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ECtHR / Application no. 41838/11 / Judgment

R.Sz. v Hungary

Deciding Body type:
European Court of Human Rights
Deciding Body:
European Court of Human Rights
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
02/07/2013
Key facts of the case:
  1. The applicant was born in 1973 and lives in Budapest.
  2. The applicant had been employed by a State-owned limited company for about eleven years. On 1 July 2010 his employment was terminated by mutual agreement, with effect from 5 October 2010.
  3. According to his labour contract, the applicant became entitled, amongst other benefits, to severance pay in the amount of four months’ salary – which was in excess by one month’s salary of that provided by the Labour Code – and to salary for the three months of his notice period. The benefits were reduced by taxes payable at that time[1] and paid to the applicant on 2 July 2010.

The applicant’s benefits were subsequently taxed at 98% in their part exceeding 3,500,000 Hungarian forints (HUF)[2]. The exceeding part was HUF 8,130,939[3], the tax thus amounting to HUF 7,968,320[4]. The amount payable was HUF 4,054,085[5], regard being had to the fact that the benefits had already been taxed HUF 3,914,235[6] on payment, on 2 July 2010.

The tax, whose due date was apparently 10 May 2011, was paid on 23 February 2011, that is, according to the rules of the second version (of 30 December 2010 – see paragraph 12) of the legislation outlined below; however, the third version (of 14 May 2011 – see paragraphs 16-17) did not change the applicant’s situation.
 
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
 
The Court unanimously
  1. Declares the application admissible;
  2. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1;
  3. Holds that there is no need to examine separately the complaint under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 read in conjunction with Article 13 of the Convention;
  4. Holds that there is no need to examine separately the complaint under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 read in conjunction with Article 14 of the Convention;
  5. Holds
(a)  that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following amounts, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement:
 
(i)  EUR 25,000 (twenty-five thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage;
 
(ii)  EUR 3,400 (three thousand four hundred euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant, in respect of costs and expenses;
 
(b)  that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;
  1. Dismisses the remainder of the applicant’s claim for just satisfaction.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 2 July 2013, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.