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The Exchange of Tax Information Portal is an initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum conducts peer reviews of its member jurisdictions' ability to co-operate with other tax administrations in accordance with the internationally agreed standard. The standard provides for exchange of information on request where it is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. Effective exchange of information requires that jurisdictions ensure information is available, that it can be obtained by the tax authorities and that there are mechanisms in place allowing for the exchange of that information. The Global Forum's peer review process examines both the legal and regulatory aspects of exchange (Phase 1 reviews) and the exchange of information in practice (Phase 2). The EOI Portal will track the development of these peer reviews, including changes that jurisdictions make in response to the Global Forum's recommendations.

Peer Review: Bulgaria Combined report

This report for Bulgaria has been published on 4 Nov 2016. You can buy this report, or browse it online below.

Skip directly to the Executive Summary. You may also want to view the tables of determinations and ratings.


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Determinations and Recommendations

Jurisdictions should ensure that ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements is available to their competent authorities. (ToR A.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Bulgarian law provides for issuance of bearer shares by joint stock companies and partnerships limited by shares. There are several mechanisms which allow identification of holders of these shares however they do not require identification of holders of bearer shares in all cases. Out of 11 555 joint stock companies (2.2% of all companies) which can issue bearer shares 555 companies actually issued these shares (0.1% of all companies).  Bulgaria should take measures to ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to identify the owners of bearer shares in all cases. 
Ownership information in respect of foreign companies and partnerships is required to be available based on obligations towards the BULSTAT Register and to a certain extent based on tax and AML law. However these obligations do not cover all foreign companies with place of effective management or headquarters in Bulgaria and partnerships carrying on business or deriving taxable income therein.   Bulgaria should ensure that ownership information on foreign companies with sufficient nexus with Bulgaria and on foreign partnerships carrying on business in Bulgaria or deriving taxable income is available in all cases. 
A Bulgarian resident trustee of a foreign trust will in majority of the cases fall under one of the categories of AML obligated persons and therefore required to keep information on settlors and beneficiaries of the trust. However, acting as a trustee may not necessarily trigger AML obligations in Bulgaria and there are no other requirements to ensure that identification of settlors, trustees and beneficiaries of foreign trusts which have Bulgarian resident trustees or are administered in Bulgaria is available in Bulgaria.  Bulgaria should ensure that information is maintained on beneficiaries and settlors of all foreign trusts which have Bulgarian resident trustees or are administered in Bulgaria. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Partially Compliant.   Although Bulgarian law contains several safeguards which motivate compliance with filing obligations towards the Commercial and BULSTAT Register there is a room for improvement in respect of supervisory and enforcement measures which should be taken to ensure compliance where legal safeguards did not work.   Bulgaria should strengthen supervisory and enforcement measures taken by the Registry Agency to ensure that the required information in respect of all relevant entities is in all cases available in accordance with the law.  
   
   
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
Competent authorities should have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any person within their territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information (irrespective of any legal obligation on such person to maintain the secrecy of the information). (ToR B.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
The rights and safeguards (e.g. notification, appeal rights) that apply to persons in the requested jurisdiction should be compatible with effective exchange of information. (ToR B.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     Bulgaria should continue to develop its exchange of information network with all relevant partners. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
The jurisdictions' mechanisms for exchange of information should have adequate provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information received. (ToR C.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
The exchange of information mechanisms should respect the rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties. (ToR C.4)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
The jurisdiction should provide information under its network of agreements in a timely manner. (ToR C.5)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The assessment team is not in a position to evaluate whether this element is in place, as it involves issues of practice that are dealt with in the Phase 2 review.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.   Bulgaria has in place organisational processes to ensure provision of responses in a timely manner in the majority of cases. However certain room for improvement remains in (i) monitoring of deadlines, (ii) provision of status updates and (iii) decreasing of response times in cases where information is obtained by local tax offices.  Bulgaria should ensure that it is able to respond to exchange of information requests in a timely manner in all cases, by providing the information requested within 90 days of receipt of the request, or if it has been unable to do so, to provide a status update.