Bulgaria begins collecting income tax for 2014

On the first working day of 2015, Bulgaria’s National Revenue Agency (NRA) is already accepting income tax filings for the previous year.

The reward for getting one’s tax return in early is getting a five per cent discount on the amount owed, but only if the forms are filed electronically – and it applies only to the amount currently due, not the full amount of tax for 2014. The discount is applied as long as the tax forms are filed by March 31 and the money is paid by April 30.

Submitting the tax returns online is made easier, as it no longer requires an e-signature and can be done using a personal identification code. Obtaining the code still requires a visit to the local NRA office, but the codes are issued free of charge.

According to the NRA, more than 150 000 individuals have been issued such identification codes. The first tax filing of the new year, however, was made at about 12.40am on January 1 using an e-signature, the agency said.

Starting this year, NRA will discontinue the practice of offering a five per cent discount to people filing their tax returns in hard copy well ahead of the deadline.

In previous years, such discounts were offered, separately from the online filing discount and with a deadline of early February, to reduce the amount of work for the agency’s offices in the weeks before the tax deadline day on April 30. This measure has been largely ineffective, with NRA and post offices routinely swamped by last-minute filings.

This year’s major change to the tax code is that employees receiving only the minimum salary can apply to have their income tax rebated in full, but only a small fraction of such people, less than 10 per cent, could be expected to take advantage of the rebate, the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) reported.

A difference of even one lev of additional revenue, such as from the interest rate on a bank card, would be enough to disqualify one from receiving the rebate, BNR quoted NRA spokesperson Rossen Buchvarov as saying.

(Photo: Darren Shaw/sxc.hu)



The Sofia Globe staff

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