Parliament Approves Gambling Tax Increase

Parliament Approves Gambling Tax Increase

Parliament on Wednesday approved on first reading a proposal to increase the tax on gambling from 10 to 12 per cent as of January 1, 2010.

The proposal is contained in a bill to amend the Corporate Income Tax Act, moved by the Council of Ministers.

The increase of the taxes on the Toto and Lotto games, sport betting and betting on accidental events will bring some 12 million leva in annual revenues to the national budget, Deputy Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said.

The Blue Coalition and the Order, Lawfulness, Justice party insist on a 15 per cent tax on gambling.

The National Assembly also revoked a tax relief for enterprises making large investments in such sectors as agriculture, the processing industry, high technologies and infrastructure.

Former finance minister and current MP of Coalition for Bulgaria Plamen Oresharski urged his colleagues to oppose the revocation of the tax relief for enterprises making large investments. The preservation of the tax relief would be a plus for the investment climate, and the measure will not affect the budget in purely fiscal terms, Oresharski argued.

Budget Committee Chair Menda Stoyanova (GERB) said the tax relief for large investors was introduced last year and represents state aid, for the extension of which a necessary permission has not been received from the European Commission. According to her, this regime was introduced for lobbyist purposes.

The MPs also approved a proposal to impose a tax on the profit of foreign juristic persons from the transfer (sale) of the place of economic activity.

Accounting expenses for donations amounting to 50 per cent of the book profit will be recognized for tax purposes when they were made to the benefit of the Children's Medical Treatment Fund, the Assisted Reproduction Fund, or the Transplantation Fund.

Source: BTA

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