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Quick overview of Hungarian Real Estate Taxation

1.Why Hungary?

1.1.Smooth business starting within days

Should a foreign investor decide to establish a Hungarian subsidiary (either a holding or an SPV) for its Hungarian real estate businesses, Hungary has one of the easiest company formation processes within the EU. The Hungarian Government provides a quick electronic company registration process and via an electronic system remote company formation is also possible without actual travelling to Hungary. Besides, there are various forms of presence in form of which one may conduct its business activity in Hungary, such as permanent establishment, branch or subsidiary. In practice, it means that a company can start operating within a week from the decision of its establishment.

1.2.Lowest corporate income tax rate within the EU and no withholding tax between corporations

In Hungary, the corporate income tax rate is 9%, which is the lowest within the EU. The effective tax rate however may be further reduced if applying certain tax allowances and tax credits, which makes Hungary one of the most favorable target countries from a corporate tax point of view. Hungary is quite unique as it does not levy withholding tax in B2B relations. It means that no Hungarian withholding tax applies on dividends, interest or royalties paid to foreign corporate taxpayers (any withholding tax in B2C relations or in transactions carried out by foreign look-trough entities are to be determined on a case-by-case basis).

1.3.Harmonized tax rules

The Hungarian tax regime is well harmonized with the international and EU tax rules. Not only the Hungarian VAT system is based on the EU VAT Directive, Hungarian transfer pricing rules and several corporate taxation rules are also based on international regulations, e.g. the interest deductibility rules as well as the taxation of certain preferential transactions (preferential merger, transfer of assets and exchange of shares). Besides, Hungary has almost 100 effective double tax treaties as well as 20 effective social security conventions.

1.4.Several tax reliefs, incentive schemes

The calculated corporate income tax (CIT) obligation may be reduced by different tax credits (if applicable as per the state aid and tax regulations which must always be reviewed in details). The so-called development tax credit may be applied up to 80% of the calculated corporate income tax obligation, while all the other tax credits may be applied up to 70% of the remaining corporate income tax obligation. The final corporate income tax payment obligation may further be decreased via corporate income tax offering. In case a company offers a part of its final corporate income tax amount, further tax credit may be claimed up to an effective 2.16% of the corporate income tax offering.

2.Income taxes

2.1.Rental income


Rental income of individuals is taxed as part of a taxpayer’s annual income. Rental income received by individuals upon the rent of a Hungarian real estate is subject to personal income tax.

Rental income is calculated as (i) 90% of the rental revenues (in this case costs do not have to be documented); or (ii) the actual difference between rental revenues and actually incurred qualifying costs (however, costs should be supported by sufficient documentation). In the latter case, particular rules may apply to the depreciation of fixed assets and costs of refurbishment and maintenance. Private individuals may exercise the above option in their personal income tax return, however individuals pursuing the rental activity as private entrepreneurs cannot exercise the above option.

Rental income calculated as above will be part of the individual’s consolidated income and taxed together with other income types falling within the consolidated individual income tax base. The applicable tax rate is 15%.

Please note that if a company (qualifies as disburser (payroll agent) under relevant Hungarian legislation) rents a real estate property from a private individual, the lessee company is required to declare and withhold the individual’s tax liability related to its renting activity.

Special regime may apply to the taxation of rental income from short-term rental activities (e.g. Airbnb).


Rental income earned by companies is taxed as part of the business income and subject to corporate income tax. Similarly, rental costs are deductible expense for corporate income tax purposes, if incurred by the lessee in connection with its business activity.

In general, the costs and expense related to the operation of the real estate property are deductible items for corporate income tax purposes. However, the depreciation recognised in accordance with Hungarian Act on Accounting is not a deductible cost, but the amount of depreciation of real estate calculated at the rates dictated by Hungarian Act on Corporate Income Tax is deductible in the corporate income tax base. As per the Act on Corporate Income Tax, the CIT depreciation rates are the followings regarding real estates (not exhaustive list):

  • Long-life structure buildings: 2% (in certain cases of accommodation service providers 3%) 
  • Buildings out on lease: 5%
  • Investment projects carried out on outside (leased) real property: 6%

Business income is subject to Hungarian corporate income tax at the rate of 9%.  

