Due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March not only home office options have been reinterpreted, but also employee benefits and employer liabilities.
Many companies got into a difficult financial situation, to which the government provided temporary solutions like job-creating subsidies, subsidy to reduced working time and tax reliefs. You can read our previous summaries about these supports here.
Due to the nature of the business, the majority of the employers cannot provide home office solutions to the employees, however, they can reimburse the cost of the coronavirus test tax-free to the employees in order to keep the activity running smoothly and maintain a safe working environment.
The Hungarian Labour Law (Act 2012. I.) point 51. and Act on Labour safety (Act 1993. XCIII.) defines the fundamental obligations of employers, i.e. to ensure a safe working environment that does not endanger employee’s health. The importance of maintaining a safe working environment has increased especially during the emergency.
If due to a legal obligation, the employer orders the employees to be tested for coronavirus, or the test is necessary to ensure healthy and safe work, the costs and other expenses of this shall not be charged to the employees according to the above legislation. In these cases, the expenses will be tax-free benefits under point 4.2a) of the Personal Income Tax Law (Act 1995. CXVII.), i.e. neither the employer nor the employee has tax payment obligation on it.
The Hungarian Tax Authority has also published a guideline to the taxation of the coronavirus test provided to the employees, including the tax regulations during and after the emergency situation. You can read the guideline in Hungarian on the link below: