VAT Fraud Probe Underway at Major Retail Chains in BulgariaBusiness | February 11, 2014, Tuesday // 13:58| views
Finance Minister Petar Chobanov, Deputy Prime Minister Daniela Bobeva and Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski attended Tuesday a forum which brought together representatives of the government and the business sector. Photo by BGNES
The National Revenue Agency is inspecting major retail chains in Bulgaria, according to Finance Minister Petar Chobanov.
Chobanov participated Tuesday in a forum titled "Restarting the Economy" which brought together representatives of the government and the business sector.
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski admitted that retail chains contributed substantially to the development of the Bulgarian economy, adding that they also engaged in worrying practices.
He drew attention to the problem of unequal treatment of domestic and foreign producers and suppliers.
"We will not tolerate the nonpayment of VAT and evasion of tax legislation," Oresharski declared, according to reports of the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA).
Oresharski pointed out that retail chains bought import goods via Bulgarian traders and not directly, implying that the practice involved VAT evasion.
"I cannot figure out why big global retail chains buy import goods via Bulgarian sole traders. It smells of VAT fraud and it is a widely used practice. If you believe that reducing the administrative burden means that we will tolerate evasion of legislation and non-payment of VAT, it will not happen," Bulgaria's Prime Minister stated.
"I really do not see what role the sole trader plays in the trade between two multinationals," Oresharski underscored, pledging an uncompromising stance against fraud.
Deputy Prime Minister Daniela Bobeva noted that big retail chains did not present annual reports to the Registry Agency.
"Pursuant to the requirements of the European Commission, the government is working on reducing the administrative burden and will introduce a unified mechanism for loyal commercial practices," she added.
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