VAT Frauds Cost Bulgaria Up to BGN 1.2 B Yearly Sofia_News_Agency - 2005/10/19
Bulgaria's yearly budget suffers losses of between BGN 600 M and 1.2 B a year, because of tax frauds, the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) announced in a report.

According to the General Tax Directorate (GTD), the established losses for the period between 2000 and 2004 are about BGN 300 M per year, but their actual size is much bigger.

An analysis by the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) shows that about 30 % of the foul money signals they receive from the financial system are for VAT-related frauds.

As FIA director Vasil Kirov announced, the main obstacle before the effective counteraction of corruption was the reaction of the police and legal system. He expressed his discontent with the fact that out of a hundred tax crimes solved, only eleven had been punished and warned that the lack of proper punishment could be an incentive for more corruption practices.

The report presented by CSD claims that tax officers believe that the reasons for corruption are the low pay, the even lower morale and the badly-written laws. 95.6 % of the tax officers believe that their salaries should be increased for their susceptibility to corruption to decrease.

Deputy Interior Minister Boyko Kotsev, on the other hand, considers that the measures for fighting corruption should be incorporated within the legislative frame and the normative basis.

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