Bulgaria's Finance Ministry Proposes to Enhance Tax Authority’s Power

Bulgaria's Finance Ministry Proposes to Enhance Tax Authority’s Power

Bulgaria's Ministry of Finance has proposed to amend legislation for giving the country's tax authority the investigatory powers such as the power to conduct interrogations and surveillance and to make searches and seizures in "urgent" cases.

The ministry stated that evidence collected by the tax authority through the use of these powers "shall be used in the investigation of crimes related to tax fraud, money laundering and bribery." The ministry also expects to speed up legal proceedings through those powers of the tax authority.

If the ministry’s proposal is approved, legislative changes would be made in the Tax and Social Security Procedure Code and the Criminal Procedure Code. The changes would not mean that the functions of investigating authorities would be taken over by tax authority. Each district city in Bulgaria has a coordination center that brings together officials from the tax, law-enforcement, and the prosecutor's office.

Bulgaria was ranked as one of the worst countries for tax evasion in the EU between Italy and Romania. In fact Bulgaria was the only country in Europe not having a special unit for fight with tax evasion. Now the ministry of finance hopes that the Bulgarian tax police would start to operate in 2013.

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