Bulgaria’s revenue agency cold-calls thousands to pay their taxes

Bulgaria’s National Revenue Agency (NRA) is using its new call centre to phone thousands of individuals to ask them to pay their taxes within a month or face having their bank accounts frozen.

The tax collectors are telling people that if within up to two weeks, tax payments are not brought up to date, they will be sent formal “invitations” for voluntary payment, and after a further two weeks, the bank accounts into which their salaries are paid will be frozen.

This means that the campaign of large-scale attachments of bank accounts will start from mid-June 2014 and continue until the end of the month.

In the past few weeks, the agency has been contacting thousands of people who have not paid their taxes due. Local media quoted the agency as saying that the total debt of individuals was about 5.5 million leva (about 2.75 million euro), or an average 354 leva per debtor.

The deadline for submitting tax returns to the NRA and paying taxes was April 30. After that unpaid debts started accumulating interest.

Bulgarian tax law allows the NRA to seize the bank accounts of those late in paying their taxes almost immediately after this period.

It is the first time that the NRA is embarking on a cold-calling campaign on this scale. The agency did conduct phone campaigns in previous years, but now the agency has a fully functional call centre.

The agency said that first to have their salaries attached would be those with tax debts exceeding 3000 leva. When phoned, people are asked to commit to a timeframe in which they will pay their tax arrears, the NRA said.



The Sofia Globe staff

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