Tax Agency Clears Bulgarian Interior Minister, Checks His In-laws

Domestic | February 24, 2011, Thursday // 20:24|  views

Bulgarian Interior MInister Tsvetanov (left) has been cleared of income discrepancies. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's National Revenue Agency has not discovered any discrepancies in the income of Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, its head Krasimir Stefanov has announced.

The tax authority has thus refuted allegations made Wednesday by the controversial, anti-government Bulgarian weekly Galeria that there are irregularities in Tsvetanov's properties and trips abroad.

Stefanov has made it clear that there is no inconsistent information in the tax returns of Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Interior Minister and Deputy PM, and that no unreported income of his has been found. He reported before the Parliamentary anti-corruption committee after in the fall of 2010 the marginal conservative party RZS and its leader Yane Yanev provided receipts that they claimed demonstrated that Tsvetanov had questionable income and properties.

While the minister was found to be clean, the tax inspection, however, showed discrepancies in the income information of Tsvetanov's wife's parents. The NRA is unable to provide publicly information about the income of Tsvetanov's in-laws because they have not signed a voluntarily release.

Stefanov did promise, however, that all information gathered by the tax authority will be submitted to the Prosecutor's Office, which is also inspecting the properties of the Interior Minister.

The information provided to the media states that between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2009, the total income of Tsvetanov's family was BGN 589 480, which includes money provided to them by Tsvetanov's father-in-law and mother-in-law, a bank loan, and interest revenue from a deposit. The family's total spending was BGN 459 822.

Tsvetanov's family has 17 accounts in six banks, 13 of which belong personally to the Interior Minister. Stefanov also confirmed information that Tsvetanov's in-laws have more than 14 bank accounts.

Stefanov was unable to provide information about which three private firms gave fees to Tsvetanov in the above-mentioned period. He invited the owners of the firms to a meeting in order to request a permission to disclose tax information. However, only two of the three owners showed up and both of them refused to grant a permission.

NRA's inspection shows that Tsvetanov received a total of BGN 40 000 in fees. The three consulting contracts were "on questions related to the residency of foreigners in Bulgaria, the states of foreign families, and the level of criminal activity", "the systems for control and surveillance of an office building in Sofia, and information about the crime levels in the country", and "consulting a contractor on questions connected with security in Bulgaria with respect to investments."

In the five-year period, Tsvetanov traveled abroad 52 times and went on a vacation with his wife 9 times. He was unable to provide documents about 13 of his trips abroad. Tsvetanov has spent a total of BGN 16 317 on individual trips, and BGN 15 692 on family vacations.

The Tsvetanov family bought only two of their six apartments, the other four were inherited or provided from the parents of the minister and his wife.

The two apartments were purchased with a mortgage loan of EUR 59 000, family savings amounting to EUR 20 766, and contributions by Tsvetanov's in-laws amounting to EUR 48 366 and USD 3 223.

On Wednesday, the Galeria weekly presented information claiming that there is a difference of BGN 150 000 between the income and spending of Tsvetanov's in-laws. The paper editors said the information was given to them by employees of the National Revenue Agency, who were afraid that it might be covered up.

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Tags: Krasimir Stefanov, NRA, NAP, National Revenue Agency, tax, tax returns, in-laws, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Interior Minister, RZS, Yane Yanev, Galeria


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