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Bulgaria Revenue Agents to Probe Chalga Cash

Date: 06.12.2009

Bulgaria’s National Revenues Agency (NRA) has announced it will begin to investigate the earnings of musicians in the country.

The NRA declared this latest move to fight possible fraud and tax evasion, as part of its drive to raise budget revenues and clamp down on widespread fraud.

NRA spokesperson Rosen Bachvarov stated on Monday that there were signs that many singers and musicians were declaring only a fraction of their true earnings.

“They lead a very expensive way of life which requires far more funds than have been officially declared, which is the reason for launching checks,” he said.

Bachvarov added that musicians would be required to pay any back taxes they owed, if audits showed there were discrepancies between their real, and their declared, incomes.

Musicians, especially the most popular chalga singers, are reputed to command fees of thousands of leva for a single performance, and this at a time when the average Bulgarian wage is about BGN 600 per month. Azis, Gloria and Anelia are allegedly among the names who will be investigated.

Since the end of June 2009, the NRA has checked out all 105 Bentley car owners in Bulgaria, in a similar move to investigate possible fraud and hidden earnings.

Two of those owners were required to pay BGN 4 M in additional taxes after failing to prove their incomes to the satisfaction of NRA auditors.

BGNES

They are also engaged in checking the finances of some 800 Bulgarian football players. The NRA had estimated that some of the bigger clubs owed almost BGN 8 M in unpaid tax and interest.

The NRA campaigns have a double purpose – the immediate benefit of increasing revenues for the state budget, and the longer-term elimination of tax evasion and fraud, as demanded by the European Union.

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