circumstances of a certain transaction. Although we used every effort for our Newsletter to be comprehensive, we cannot assume liability for the outlining and interpretation of the relevant regulations.

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