Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry rejected as untrue Bulgarian-language media reports on September 21 2012 saying that the ministry was planning to introduce a tax on interest on bank deposits.
The initial report, in Kapital Daily, a Bulgarian-language newspaper, said that it was based on three individual sources within the governing party. According to the daily, the move was a fund-raising measure for the government to go through with its stated plan to increase pensions in 2013.
The report claimed that interest on deposits in the bank accounts of individuals would be taxed at a 10 per cent rate, with exemption for accounts raising funds for expensive medical treatment. It quoted what it described as Finance Ministry sources as saying that the measure would raise 160 million to 200 million leva (about 80 million to 100 million euro) additional revenue in 2013.
The report unleashed a flurry of activity by other media that sought to confirm it, and large numbers of comments on social networks among Bulgarians recalling the pledge of Simeon Dyankov, finance minister in the current centre-right government that has been in office since July 2009, that no new taxes would be introduced – a pledge that the initial story itself recalled.
Darik Radio and television station bTV said that they had obtained confirmation of the story, but Finance Ministry public relations head Betina Zhoteva said that there was no discussion at the moment of such a plan and the proposal was not on the agenda.
This could be seen on the official website of the Finance Ministry, where all taxation measures had been posted last week for public discussion, and there was no such text or proposal, the ministry said.
Reporting the ministry’s denial, the newspaper’s stablemate Dnevnik said that the government had “dropped the idea” a day after it was launched.