Please note that related party transactions should be carried out at arm’s length prices, and annual TP documentations should be prepared on intra-group transactions (if the amount of the transaction exceeds the level of the documentation requirement).

2.2.Sale of real estate


Capital gains realised by individuals upon the sale of real estates are subject to personal income tax.

Real estate capital gains realised by individuals are taxed separately from consolidated income and are subject to a flat rate of 15%.

The difference between the sales price and the deductible, documented acquisition costs, including certain qualifying maintenance costs will be the basis of the individual’s personal income tax. The tax base should be reduced by a given percent defined in the Personal Income Tax Act in every year counting from the year of the acquisition. In case the real estate is sold after 5 years counting from the acquisition date, personal income tax obligation does not arise.


Capital gains realised by companies upon the sale of real estates are taxed as business income which is subject to corporate income tax at the rate of 9%. 

As regards the deductibility of costs and expenses, the rules are the same as for the activity of rental of real estate property.

3.Value Added Tax

In terms of real-estate related transactions, it needs to be assessed whether the supplier is a taxable person carrying out an economic activity or whether they act as a non-taxable person. In addition, we can differentiate between rental of real-estate, sale of real-estate, and provision of accommodation.

Rental and sale of real-estate can be carried out as a non-taxable person, and as a taxable person, as well. The latter case takes place if the sale or rental of real estate activity meets the conditions of an economic activity from a VAT perspective. Economic activity is generally carried out frequently or on the long term, with a business perspective, and with the goal of receiving consideration. If the real estate is rented for consideration, the criteria of ‘economic activity’ is generally met; therefore, in practice the rental of real estate creates a taxable person status for the lessor. We note that in case of sale of real estate, a private individual can become a taxable person if they sell multiple real-estates within a specific timeframe set by the Hungarian VAT Law. 

Provision of accommodation is an economic activity and can only be carried out as a taxable person. (E.g.: if a private individual lets out their home on an ad-hoc basis, it is not likely that such short-term rental would result in the private individual becoming a taxable person. However, all circumstances need to be checked in each individual case.)

3.1.Rental of real-estate

As the rental of real-estate qualifies as an economic activity, the supplier will act as a taxable person. The rental of real-estate is exempt from VAT as per the general rule without the right of VAT deduction. However, the taxable person has the right - subject to the prior notification to the Hungarian Tax Authority, - to opt for taxation (with the right of VAT deduction). In that case, the rent of real-estate will be subject to 27% Hungarian VAT to be charged by the supplier (this VAT can be deducted by the lessee as per the general VAT deductibility rules).

3.2.Sale of real-estate

If the sale of real-estate does not qualify as an economic activity (e.g.: it is a one-off sale),the supplier will act as a non-taxable person. The sale of real-estate is exempt from VAT as per the general rule. If the supplier acts as a non-taxable person, no VAT needs to be charged and no invoice issuing obligation arises. 

If the sale of real-estate qualifies as an economic activity, the supplier will act as a taxable person. The sale of real-estate is exempt from VAT (except for newly built properties, and construction/building plots) as per the general rule without the right of VAT deduction. However, the taxable person has the right - subject to the prior notification to the Hungarian Tax Authority - to opt for taxation (with the right of VAT deduction). In that case, the sale of real-estate will be subject to 27% Hungarian VAT to be charged by the supplier. Domestic reverse charge may apply if both the seller and customer are VAT registered in Hungary and none has a status where their tax payment obligation cannot be fulfilled). We note that in case of real-estates that qualify as “newly built”, 5% VAT may apply to the sale, if specific additional conditions are fulfilled.

