From 1 July 2012, there will be a new tax on fixed-line and mobile phone calls and text messages by individuals and companies.

The tax is payable by the telecoms companies but they are free to recharge it to their customers.

The tax base is the duration of calls made, and the number of SMS/MMS messages sent.

The first ten minutes per month for individuals are tax free. After that, the tax is HUF 2 (c. €0.007) per minute or message.

There is a monthly cap on the tax for each telephone number of HUF 400 (c.€1.34) for individuals and HUF 1,400 (c. €4.7) for companies. From 2013, these caps will be HUF 700 (c.€2.35) and HUF 2,500 (c.€8.4), respectively.

The tax is a significant burden for Hungarian telecoms companies who are also having to pay the crisis tax in 2012. It has prompted two of the providers, Telenor Hungary and Vodafone Hungary, to formally announce that they will re-charge the costs of this new tax to consumers for the remainder of 2012.