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Sidenotes to the real estate tax
2009. máj. 26.

Some criteria of the "efficient tax": simple to calculate, simple to collect, simple to check. The proposed real estate tax isn't like this. Good thing, it's not in our focus.

Foreword: Please keep in mind: we don't politicize.

Yesterday, the Hungarian news portal Index corrected the link pointing to the proposed property / wealth tax bill. As a homeowner, I am intrigued. As a habit of mine, I put together an Excel file, that manages all the properties of the tax. I knew it won't be easy, but, you know, hope never dies.

The result can be downloaded from this link: 20090528_Ingatlanado_v01.xls Enjoy.

Some thoughts:

  • Some of my colleagues tried it, and noticed, the numbers are correct for the price of the property. It's true, according to the calculation, none of them are effected by the tax, and then it isn't a problem whether their house is really worth x, or x-3 million.
  • The correctness of the value calculation shows, that a large amount of statistical analysis had been put into this law. These numbers are not the result of an overnight brainstorming session.
  • Complexity isn't a friend of the taxpayer: I hope, the tax-filling program will help with the calculation - we have to admit, there should be a more official calculator, than our Excel...

The question remains: how does this connect to the internet bank? Here are the mosaic tiles to the big picture:

  • I was browsing through the services of certain American internet banks, due to an assignment, and I ran into an interesting one. The internet bank offered help to prepare the tax-forms, and also offered services to send it over to the local IRS. In a society, where the financial sense is high, and the taxation system is overwhelmed with deductibles, this makes perfect sense.
  • Hungarian banks - after finishing the channeling of standard transactions to the user interface - are moving towards the value-added services. The magic buzzword for the current and next year will be "portfolio management".
  • I suppose, the next big thing after the portfolio management will be wealth management - and this concerns houses as well. If we can register real estates, why not help to calculate the taxes relating to them? On an internet-banking environment?

First question comes to mind: where does it pay off for a bank to develop a module for the internetbank concerning wealth management, and property tax? It has to be constantly upgraded, it costs money, it takes up precious storage space, etc...

One question: how much does it worth for a bank, who has access to tremendous amount of information through analyzing transactions, to get access on real information on your REAL wealth? Probably can sell further services based on these data (CRM anyone?) So, before you answer, think about the web2 business - the analysis of personal information is what makes the businesses work (Google, Facebook, Iwiw to name some examples). I think the banking sector has a lot to learn...

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