3.3.Provision of accommodation

The provision of accommodation (generally short-term rental of holiday homes/flats, Airbnb services, or hotel accommodation) is an economic activity carried out by a taxable person. 5% VAT rate is applicable for the transaction. Also, 4% tourism contribution is due in case of provision of accommodation, however, payment was suspended due to COVID. From 1 April 2023, tourism contribution is due again.

4.Transfer Taxes

Transfer tax obligation arises on the alienation of real estate from one person (private individual or legal entity) to another. Rights connected to immovable properties may also be subject to transfer tax.

Transfer tax has to be paid upon the acquisition of a Hungarian real estate, the tax has to be paid by the purchaser. In addition, transfer tax is also payable upon the direct or indirect acquisition of a qualifying interest (at least 75% of the shares) in a so-called ‘domestic real estate holding company’. A company qualifies as ‘domestic real estate holding company’ if more than 75% of its total assets (excluding cash, claims, loans and accruals) are real estate property located in Hungary at the time of the transaction.

As a general rule, the tax base is the market value of the real estate, no costs can be deducted from the market value. The general rate of the transfer tax is 4%, for the acquisition of real estate or shares of a domestic real estate holding company up to the value of 1 billion forints of the real estate, and 2% of the portion of the market value above 1 billion forints. The transfer tax in no case can exceed 200 million forints per real estate. Special reduced rate may apply to REITs.

Various exemptions may be available, e.g. not only in case the real estate is sold between relatives in the direct line or related parties, among spouses, or upon the termination of marital community, but for preferential transactions (e.g. mergers) as well. The transfer tax exemptions have several detailed conditions which must be further analysed in the given case.

Besides the above, a special 90% transfer tax is payable by the seller in case of profitable direct or indirect sale of a real estate qualifying as “reclassified to inland area” (in case such reclassification happened after 31 January 2020). 

5.Hungarian Local taxes

5.1.Land tax and building tax

Municipalities have the right to levy annual local land tax and local building tax on Hungarian real estate. As a general rule, the owner of the real estate, as registered on the first day of the relevant calendar year, could be subject to local land tax or local building tax. 

The maximum rate of the local land tax for FY2024 is the 3% of the fair market value of the real estate, or 200 forints per square meter. The maximum rate of the local building tax is the 3.6% of the fair market value of the real estate, or 1,100 forints per square meter for FY2024. However, the above-detailed tax rates may be corrected with the consumer price index (CPI) upon the decision of the given municipality. The applied method for the tax base calculation depends on the local municipalities. On certain cases, exemptions may apply.

5.2.Local business tax

Municipalities generally levy local business tax on companies’ business revenues derived from real estate related activity. The local business tax base is calculated from the annual net sales revenues of the company (including real estate related revenues),which could be decreased with certain tax base adjustment items such as material cost, cost of goods sold, mediated services, subcontractor charges, R&D expenses with especially bears an importance in case of construction companies. The local business tax is payable to the municipalities where the business activity is carried out or where the official seat or permanent establishment(s) are located, i.e. any permanent business activity performed at the area of jurisdiction of the given municipality falls under the local business tax obligation. If the business activity is linked to various municipalities (e.g. a company has real estate in the territory of various municipalities),the local business tax base should be divided between the various municipalities, in accordance with the allocation rules of the relevant laws. The maximum tax rate is 2% of the tax base, actual rate applied is depending on the local municipalities. 

5.3.Other local taxes on short-term rental activity

Municipalities could also levy tourist tax on short-term rental activity. The maximum rate of the tourist tax is the 4% of the accommodation fee, or 300 forints per night. The applied method for the tax base calculation depends on the local municipalities. On certain cases, exemptions may apply.

Do you have any question?
Don't hesitate to contact us!
Helga Kiss, tax director, RSM Hungary

Helga Kiss

Director, Tax services

Viktória Clamba

Senior manager, Tax services


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