NATIONAL REVENUE AGENCY WILL RESTRICT CORRUPTION
Gavrail Zabourtov, Deputy Executive Director of the National Revenue Agency, to the BANKER WeeklyMr. Zabourtov, when will the info system for administration of revenues be finally developed and introduced?- With the official start of the National Revenue Agency as of January 1, 2006 we'll also have a functioning info system as well. It will guarantee the the successful completion of the biggest reform in Bulgaria's revenue administration. Currently, a procedure for the choice of a company to deliver, adapt and introduce software for management of revenues is in progress. We plan that the info system would be initially tested in several directorates. Do you have adequately trained people for the management of that system?- The French company Bull Sa, which won the tender for the delivery and introduction of software, will have to train experts for the National Revenue Agency. Most of them will be from the personnel of the Chief Taxation Administration and the National Insurance Institute. What effect will that have on the collectability of taxes? Will possibilities for evading taxes on the part of citizens and firms be restricted?Taxes and insurance instalments will be serviced by a single organisation - the National Revenue Agency - in the future. The unified info system will allow us to cut down the term for reimbursement of VAT, as well as that for the issuance of all kinds of blanks and certificates. Moreover, as of January 1, 2006, it will give us the opportunity to make things easier for both citizens and companies, by offering new electronic services, e.g. payment of taxes and insurances by INTERNET. That will decrease direct contacts with the administration, which is a prerequisite for reduction of corruption pressure on the officials. The introduction of the info system will inevitably increase efficiency in collecting taxes. Are any other changes in the sphere of tax administration projected?- The reform has several main targets, one of the most important of which is to satisfy the public's expectations and establish a modern European revenue administration. As of the beginning of 2006 the activities of the taxation administration and the functions regarding collection of instalments on the part of the National Insurance Institute will be unified in 28 regional subdivisions of the National Revenue Agency. A pilot project for joint servicing of big taxpayers and insurers will be launched in the Big Taxpayers Regional Taxation Directorate as of October 1, 2004. The directorate accounts for more than 67% of all budget revenues. The Tax Insurance Procedures Code is to be approved by Parliament as well. The code should outline the legislative framework for the operation of the National Revenue Agency. Amendments to the entire taxation legislation, including laws on VAT, excise duties, income taxes, etc. have been projected as well. Do you expect collectability of taxes to improve after the large-scale introduction of the electronic signature and of administrative measures for servicing of companies at one desk, intended to facilitate their activities?- Suppliers of certification services (editor's note - Informational Services and Bankservice) have recently cut down their prices for the universal electronic signatures and now anyone could buy such a signature against some BGN100. This is not a huge capital investment, and it saves considerable expenses and peoples' valuable time, needed for contacts with the taxation administration. As of July 1, 2004 the Big Taxpayers Regional Taxation Directorate introduced the electronic service VAT by INTERNET, allowing electronic submission of VAT declarations.Until now all firms were obliged to file to the taxation services that information on a magnetic carrier each month. Instead of that company managers now have the option to send their declarations to the taxation services directly from their offices, without having to waste their time at long queues. I believe that electronic technologies and services will certainly result in a better collectability of taxes on one side, and a more efficient control on the part of administration, on the other side.