Bulgarian FinMin Prepares Customs, Revenue Agency Merger
A bill envisaging the integration of the National Revenue Agency and Customs Agency is being drafted at the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance.
If approved, a reform setting up a revenue "mega-agency" could begin next year at the earliest.
"There is much sense to the idea," Finance Minister Petar Chobanov told daily Trud, adding such a move would improve coordination between the two agencies.
A similar bill was proposed by the co-ruling Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) in 2005, when the current Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski had the Finance portfolio, but yielded no results. As a motive for the step lawmakers cited back then ensuring better quality of services offered to companies and citizens and making it easier to carry out inspections.
Trud quotes the DPS's leader Lyutvi Mestan as describing the merger as "a necessary step" on Thursday.
Georgi Kadiev, MP from the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) known for usual dissent with party policies, voiced criticism at the proposal by saying it would hardly improve revenue collection. He also hinted it would be a costly and risky venture as the two institutions have quite different information systems.
Customs Agency, which is in charge of excises and VAT of imports, employs 3500 people, while the National Revenue Agency (collecting all other kinds of taxation and insurance) has around 8000 personnel.