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Moving to Budapest in March - help, please?

Hi, my friend and I are both qualified and experienced EFL teachers and have bought a one-way ticket to Budapest in March. The plan is to find a job there (preferably teaching English) for 3-4 months then travel a bit around Eastern Europe.

I would really appreciate if anyone could answer any of these questions! :)

- will it be difficult to find work as EFL teachers in March? (I'm CELTA qualified and my friend has TEFL. Both have 4-5 years experience and are native)

- are there any well known schools that usually need short-term teachers?

- Do I need to apply for an invoice or would the company/school I work with take care of that?

- if I work as a freelance teacher - giving private lessons, proof reading etc - would I need an invoice too? Or can this happen without one

- (and most importantly) is getting an invoice difficult?

- which would be the best district to stay in?

- is airbnb safe in Hungary? Or, is there a reliable site for renting?

I'm sorry for asking so many questions but we really want this thing to work out so the more information, the better!

Thank you for reading/your time!

Hi Lolepana,

Welcome to Expat.com :)

Please feel free to browse through the various topics available on the forum, you might find some answers to your questions.

Have a nice day,

Priscilla

Lolepana :

- if I work as a freelance teacher - giving private lessons, proof reading etc - would I need an invoice too? Or can this happen without one

To be legal, and not in the black market, you have to given an Invoice or provide a receipt for everything in Hungary. If you are an EU Citizen, and you have a registered business in your home country, you can maybe invoice to that company. Else, you need to register with the Hungarian tax authority (NAV) as a freelance worker, get your receipt booklet, and give NAV about 35% of your income each month. Plus VAT. And, yes, that is true even if you only teach over something like Skype. If you do it here, you are suppose to pay taxes here (or in your home country if your stay is short). But some tax agency, somewhere, will want something of what you make.  :(

Lolepana :

-- (and most importantly) is getting an invoice difficult?

Just go to a local tax office and ask for a Hungarian tax number and say you want to be a freelance worker. Frankly, registering as a KATA business may cost you less unless you make less than 500 Euro a month.

As an aside the teaching English and proofreading market for English is saturated here. Just about everyone tries to do that who speaks any level of English. Rates can be as low as 800 HUF (2.50 Euro) an hour. Hard to compete at that rate. Best option is to try to contact and get a job at some company or school. The freelance gig may be difficult.

Thank you so much for the info. One last thing, then - if we find a job with a company, will I still need the invoice or it's only for freelance work?

Lolepana :

if we find a job with a company, will I still need the invoice or it's only for freelance work?

If you are an employee, the local employer deals with the tax authority 100%. Employees are not even required to submit a yearly tax return if employment income is their only income source.

Thank you so much! It's sounding a bit difficult to stick to our plan right now - hopefully we'll manage!

Lolepana :

Thank you so much! It's sounding a bit difficult to stick to our plan right now - hopefully we'll manage!

You have several months. Plenty of time to look into employment opportunities in Hungary.  So don't give up! :)

WOW! Lots of questions! I moved to Budapest to teach English in 1999 and it was the best move I ever made. But things have changed since then. There are still language schools around, although not as many. So many more students take English in their regular schools. The English teaching business has dropped off quite a bit, but there are still jobs and opportunities available, although the money may not satisfy your needs. For advice on moving here, get in touch with Inter Relocation (Interrelo), Managing Director Stuart McAlister, on the internet, They have all the basic info you'll need, plus a free online moving guide. Re: invoices, if you plan to be official and give official invoices to students and businesses where you will teach, you need to set up your own Hungarian company - limited partnership - easy with a local lawyer, cost around $150 US or so, with an accompanying bank account (for transfers).
You can also check my book on amazon.com, To Ur With Love, for my experiences in moving, and also see Getting Out on amazon.com, re: moving to another country. Where to live is up to you; I prefer the 5th District (downtown, in the middle of everything), but 6th, 7th are nice also. Still lots of flats available, again Interrelo can steer you to some good agents. I'm off traveling until Dec 13, but if you have more questions please let me know. Best of luck and hope I can help again. When you get here, get in touch and we'll have a Welcome Drink!

Puszi,

Gary Lukatch

Teachrman :

you need to set up your own Hungarian company - limited partnership - easy with a local lawyer, cost around $150 US or so

The rules changed in the past few years.

You have to post a 3 Million Forint bond today to start a KFT (limited liability company), or show income to this effect within three years.

In a limited partnership company in Hungary (known as a BT) you do not need the bond, but a BT needs at least two entities (people or companies) and at least one entity must be fully liable to all debts. I would not recommend this type of company. If anything goes wrong the unlimited partner is liable for every debt, and could be pushed into bankruptcy.

Since I stopped teaching some years ago, I was not aware the rules had become so stringent. However, re: liability for the BT, I had my company for 7 years and never had a problem, so I wouldn't worry too much about any major (or minor) liabilities. But best to check with a local lawyer just to be sure. If you'd like to know anything else about teaching English here, please send me a private email and I can give you more information. My regular address is ***

Gary

Moderated by Priscilla 3 months ago
Reason : Do not post your personal contact details on a public forum for your own security

Thank you so much for the info! I'll look into this more closely. I've already sent some CVS and received replies asking for an invoice number so I'm guessing that's going to be our biggest challenge. Again, thanks again ....might bother you again with more questions in the future, if you don't mind!

Lolepana :

I've already sent some CVS and received replies asking for an invoice number

Maybe this is a language issue, but an invoice number is just a number on a bill (i.e. a bill a company (seller) sends to a client (buyer) for services provided or products delivered). And an invoice number will change on each bill and is a number that only means something to the company issuing the bill.

If they ask for an invoice, then to me they are treating you like a contractor, not an employee prospect.

