Bulgaria's Tax Revenue Plummets in Jan-Feb 2010

Finance | March 18, 2010, Thursday // 09:41|  views

Stefanov says the Bulgarian Revenue Agency prevents tax evasion of BGN 1,5-1,7 B. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria’s tax revenue in the first two months of 2010 was BGN 600 M smaller than in the same period of 2009, announced the National Revenue Agency head, Krasimir Stefanov.

Stefanov has pointed out that the plummeting tax revenue is the result of the deepening economic crisis.

Speaking on the bTV channel Thursday, Stefanov said that the declared tax base in January and February of 2010 was BGN 4 B smaller than it was in the same period of the previous year.

He did stress, however, that this was largely due to the fact that the December tax figures are declared in January, and in December 2008, the former government made a shock spending of BGN 4 B from the then budget surplus.

Stefanov has admitted both small and large companies have problems paying their taxes, and added that the serious levels of inter-company debt posed a huge problem.

In his words, only in January 2010, the number of people working on a labor contract dropped by 100 000, according to statistics of the Revenue Agency.

The NRA Director said also that Bulgaria was “the most liberal” EU member state as far as taxation policy is concerned because of the 10% flat corporate and income tax rates.

Stefanov has commented that the Bulgarian media overplayed the issue with the Bulgarian citizens holding assets in Swiss banks; in his words, not all of those holders are criminals, and the Revenue Agency is yet to investigate them.

The Bulgarian tax authorities recently acquired information from their German colleagues about the bank accounts of Bulgarians in Switzerland and Lichtenstein.

The NRA is also inspecting the assets of over 100 physical persons related to the mobsters busted over the last three months in the “Impudent” and “Octopus” police operations.

In addition, tax inspectors will be present at the upcoming concerts of Elton John and AC/DC in Sofia as a preemptive measure against tax evasion. Stefanov announced that last year two of the companies organizing concerts of world stars in Sofia evaded paying BGN 100 000 in taxes.

The Agency is investigating the assets of doctors, dentists, 261 football players, but according to the top Bulgarian tax official, the more important thing is that some 17 000 inspection are carried out every year which prevent tax fraud for BGN 1,5 – 1,7 B.

The Revenue Agency managed to raise additional BGN 24 M from the inspections of football clubs and owners of luxury cars.

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Tags: Krasimir Stefanov, National Revenue Agency, NRA, tax, tax revenue


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