Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) of Court (Second Section Committee), March 17, 2015 (case CASE OF MACHER v. HUNGARY)

Judge:KISS E.
Defense:HUNGARY
Resolution Date:March 17, 2015
Issuing Organization:Court (Second Section Committee)

SECOND SECTION

CASE OF MACHER v. HUNGARY

(Application no. 65245/11)

JUDGMENT

STRASBOURG

17 March 2015

This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Macher v. Hungary,

The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:

             Helen Keller, President,              András Sajó,              Robert Spano, judges,and Abel Campos, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 17 February 2015,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

PROCEDURE

  1. The case originated in an application (no. 65245/11) against Hungary lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Hungarian national, Mr Ákos Macher (“the applicant”), on 13 October 2011.

  2. The applicant was represented by Mr E. Kiss, a lawyer practising in Budapest. The Hungarian Government (“the Government”) were represented by Mr Z. Tallódi, Agent, Ministry of Public Administration and Justice.

  3. The applicant complained that the imposition of 98% tax on part of his severance payment was contrary to Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 and several provisions of the Convention.

  4. On 6 June 2014 the complaint concerning the alleged infringement of the applicant’s right to property was communicated to the Government and the remainder of the application was declared inadmissible.

    THE FACTS

    1. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE

  5. The applicant was born in 1953 and lives in Budapest.

  6. On 17 August 2009 the applicant was appointed as deputy general manager of a State-owned company limited by shares.

  7. The applicant’s employment was terminated by mutual agreement as of 30 August 2010. Under this agreement the applicant received severance payment, subject to payroll burdens.

  8. Under new legislation (see paragraph 9 below) the severance payment was subsequently taxed at a 98% rate in its part exceeding 3.5 million Hungarian forints (HUF); the income tax and social security contributions already paid (see paragraph 7 above) were deducted from the tax payable. Thus, the applicant paid an additional HUF 1,492,898 (approximately 4,700 euros (EUR)) in special tax on 5 September 2011.

    1. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW

  9. For relevant domestic law, see the judgments N.K.M. v. Hungary (no. 66529/11, §§ 8-19, 14 May 2013); Gáll v. Hungary (no. 49570/11, §§ 8-18, 25 June 2013) and R.Sz. v. Hungary (no. 41838/11, §§ 8-17, 2 July...

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