Bulgarian Parliament OKs VAT Exemption for Donated Foods near Expiry Date
Foods donated by retailers to non-profit organizations will not be levied with a value-added tax (VAT) if the products are thirty days or less out of their expiry date, Bulgarian lawmakers have decided.
The tax exemption will only be applied if the total value of donations does not exceed 0.5% of the respective businesses' annual turnover.
Companies willing to donate will have to register in a "food bank" list. Only those businesses licensed as a "food bank operator" will be able to give away foot to non-profits, under the amendments voted at a second reading on Thursday.
Bulgaria's Ombudsman, Maya Manolova, has hailed the move, describing as outrageous that fact that "such an amount of food goes in the garbage instead of reaching the hungry ones in Bulgaria." More than 250 000 tons of food that went beyond its expiry date is just thrown away every year by retailers, instead of being donated, national data shows.
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