Our biggest fear: tax penalty

In our blog post today, we will talk about penalties and related concepts. There are lots of expressions in this field that we come across in everyday life, and in the worst-case scenario, we are even the “victims” of a tax penalty, but it is not easy to recognize ourselves among so many legal references. Why were we hit with tax penalty? Why was it such a large amount? What is the difference between a tax penalty and a default penalty?

Now, we can better understand the advantages and disadvantages listed in the tax classifications (reliable and risky).

Tax penalty

In case of tax arrears, a tax penalty must be paid. The tax authority also imposes a tax penalty if the taxpayer has submitted his request for tax refund or his declaration regarding the request, without authorization.

The amount of the tax penalty – unless this law provides otherwise – is 50% of the tax arrears or unauthorized claim.

Its rate is 200% of the tax arrears if the tax arrears is related to the concealment of income, the issuance and use of false receipts, books, and records, as well as the falsification and destruction of receipts, books, and records.

There is another option if we were hit with tax penalty. It is called conditional tax penalty, according to which, if the taxpayer waives his right to appeal against the authority of first instance decision and pays the tax difference specified in the decision by the due date,

they are exempted from paying fifty percent of the imposed tax penalty.

Tax arrears

The tax difference determined for the taxpayer is considered a tax arrears. In the case of self-taxation, only if the tax difference was not paid by the due date or if the budgetary contribution was used. The tax difference is HUF 2,000,000 in the case that we should have paid HUF 5,000,000, e.g., as corporate tax until 05.31, but we only paid HUF 3,000,000 by the due date. Based on point 1, we have to pay the tax penalty after HUF 2,000,000, which is HUF 1,000,000. Obviously we also have to pay the tax arrears, which is HUF 2,000,000.

Default penalty

If the law does not provide otherwise, the tax authority may fine natural person taxpayers up to HUF 200,000 and legal entity taxpayers up to HUF 500,000 for breach of obligations established in this law.

A default penalty can also be applied in addition to a tax penalty.

A few examples regarding the imposition of default penalties: we carry out taxable activities without a tax number, or we do not publish the report, but a default penalty is also imposed by the tax authority if we miss our obligation to issue invoices and receipts. If the facts are recognised separately, it is possible to impose penalties for several facts in one decision.



  1. 2017. évi CLI. törvény az adóigazgatási rendtartásról (Air.) (http://www.kozlonyok.hu/nkonline/MKPDF/hiteles/MK17192.pdf)
  2. 2017. évi CL. törvény az adózás rendjéről (Art.)
  3. 465/2017. (XII. 28.) Korm. rendelet az adóigazgatási eljárás részletszabályairól (Rendelet)