Bloomberg News, citing a report in the Welt newspaper, says that the government of Hungary is planning to introduce a new ‘minute-based’ tax on telephone calls from July 2012, as it looks to raise up to USD225 million for state coffers. The move follows a previously implemented controversial sales tax on domestic telecoms operators which was challenged by the European Commission (EC). Under the new plan, phone calls from a fixed or mobile number would be taxed at HUF2 (USD0.01) per minute, while a similar levy would be applied to mobile SMS. Local operators such as Magyar Telekom, Vodafone Hungary and Telenor (formerly Pannon), would be required to collect the tax on behalf of the government. The German newspaper cites ‘unidentified people’ familiar with the government’s plan and says Budapest intends to notify the European Union of its proposed tax this week.
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