Municipal Tax Experts from Bulgarian Municipalities Meet in Hisarya
Over 160 participants from more than 80 Bulgarian municipalities took part in the fourth edition of the National Forum of Municipal Tax Experts, which took place on 26 and 27 September in the town of Hisarya. The discussions were attended by representatives of the Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance, National Police General Directorate at the Ministry of Interior, “Modernization of the Administration” Directorate at the Council of Ministers, National Revenue Agency, State Agency for Electronic Management, National Statistical Institute and Notary Chamber.
The programme of this year's forum included presentations of the different views on the introduction of e-governance and provision of services by the local revenue offices. Participants discussed the joint tasks and problems encountered in the effort to reduce administrative burdens for citizens and electronic data exchanges. Strong emphasis was put also on the need for a clearer regulatory framework, technical, technological and methodological support by the central administration to the municipalities on implementing the recently assigned new obligations.
As part of the exchange on the draft amendments of the Corporate Income Tax Act, which also introduce changes in the Local Taxes and Fees Act, all participant agreed that the role of good cooperation and communication between the Parliamentary Budget Committee and NAMRB is of key importance.
During the deliberation NAMRB Executive Director, Silviya Georgieva underlined that the changes will increase the own revenue base of municipalities and would make the process of local taxes collection and determination more transparent. She assured the participants that NAMRB will continue its work and would submit additional proposals to the Draft Law, so as to ensure the normal operation of local revenue units and guarantee that the reduction of administrative burden to the citizens, wouldn’t result in increase of the workload, volume and responsibility of municipalities.
One of the most commented topics was the proper taxation of vehicles and ways to prevent the accumulation of unpaid fees from unregistered ones. Another important issue was the clear definition of the basis for vehicles’ transactions tax. Several proposals in this regard were put on the table – the application of a tax base determined in an annex to the Local Taxes and Fees Act or the application of a brand new approach for determining the insurance value for the purposes of tax collection. NAMRB committed itself to seek the official positions of the respective ministries on the remaining open issues.
An important topic was the forthcoming work on the reconciliation of municipalities' commitments to determine the number of users in the households for the purpose of waste management fee determination and the upcoming national population census in 2021. The draft project of census card was presented to the participants for the first time. The deputy chair of the National Statistical Institute (NSI) presented the stages of the process and underlined those where tax experts from municipalities could participate more actively. NSI is considering the option of signing an agreement with NAMRB for the overall process of interaction in relation to the implementation of Local Taxes and Fees Act provisions. Subsequently, separate agreements might be signed with each of the municipalities – regarding the scope of the data provided.
Based on these agreements, municipalities will be able to obtain the necessary information regarding the preparation of the new municipal development plans. Municipalities could benefit much more effectively from the already established relations for data exchange with the NRA regarding the companies and their activities. The active work on tax laws, the census and the preparations for moving to the new approach for determining the households’ waste fee will continue as well as consultations with the municipalities on concrete proposals for the next steps.
Photo: Executive Director, Silviya Georgieva during the Forum
Photo: National Forum on Municipal Tax Experts
Photo: Participants in the Forum