Do they maybe rather want a tax ID number? Or a VAT number?

Just checking. For clarification.

I checked again, they're asking for an invoice not an invoice number (I think I confused it with the system we have here, where the employer requires some sort of tax number, sorry!).

Yes, that's basically it, we wouldn't be employees as we'd work on freelance basis. (If we find a school that is able to employ us full-time, we'd take that and move to budapest. But if we don't, we're planning on working on freelance basis with different schools, get some extra money, and travel around hungary/eastern Europe.)

Lolepana :

I checked again, they're asking for an invoice not an invoice number (I think I confused it with the system we have here, where the employer requires some sort of tax number, sorry!).

Yes, that's basically it, we wouldn't be employees as we'd work on freelance basis. (If we find a school that is able to employ us full-time, we'd take that and move to budapest. But if we don't, we're planning on working on freelance basis with different schools, get some extra money, and travel around hungary/eastern Europe.)

Well, then it should be simple. If you have a tax number in your home country ask them about how to proceed. For example, you may be okay to just invoice the client and report the taxes back home on your personal tax number. The "worst" case is you simply would need to register in your home country as a freelance worker (or start a Sole Proprietor business). Then create an invoice to the client you will work for (search for "how to create an invoice" to get ideas how this is done, there are even online invoice generators). You do not need to worry about Hungarian tax authorities, just the one where you register yourself as taxed (i.e. in your home country).

Side note: if you do not plan to make a lot, then ask about being "VAT Exempt". This means you do not need to collect VAT. There are different limits in each country where you ask for this status, but if you can get it, it is worth it since you will  be providing services only and thus will rarely ask for "VAT back" on business purchases.

If your home country has an income tax treaty with Hungary -- and many countries do -- then it may also come into play in determining your income tax liabilities.

https://en.nav.gov.hu/taxation/double_taxation_treaties

zif :

If your home country has an income tax treaty with Hungary -- and many countries do -- then it may also come into play in determining your income tax liabilities.

https://en.nav.gov.hu/taxation/double_taxation_treaties

Yes, one should always check such treaties, but it is unlikely to be relevant here since most treaties deal with people or businesses which declare personal or have business residency in Hungary. And a short term contractor almost never does this. And between EU countries, this is standardized as such.

But, then if a treaty does come into effect, it is probably a good thing as it normally eliminates tax to a short term contractor, but it will matter how long the contractor stays in Hungary or if they have a "fixed place of business". For example, in the USA-Hungary treaty, a teaching contractor, with a fixed USA place of business may work tax free  (Hungarian tax, not USA tax)  in Hungary for 183 days (ARTICLE 13, Independent Personal Services).

A fixed place of business is rather easy to secure. One can simply have a "home business". And "home" can be any brick and mortar building offered from parents, friends, relative, to register where one works, even when one is abroad. Some try to use a P.O. Box, but this is normally not legal or legit in my countries, so I do not recommend it.

"Yes, one should always check such treaties, but it is unlikely to be relevant here since most treaties deal with people or businesses which declare personal or have business residency in Hungary."

A tax treaty may be very relevant in the OP's situation, by providing a clear exemption from Hungarian income tax.

For example, under Article XIII of the U.S.-Hungary Tax Treaty, an American's income from performing personal services independently (that is, not as an employee) is exempt from Hungarian income tax so long as he does not spend more than 182 days in Hungary and does not have a "fixed base" in Hungary for performing the services. That is, the treaty provides a safe harbor from Hungarian income tax, if you can meet the requirements.

Of course, the safe harbor applies only to income tax, and not to VAT, for example.

Similar provisions exist in most other tax treaties, though the details may vary a bit.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-trty/hungary.pdf

(Some duplication with your post; I must have missed it on first reading: sorry!)

Again, I cannot thank you enough for all the help you're giving us! I'm looking into this treaty business right now but from what you're saying, it looks like I was worrying for nothing - it's doable!

....I am going to be a bit greedy and ask something else; Would it be possible to get paid in cash rather than with a bank transaction since it will probably not be  worth opening a bank account for just a couple of months?

Hi again. We should discuss the invoice and tax numbers the schools want in a private email. You can Google me or look me up on Facebook and contact me either way. Just too much info to write on this site. Anything I can do to help, just let me know.

Gary Lukatch

Hello,
regarding invoices I would suggest you not to create a company but ideally get salary / employment contract
(to create a kft is easy and quick however if you leave the country after 3-4 months only it may be a bureaucratic nightmare to delete the company),
regarding accommodation : I suggest pest side/ V or VI district, Airbnb is expensive, you will find more than 30 Erasmus Budapest groups with many flats for rent or club immo,
Any other questions do not hesitate to contact me
Rgds
Sebastien

Lolepana :

Would it be possible to get paid in cash rather than with a bank transaction since it will probably not be  worth opening a bank account for just a couple of months?

That in entirely up you and those that hire you.

Most employee positions require bank transfer.

if you want to be paid in cash, and you are a contractor, simply inform your client, and if they are okay with that, they should be able to make out a receipt to you and pay you in cash.

But... if you are reasonably paid, walking around with significant amounts of cash may not be safe.

Personally, I would recommend you just have your employer/client wire the payment to your bank account in your home country, then just carry an ATM debit card for that account here and withdraw cash from any ATM as needed.

BUT - be advised that, last time I checked, each international bank transfer will cost you around 30 euro!

Teachrman :

BUT - be advised that, last time I checked, each international bank transfer will cost you around 30 euro!

If you have a bank account in another European country, you can try to get payments through Transferwise, it is the cheapest system available, because you make a local deposit on their website, and they make another local transaction for you in the target country. Really worth it!

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