Bulgaria Parliament Set to Raise Gambling Tax to 12%
Bulgarian parliament voted at first reading on Wednesday in favor of an increase in the tax rate on gambling activities from 10% to 12% as part of amendments to the Corporate Income Tax Act.
Should it be adopted at second reading, the change will come into force at the beginning of 2010 in a bid to rationalize the tax rate for all organizers of gambling activities. Sweepstakes, raffles and lotteries are already taxed at the rate of 12%.
The increase in taxes on the Toto (Bulgarian state lottery), the Lotto and betting on sporting competitions will boost state budget revenues by BGN 12 M, the deputy Minister of Finance, Vladislav Goranov, said.
The Chair of the Parliamentary Budget Commission, Menda Stoyanova, declared her support for an increase in the tax on gambling, while the Blue Coalition and the Party for Order, Justice and Equality (RZS) proposed that this tax be increased to 15%.
MPs additionally adopted the proposal of the Council of Ministers to reverse tax concessions for companies having large investments in agriculture, general production, the processing industry, high technologies and infrastructure.
According to other changes adopted, foreign EU companies will have a choice as to recalculation and consequent reimbursement of part of withheld taxes, in the same way as Bulgarian citizens are treated.
The MPs also adopted a measure to ensure that profits of foreign companies from sale of commercial sites would be taxed. Concessions in the amount of tax paid would be proportional to any donations made to the following Bulgarian organizations: Fund for Treatment of Children, Fund for Assisted Reproduction and Fund for Transplants.
The Corporate Income Tax Act bill will now proceed to the mandatory second reading in Parliament.
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