Based on the Labour Code, if certain conditions are fulfilled, the employer shall reimburse the expenses for commuting to and from work to the employee in the form and amount specified by law.
Conditions related are included in Regulation number 39/2010 of the National Ministry of Economy (II.26.) on expense reimbursement for commuting to and from work.
Based on the governmental regulation, ‘commute to work’ shall mean travel to work on a daily basis from outside the administrative border, furthermore travel to home up to four times on a monthly basis. If the employee cannot reach his/her place of work, due to its geographical location, either with local- or with regional public transportation, travel to work from inside the administrative border shall also mean ‘commute to work’.
Based on Act on Personal Income Tax, expense reimbursement for commuting to and from work, in accordance with the governmental regulation, shall not be taxed (tax-free), if
- the amount of the expense reimbursement does not exceed the cost of either the season ticket or the ticket;
- the amount of the expense reimbursement does not exceed 9 forints per kilometre when the distance on public road to and from work shall be taken into account - including in particular if using his/her own vehicle to commute to and from work (in the event of daily commute to and from work or travel to home at weekends).
Based on section 3 of the governmental regulation, the employer shall reimburse the expenses for commuting to and from work in the amount of 86 per cent of the cost of either the season ticket or the ticket; the expenses for travel to home in the amount of 86 per cent of the cost of either the season ticket or the ticket at least – but no more than 35 000 HUF in 2015 -, if the employee travels
a) Second-class by domestic or cross-border national public railway;
b) By scheduled national-, regional- or suburban bus service;
c) By inter-urban train;
d) By scheduled ship, ferry-boat or ferry
to the place of work, furthermore if the employee travels by airplane for travel to home. If the employee travels second-class by express train or by intercity train, additional ticket is also required. The employer may - but not obliged to – reimburse the amount of the additional ticket for express train, for first-class or for intercity train as well (tax-free).
Based on section 4 of the governmental regulation, the employer shall reimburse the expenses for commuting to and from work in the amount of 9 forints per kilometre in the following cases:
a) There is no public transportation between the employee’s residential place/living place and his/her place of work;
b) Because of the employee’s work schedule, the employee is not able to use / the employee is able to use public transportation only with a long wait;
c) The employee is not able to use public transportation because of his/her serious disability according to the governmental regulation about disability, classification and review of serious disability, and rules on the payment of disability benefits;
d) The employee has child/children placed in pre-school institutions.
With effect of the 1st of August 2015, employees, who have child/children placed in pre-school institutions, shall also be reimbursed with 9 forints per kilometre for commuting to and from work. This sort of expense reimbursement and reimbursement for serious disability shall be considered expense reimbursement for commuting to and from work based on the governmental regulation, even if the employee commutes to work from inside the administrative border.
To ensure compliance with legislation, when you decide on the given claim, it is highly recommended to consider the circumstances of the certain case and the two concepts included in the Labour Code as follows:
‘Child’ shall mean child, raised or cared in the employee’s own household based on Act on Family Assistance;
‘Parent’ shall mean biological parent and adoptive parent; spouse living in the same household; those who intend to adopt the child living in the same household and this process has already started; guardian; foster parent and surrogate parent.
In accordance with the governmental regulation, for claiming the expense reimbursement for commuting to and from work, the employee shall declare about his/her residential place and living place, furthermore whether he/she commutes to work daily from either his/her residential place or living place. There is no obligation for further declaration based on the law.
If the employee has child placed in pre-school institutions and the employer reimburses his/her expenses in the amount of 9 forints per kilometre with regard to this, it is not regulated how the employee shall certify whether the child attends any pre-school institutions. However as this an allowance that shall not be taxed, it is highly recommended to obtain the declaration as well as the certificate of the pre-school institution from the employee.