On 19th June, 2023, two changes regarding the SZÉP card during a state of emergency were published in the Hungarian Bulletin 237/2023 (VI.19.) Government Decree.

The first change relates to the provision of benefits under favorable conditions. Between 1st August and 31st December, in addition to the annual recreational budget of 450,000 HUF, an additional one-time payment of a maximum of 200,000 HUF per employee can be provided as a fringe benefit with favorable tax treatment. The employer is required to pay a 15% personal income tax (PIT) and a 13% social contribution tax (SCT) on the amount provided. It is important to note that no specific regulation is necessary for this, but the principle of equal treatment must be applied.

This amount does not need to be proportionally adjusted for mid-year entries; the same amount applies as for entries before 1st January, 2023. In the case of multiple employers, the one-time payment of 200,000 HUF is not cumulative. Therefore, multiple employers can provide a maximum of 200,000 HUF each. Consequently, in the case of mid-year entries, it is not necessary to consider whether the employee received this benefit from a previous employer. The employer can transfer the granted benefit in multiple installments. However, it is necessary to transfer the final installment by 31st December.

The second change aims to expand the usability options and support retail stores. During the same period mentioned above, from 1st August to 31st December, the balance on the SZÉP card can be used to purchase groceries, including vegetables, fruits, meat, dairy products, and bakery items.