Bulgarian MPs Vote to Scrap VAT on Foods Donated Near Expiry Date
Bulgarian lawmakers have approved on a first reading legal changes that allow to boost donation of foods.
MPs have decided VAT will not be levied on food products donated 30 or less days before their expiry date.
The amendment, if approved further, will only be in force when the value of foods given out does not exceed 0.5% of the respective legal person's turnover.
Junior coalition partner Reformist Bloc (RB), which initiated the changes, maintains they will provide incentives for retail chains to donate products instead of throwing them away.
Some 670 000 tons of food are destroyed on a yearly basis in Bulgaria, a country where 1.54 million (out of a 7.1 million population) people live below the poverty line, Petar Slavov, of the RB, has said.
Bulgaria's Ombudsman Maya Manolova and other officials have been calling for months to change the current system which makes it complicated to give out food and discourage retailers to take the step.
MPs from the senior coalition partner GERB, however, have warned the fresh legislation will need some clarifications before another reading to avoid loopholes that will give edge to some businesses and help them evade taxes rather than donate.
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