hungary vat rate

Understanding the Hungary VAT Rate: A Complete Overview

Our guide on Hungary's VAT system. Understanding the Hungary VAT rate system is crucial for consumers, businesses, and the government. In Hungary, VAT plays a significant role in shaping the economy and supporting essential services. If you're looking for a tool to calculate VAT, check out our VAT calculator to simplify your computations.

Let's break down the complexities and explore the importance of VAT tax in Hungary.

VAT Rates in Hungary

In Hungary, VAT rates vary based on different categories. The standard VAT rate is 27%, applying to most goods and services. Moreover, Hungary discounts VAT rates for certain things, like 5% or 18%, following the VAT rules. This flexibility helps create a detailed tax approach, making it suitable for people buying things and businesses in different areas.

Companies carry direct responsibility for any errors, so it is crucial that accounting records and invoices reflect the correct Hungarian VAT rates. Countries are still free to determine their headline rates, even though the European Union does set the framework for VAT rates.

hungary vat tax

Also Read about; Decoding Finnish VAT Rates. Standard & Reduced Rate

Hungary VAT Rates for Goods & Services

Hungary has different VAT rates for various goods and services. The standard rate is 27%, which generally applies to most items unless they fall under exemptions, 0% taxation, or reduced rates.

A reduced VAT rate of 18% applies to specific items like certain food products and entry to open-air music events. A 5% reduced rate is also in place for basic food products, pharmaceuticals, books, periodicals, newspapers, internet services, hotel accommodations, restaurants, and the sale of immovable property for residential purposes under certain conditions.

Some supplies, like exports and intra-community supplies, have a 0% VAT rate. Furthermore, certain supplies, such as health and social care, education, financial and insurance transactions, and real estate, are VAT-exempt. Understanding these rates helps ensure clarity in transactions and compliance.

Importance of Hungary VAT Tax

Hungary's VAT tax, known locally as Általános Forgalmi Adó (ÁFA), plays a significant role in the country's economy and various sectors. Here's a breakdown of its importance:

  • For the Government: Hungary gets money from the government mainly through VAT, a tax. Almost one-third of all the taxes the government gets come from VAT. This money helps pay for public services, building roads, and other important things the government does. When VAT is collected steadily and effectively, it helps stabilize the country's money and makes businesses run competently.
  • For Businesses: For businesses, collecting and paying VAT helps maintain competitive prices domestically and internationally. Adhering to Hungary VAT tax rules is crucial to avoid legal issues and penalties, promoting transparent and responsible financial practices. Proper VAT handling, including exemptions, enhances export competitiveness by reducing costs for businesses selling goods globally.
  • For Consumers: When we buy things, the prices we see include VAT. Knowing about this tax helps us make smart choices when buying stuff. It ensures that prices are transparent, making it fair for businesses to compete. The money from Hungary VAT tax also goes to the government, helping fund things like schools and roads that benefit all of us. So, understanding VAT is not just about prices but also about fairness and supporting essential services.

Hungary VAT Exemption

Some transactions, such as medical, cultural, educational, financial, and insurance services, are exempt from Hungary VAT rate. When dealing with real estate and certain notable transactions, VAT exemption or being out of the VAT scope may apply, subject to specific conditions. This includes inheritance, business transfer, and agricultural agreements, where the predecessor may share responsibility with the new owner.

Overview of VAT Tax in Hungary

Items VAT Rates
Foodstuff 5% and 18%
Water supplies 27%
Pharmaceutical products 5%
Medical equipment for disabled persons 5% and 27% (reduced for blind people)
Children's car seats 27%
Passenger transport 27%
Books 5%
Books on other physical means of support 5%
Newspapers 5%
Periodicals 5%
Admission to cultural services (theatre, etc) 18% and 27%
Admission to amusement parks 27%
Pay TV / cable 27% (5% reduced for Internet services)
TV licenses 27%
Writers / composers 5% and 27%
Hotel Accommodation 5%
Restaurant and catering services 5% (except for alcoholic beverages)
Restaurants 5% (except for alcoholic beverages)
Medical and dental care Exempt and 27%
Repair of shoes and leather goods 27%
Repair of clothing and household linen 27%
Hairdressing 27%

Hungarian VAT Tax Compliance

Once you have a Hungarian VAT number, following straightforward rules regarding accounting and tax rates is essential. Here's what you need to know:

  • Local Supplies: If operating under a Hungarian VAT number, you must adhere to local accounting and tax rate regulations. This involves providing detailed information on invoices, including supplier and customer details, transaction costs, and complying with the Hungarian VAT Act.
  • Invoice Requirements: Ensure your invoices fully comply with the Hungarian VAT Act. This includes issuing invoices for goods or services according to Hungarian time of supply rules.
  • Electronic Invoices: If you use electronic invoices, follow specified processes and control measures.
  • Record Maintenance: Keep accurate records in your books, and remember to retain them for at least eight years.
  • Credit Notes: Understand the proper treatment of credit notes and correct errors in VAT returns.
  • Foreign Currency Invoices: If dealing with foreign currency invoices, be mindful of translation rates.

Pros of Hungarian VAT Tax

  • VAT funds public services

  • Reduced rates benefit businesses/p>

  • Efficient collection aids economic stability

Cons of Hungarian VAT Tax

  • The 27% rate may impact consumer costs.

  • Businesses face accounting complexities.

  • VAT may contribute to higher prices.


Understanding Hungary VAT rates is about understanding their impact on everyday transactions. From VAT rates to compliance rules, this guide provides you with the knowledge to make informed decisions and ensure smooth operations in Hungary.


Why is the Hungary VAT rate higher?

The VAT rate is higher in Hungary to contribute significantly to the government's revenue, supporting public services and infrastructure development.

What does VAT payment entail in Hungary?

VAT payment in Hungary involves businesses collecting and paying VAT, helping maintain competitive prices and supporting essential services.

Is Hungary part of the EU for VAT purposes?

Yes, Hungary is part of the EU, and while the EU sets the framework for VAT rates, individual countries, including Hungary, determine their headline rates.

Rían Doyle

I'm a VAT professional with years of experience helping businesses with compliance and reporting. My goal is to simplify VAT calculation and provide valuable insights through my engaging writing style and clear explanations of complex concepts.