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Tax Agency defector reports widespread corruption

November 23rd, 2013

Commentators suggest that the main parties seem embarrassed by accusations aired by a former leading Tax Authority official, who claims that a group of large enterprises are practically exempt from check-ups and enjoy the protection of powerful people.

Magyar Narancs finds it ridiculous that it took just a single weekend for the Tax Authority to check and dismiss as unfounded the accusations levelled by former chief co-ordinator András Horváth against the management. He has accused leading Agency officials of covering up networks specialised in VAT fraud, linked to some of the main tax payers, who have thus allegedly deprived the treasury of over a thousand billions of tax income yearly.  Magyar Narancs also sharply criticises the Socialist Party for not joining the LMP initiative to set up a parliamentary investigative committee, under the pretext that they would never join far right Jobbik in any initiative. (Reacting to widespread protests within his own party, MSZP chairman Attila Mesterházy proposed on Wednesday that Mr Horváth should be heard by the standing Parliamentary committee on Economic Affairs.)  Horváth has meanwhile been denounced by the Tax Authority for slander, and Magyar Narancs hopes his trial will be painful for the “protected” enterprises and their protectors alike – assuming that Horvath’s accusations are well founded.

Explaining the reactions of the major parties on Index, Szabolcs Panyi suggests that it is just dawning on them that they will soon have to take position on the matter. For the moment, however, the Socialists are embarrassed because according to Horváth the irregularities and the cover-up started when the left-wing government replaced the top leadership of the Tax Authority in 2007. Fidesz, on the other hand is having a hard time explaining why its floor leader did not react to a letter by Mr Horváth on the same matter two years ago. Fidesz officials told the journalist that the accusations were and still are too abstract for them to check whether they correspond to the truth.

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